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Jordan 28th November, 2007

Posted by Scotty in JUC, Travel.

For our last field study we spent 4 days in Jordan (9th-11th Nov) exploring the land on the East of the Jordan River. Today, it’s a separate country, but in the time of the Bible it was considered part of the Land of Israel. It was made up of the tribes of Reuben, Gad and the half-tribe of Manasseh. Underneath that were the enemy lands, Ammonites, Moabites and Edomites. It was a pretty great trip!

Lower Gilead: Jordan was stunning. Here’s a pic of one of the many beautiful and fertile valleys we saw as we drove through Lower Gilead on our way to Gadara (where we stopped to have lunch looking down over the Sea of Galilee)

Ramoth-Gilead: The first of our days ended at Ramoth-Gilead, and outpost on the Kings Highway. It’s a small site that receives few tourists and there’s a bedouin encampment right next to it. Our first day finished with an amazing sunset over the bedouin tents!

These are the two Physical Settings teachers at JUC. Cyndi teaches the Undergrad class which Paul teaches the Grad students. This is them trying to work out the way home!

Jerash (Gergesa): is one of the Decapolis cities and its pretty incredible. It’s known as the “city of a thousand columns”. This is a huge amphitheater in the city which has pretty great acoustics. When all our classes left for lunch I went back here with a couple of friends to check it out. It should felt good! (and I got a standing ovation from the tourists who were in checking it out).

Petra: The highlight of our trip didn’t have the most amazing Biblical ties… in fact it has a lot more to do with Indiana Jones! Petra, Jordan was a Nabatean city and it’s worth seeing. There are amazing buildings carved into the rock faces, huge hikes and breathtaking views. There’s only one way in and that’s through the Siq… a long narrow cut through the cliffs. If you climb up the 900 steps to ‘the monastary’ then just a little bit more you get to see some of the most incredible views. The pic on the right is way high up looking down into the springs.

The Wildlife here was awesome! Check out this amazingly blue lizard we stumbled across while hiking around Petra. I tried to catch him but he was way too fast.

Wadi Dana: This is a big fault line in Edom. It’s amazing to stand here and look out through the wadi, because from here you can see right out over the Rift Valley to the hills of Israel! WOW!

Bozrah: was the capital city of Edom. It is amazingly situated the flat of a hilltop, surrounded on all sites with huge wadis so that only one small strip connects it back to the mainland. Here we are having class on the edge the site! Its gonna be horrible to go back to white walled classrooms after this!

Arnon: We stopped one morning at the Arnon Canyon… a huge obstacle for people in the bible as they tried to pick their way across. Here’s the modern road as it snakes back and forth around the walls of the canyon. It’s these little windy roads that we often find our bus navigating!

Mt Nebo: Our trip ended right here. In fact, the whole Physical Settings class finished at this spot on Mt Nebo, looking across at the Promised Land. This is the mountain Moses went up to view the promised land before he died. From here you can see it all… the lands north on the East of the Jordan… and all the way down what would become the tribal inheritance on the West! It was fun at this point to stand there and able to identify all the places we’ve been to by noting the geographical and topological landmarks we’ve studied. Moses stood here and the future of the Israelites lay concretely before him, and so Dr. Wright finished off the course challenging the class to trust in God for direction and in His concrete plan for our futures.



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