Geographic Ironies of Jesus and Herod the Great

The Places Associated with Herod's Death Speak with a Twist

The Bible loves poetic irony. Think of Joseph’s brothers, hat in hand before the brother they betrayed. Or Haman—hanged on his own gallows. But one of my favorites has to do with the geographic ironies surrounding the death of Herod the Great.

Geographic Ironies of Jesus and Herod the Great

(Photo: The Herodium where Herod the Great was buried. Courtesy of the Pictorial Library of Bible Lands)

Like an ugly cover on a great book, the places of Herod’s death bookend the life of Jesus.

They give lasting lessons to us who walk through them.

Click to continue reading »

The Ascent of Adummim—A Tough Hike in More Ways than One

On Jesus’ final journey to Jerusalem, He passed through Jericho. Leaving town, He would have walked between the palace buildings of Herod the Great, the king of Jews when Jesus was born.

The Ascent of Adummim—A Tough Hike in More Ways than One

(Photo: The Ascent of Adummim Roman road. Courtesy of the Pictorial Library of Bible Lands)

The opulent palace straddled the ancient road Jesus traveled and connected to itself across a bridge that spanned the road. When Jesus passed beneath the bridge between the buildings of Herod the Great, He must have considered this paranoid king who tried to kill Him as a boy in Bethlehem.

Ironically, King Herod died in this Jericho palace while the true King of Israel lived to pass between its walls on His way to lay down His life.

As Jesus and His disciples leaned uphill toward Jerusalem, they walked a well-traveled road called the “Ascent of Adummim.” This wasn’t the first time Jesus walked this road.

Nor was it the first time He used it as a setting for teaching us a lesson.

Click to continue reading »

Jericho—Joshua’s Battle Continues Today

On the monochrome landscape north of the Dead Sea, a conspicuous green splotch appears at the western edge of the Jordan Rift Valley. “The city of palm trees” exemplifies what we imagine when we picture an oasis.

Jericho—The City of Palms and Pilgrims

(Photo: Palm trees at Jericho. Courtesy of Pictorial Library of Bible Lands.)

Jericho’s date palm trees have roots that stretch toward a source of fresh water that has turned a desert into a garden. Visitors to Jericho, or Tell es-Sultan, can see the perennial spring that supported the city for centuries and provided a splendid irrigation system, distributing water to the plain as well as to all travelers in antiquity. Likely, Prophet Elisha purified this spring (2 Kings 2:21).

The “oldest city on earth” also sits as the lowest one—at more than 800 feet below sea level. Jericho owes its existence to the spring, to be sure. But the city also sits at the base of the primary roads that ascended from the Jordan Rift valley up to the Hill Country of Judea. Anyone crossing the Jordan River from the Plains of Moab had Jericho to face.

The walled city stood as a strategic roadblock that no one passing could ignore. Enter Joshua.

Archaeologists agree that the walls came tumbling down, but they disagree when it happened. In this video, Dr. Bryant Wood discusses the facts and confirms the biblical account.

Click to continue reading »

This great video by SourceFlix.com flies over 9 key sites the Bible mentions, giving a high-def birds-eye view of these significant places and their excavations.

I have listed below the sites this video shows, along with links to my posts about these places.

It’s amazing how the good folks at SourceFlix.com continue to release quality videos that enhance our understanding of the biblical world. Hats off to them!

Tell me what you think: What site would you like to fly over? To leave a comment, just click here.