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DISCOVERING JERICHO

Tel as Sultan


The tower and the steps - the oldest in the World

Everyone feels a strong sense of history when strolling around the mounds and ruins of the Ancient Jericho called Tel Es Sultan ("The King's Hill").

One of the most famous findings at Jericho are the remains of a 10,000 years old round tower. This structure is unique for that period and a structure of this kind and age has not been found anywhere else in the world.

Much later, "just" 4,000 year ago, the city was surrounded by the new Cyclopean walls built with huge boulders. Till now the scientists argue what would be a reason to build that extensive fortification in a world which did not know any sieges machinery yet.

Archaeologists obviously expected also to find some evidence of Joshua’s famous “fallen walls of Jericho” during the Israelite conquest of the Holy Land. The Bible tells us this dramatic story: "When the trumpets sounded, the army shouted, and at the sound of the trumpet, when the men gave a loud shout, the wall collapsed" (Joshua 5). Almost nothing was found dating that crucial period of the Biblical History. Scholars try to explain this by saying the walls were actually swallowed up, leaving nothing behind.


Elisha' spring


Elisha Spring - Biblical Miracle

At the very entrance to Tel Al Sultan lies the large spring known as “Elisha’s spring". The Bible tells us the story, how Prophet Elisha purified the undrinkable waters of the spring with a jar of salt, while saying: "…This is what the LORD says: 'I have healed this water. Never again will it cause death or make the land unproductive" (Kings 2). And indeed, this ancient spring' waters are clean and drinkable till our days.


Zacchaeus' Sycamore


Zacchaeus Sycamore Tree

The Tree of Zacchaeus is a Sycamore tree is over 2000 years old and is located at the City Center of Jericho. According to the New Testament gospel of Luke, Jesus came to Jericho and as he was passing, a wealthy tax collector, Zacchaeus was trying to see Jesus walking through the crowd. However, Zacchaeus was too short to be noticed by him, so he climbed on a sycamore fig tree to see passing Jesus better. This is how the Gospel of Luke describes this: When Jesus reached the spot, he looked up and said to him, “Zacchaeus, come down immediately. I must stay at your house today.” So he came down at once and welcomed him gladly. All the people saw this and began to mutter, “He has gone to be the guest of a sinner.” But Zacchaeus stood up and said to the Lord, “Look, Lord! Here and now I give half of my possessions to the poor, and if I have cheated anybody out of anything, I will pay back four times the amount.” Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, because this man, too, is a son of Abraham. 10 For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.” (Luke 19)


The Temptation Mount


The Temptation Mount Cable Car

A Cable Car leads from Jericho to the Ancient monastery miraculously clinging to the Mount of Temptation dangerous rocks This Mount is traditionally regarded as the place where Jesus was tempted by the devil during his 40-day fast. The mountain is also known as Mount Quaruntal, meaning 40, the number of days in Jesus' fast. The Gospel tells us that "Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted[a] by the devil" (Matthew 4)

This period of fasting became the model for the practice of Lent in Christian churches. In the monastery is a big stone on which, according to tradition, Jesus sat during one of his temptations.

The Monastery of the Temptation was initially built at the Byzantium times at the place where first Christian Hermits used to live in the caves at the much earlier times. The present Monastery, reconstructed at the end of the 19th century, seems to grow directly out of the mountain. Fascinating views of Jericho and the Dead Sea are revealed from the Monastery' Balcony, which seems to be suspended in the air

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