Thursday, January 29, 2015

Israel: Mount of Olives and Mishaps

Just after I took this beautiful picture (color not re-touched), I turned my foot on an uneven spot on the path. The pain was intense, and I almost fainted. Miss Middler was beside me, so I sent her to get the others, who were just ahead. I sat down and put my head down so I would not pass out. I realized the side of my foot was starting to swell, and I was not even sure I could get my shoe back on. (I had chosen my Dansco's because they are so very comfortable. I didn't factor in ankle support in my decision.)

Immediately, Firstborn, without a thought, took off her tennis shoes and insisted I take them. She put on my shoes, which were loose on her. It touched me. CC was worried I had broken my foot. I have never broken a bone before. I felt it was just a bad bruise. I took some Advil, walked more slowly, and insisted we press on.

This small mount was once covered with Olive trees. It is now covered with tombs. At burial, Christians want to face the Calvary, Muslims want to face the Dome of the Rock, and Jews want to face the Temple. And so, together they lie in death, each in his/her own beliefs.

The Scriptures printed throughout the country touched me, and I photographed as many as I could.

This is the Tomb of Absalom, which many said he built to honor himself. For centuries, people, as they passed by, threw a rock at it (Muslims, Jews, and Christians). Jews brought their unruly children here to see what becomes of a rebellious son. However, scholars agree that this was perhaps just a "tradition" or "legend," as the pillars date it to the first century AD. Still, it is interesting that Absalom's bad reputation never departed from him.

This is called the Tomb of Zechariah, who according to Chronicles, was stoned to death. Again, the structure dates it as later.

But then I turned from these structures, inaccurately named and dated, to this one right behind me. The Golden Gate, accurately named. Through this gate Jesus entered on Palm Sunday. It was called Beautiful Gate in ancient times. In Arabic, it is called Gate of Eternal Life. And according to Ezekiel 44, the Messiah will enter through this Gate when He returns. In 1541, the Sultan sealed this gate, fearful of the return of the Messiah and in a desperate attempt to prevent it. Also a cemetery was built behind it, in hopes that the forerunner Elijah would not pass through a place of the dead, preventing the Messiah from fulfilling the prophesy. Interesting that the Sultan was concerned enough to believe it was a possibility. Interesting that he did not know that a sealed gate could not prevent my Messiah's return.

This is the Jerusalem cross, with its four quadrants, and I bought an olive wood one for my kitchen wall. I want to add this picture to my cross photograph collection I will mount one day. CC visited Jerusalem briefly 20 years ago before we married, and gave me a small silver Jerusalem cross. I am certain at that time, I never imagined I would be hobbling through Jerusalem on a (soon-to-be-discovered) broken foot with the 5 children I have had with him!


And here is one of the remaining olive trees, for which the Mount Of Olives was named. These trees are over 2000 years old.

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