The Wilderness of Zin— Inspiring Awe but Not Obedience to God

Some of God's blessings come only against impossible odds.

I thought I understood the wilderness wanderings of Israel. Then I traveled through the wilderness. On my summer visits there, I never had to check the forecast. It only fluctuated from blistering to broiling.

Machtesh Ramon at sunrise.

Photo: Machtesh Ramon at sunrise. Courtesy of the Pictorial Library of Bible Lands.

After a searing hike through this wilderness, a traveling companion of mine boarded the bus, his shirt sweat-soaked. He collapsed in his seat, and someone asked him if he now understood why the Hebrews grumbled and failed in obedience to God.

He took a long gulp from his canteen and then blurted, “I’m with them!”

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Seeing Far in Southern Israel

Anyone who wants a taste of the environs the Hebrews experienced during their wilderness wanderings needs to visit southern Israel. Here you can see far.

Seeing Far in Southern Israel

(Photo: Machtesh Ramon at sunrise. Courtesy of the Pictorial Library of Bible Lands)

For instance, in the southern Wildernesses of Paran and Zin the ground is composed of flint and sharp rocks, gravel, and soil with deep cracks.

  • Here the Hebrews wandered for four long decades (Numbers 10:12; 12:16).
  • From here Moses sent the spies out to check out the Promised Land (Numbers 13:1-3).
  • Four centuries earlier, this wilderness saw Hagar and Ishmael after they left Abraham (Genesis 21:20-21).

This wilderness area of southern Israel lets you see far—in more ways than one.

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Great 360-Degree Images of 11 Israel Sites

On my recent trip to Israel, I used an app called 360 Panorama to take 360-degree images of biblical sites. I took more than 50 images, and generally, I think the app did well.

Great 360-Degree Images of 11 Israel Sites

(Photo: The Middle Bronze Gate at Tel Dan)

The app allows geotagging of images, and it notes both the location and direction of the image you take. But it isn’t perfect. Some of the geotagging is quirky, for example, it located Qumran in Jordan. Also getting a good “stitch” takes some practice.

In this post you can look around 11 key sites all over Israel. Next week, I’ll share some 360-degree images from Jerusalem.

Just click on the images and drag right or left to look around!

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