JIPP's WORLD

…….The World Without Boundaries

Visiting JERICHO – The Oldest City in the World

Written By: jipp - Dec• 08•13

There was something so fascinating about being in the Holy Land that even breathing the air felt so different and refreshingly β€˜holy’ πŸ˜›

Out into the open again (read how we crossed one of the most tightly-guarded borders in the worldΒ here ), we dragged our bags towards a waiting bus – the bus that would take us to places all throughout our stay in the Holy Land. What I immediately liked about Β the bus was the availability of a wi-fi which makes me feel so close to my friends and family back in Malaysia. He.

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After settling comfortably in our seats, the bus took us further and further away from the border and deeper into the Holy Land. I was bracing for the adventure of a lifetime – except that the adventure would most likely be more visual rather than physical πŸ˜›

It took me quite some time to swallow the fact that I was indeed in the Holy Land – the land that Jesus spent all the 33 years of his life preaching from one town to another – sometimes to villages – the religion that was later known as Christianity.

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It felt even more surreal to see all the familiar names of places that were mentioned in the Bible whose existence stood testimony to the fact that whatever written in the book had indeed taken place and not merely a fairy tale (of course I am saying all these from the perspective of a Christian).

The first in the program was Jericho (Yeriho) – the oldest city in the world. Being so old and ancient, Jericho is mentioned so many times in the Bible – even in the Old Testament before the birth of Jesus. It was the very first city that was conquered by Joshua who took over from Moses the God-driven job of bringing the people of Israel to the Promised Land after escaping slavery from the Egyptians as chronicled in the Exodus.

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Of course Joshua’s march into the Promised Land together with his people was marked by their crossing the Jordan River which according to the Bible stopped flowing to pave way for them before continuing flowing again up until today.

We were taken to see a sycamore tree – the tree that Zacchaues the tax collector climbed to get a glimpse of Jesus who was passing through the streets of Jericho. He was too short to see Jesus who was surrounded by the crowds.

Of course Jesus then ended up staying at his house for the night. It was not the exact tree that Zacchaues climbed – there is no way a tree could live up to 2000 years – but at least seeing a sycamore tree which is so significant to one of the most famous characters in the bible was fair enough for me. I could at least imagine how he did it. Heh.

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We were then taken to the Mount of Temptation – not exactly on the mountain but on a place where we could see the mountain where Jesus spent 40 days fasting without food and drink before he was tempted by the devil. There is now a cable car that takes visitors up to the mountain but it was not part of the program so we could only dream of doing it in probably another visit (Amen!).

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Then after taking lunch at a nearby restaurant called The Temptation Restaurant, we headed off towards Israel where we took our very first glimpse of the infamous wall that separates Israel from the Palestine. Getting to our next destination required us to enter Israel through a gate, make a dash half way across the country before re-entering Palestine through another gate.

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I was not quite sure if I was prepared for whatever lies ahead of me in the trip. There was so much fascination and amazement going on that I had to keep reminding myself to breath deeply so that I wouldn’t pass out due to my over-excitement.

I mean, again, I was in the Holy Land! πŸ˜€

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4 Comments

  1. nadiah najib says:

    awesome jipp!! thank you for sharing this wonderful accounts.. i too always wonder and deeply intrigued by the Holy Land… have a safe and wonderful journey

    • jipp says:

      Thank you Nadiah. I had a great time there, seeing things that I had never seen before, especially in a country that is very foreign to us in Malaysia. πŸ™‚ I noticed that you’ve got a blog too but it’s not updated. Too busy? πŸ™‚

  2. Audrey says:

    I wanna go Jericho! Am still trying to figure out how to travel there on your own. The thought of being in a group terrifies me!! (Kedapatan nanti inda holy :p)

    • jipp says:

      haha! it’s actually doable. Jericho seemed like a very nice place to explore but of course I had to compromise with myself knowing that I was in a tour group. Huhu

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