Bethany and Bethphage

Matthew 21:1-17; Mark 11:1-11; Luke 19:28-48; John 12:1-19; see also Matthew 26:6-13; Mark 14:3-9 At the start of Passover one week before he was crucified, Jesus and his disciples traveled to Jerusalem, approaching the city from the east. When they arrived at the village of Bethphage, Jesus mounted a donkey and rode down the Mount […]

Temple of the Lord

The Temple of the Lord in Jerusalem, where all Israelite males were commanded to offer sacrifices to the Lord (Exodus 23:14-19; Deuteronomy 16:16-17), underwent several stages of reconstruction and development over hundreds of years. The first Temple was built by King Solomon to replace the aging Tabernacle, and it was constructed on a threshing floor […]

Judah and Its Towns

The land of Judah in southern Israel was home to many important leaders throughout Israel’s history. Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Joseph all lived in the hill town of Hebron for a time (Genesis 13:18; 35:27; 37:12-14), and later several of them were buried in the family tomb there (Genesis 23:19; 25:9; 50:12-13). Likewise, David was […]

Jericho, Wilderness of Judea, and Qumran

The famed city of Jericho is one of the oldest cities in the world. By the time the Israelites watched its walls fall down under Joshua’s command (Joshua 6), Jericho was already thousands of years old. Located on a plain where the Jordan River enters the Dead Sea, the heavily fortified city stood guard over […]