Benjamin Field Study

Okay, so I’m pretty busy. I wrote this report for class and decided to just throw it on here. Sorry I don’t have time to explain the names and places, but I though maybe you could learn something from reading this. 

We started out the day looking at the Aijalon Valley, looking west over the Coastal Plain toward the Mediterranean Sea. It was a great opportunity to get a good view over this part of the country. Following our visit to Aijalon, we got on the bus and drove past the ruins of the ancient Roman city of Emmaus Nicopolis. According to the records of Jewish historian Josephus, this Emmaus was the administrative center for the Romans during the time of New Testament. The fifth Roman legion was here, and controlled the routes connecting Jerusalem to the coastal cities like Joppa, modern day Tel Aviv. Some say this is the location of the story in the gospel of Luke chapter 24 when Jesus walks with the two men on the road to Emmaus and reveals himself to them after his resurrection. It likely isn’t, because the biblical account clearly says that Emmaus was a village, while this Emmaus was a large city. Also, the Bible passage says that the Emmaus in Luke 24 was just 7 miles from the city, while this one is about 20 miles. Emmaus was a common name for a town, for it means “spring” and could be applied to any city with a spring of some kind.

            The Beth-Horon Ridge Route was the next stop, the site of the miracle of the sun standing still over Gibeon with the moon over the Aijalon Valley as recorded in Joshua 10. In the Joshua account, Amorites fled down the Beth-Horon Ridge Route and were pursued by Joshua’s men. While they ran, the Lord struck them with hail stones, killing many. The account even says that more people were killed by the hailstones of the Lord than by any of the swords of Joshua’s men. The Beth-Horon was used often throughout military history as well, such as a route used by the Philistines to flee Israelite armies, a fortification to protect Solomon’s kingdom, and a route used by armies like the Egyptians and Greeks in antiquity and British soldiers in the early 20th Century. The next stop was the Nebi Samwil, the traditional location of Samuel’s tomb, though it definitely isn’t. It is possibly the “high place of Gibeon” where Solomon asked for wisdom in 2 Chronicles 1:1-13 or 1 Kings 3:3-15.

            After visiting Nebi Samwel, we drove north to Gibeah of Saul, and stood in the ruins of a Jordanian palace from the 1960’s and read from Judges 19:10-16. This passage helps biblical scholars identify Gibeah and Ramah as part of the road of the Patriarchs. We also read in I Samuel 15:34 that Saul made Gibeah the capital of his monarchy.  We went to Geba-Michmash next, the place of “The Pass” and the Wadi Suwenit dividing the two cities north to south. We read from I Samuel 13:16-14:23, where Jonathon crawls from Geba to Mickmash, across two cliffs to battle with twenty Philistines.

            After driving through the Judean Wilderness, we went to the city of Jericho, where an archeological till marks where the ancient city from the time of Joshua and before once stood. We read from Joshua 6, the story of when the city was destroyed by the Lord, and shouted at the part when the Israelites are supposed to shout. 

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