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Day 6. Masada

Biblical Tamar Park Mini-Tour, Arad Intersection, Climb Masada, Dead Sea Swim, Scorpion’s Pass, Mt. Hor, Miriam’s Spring

Did Elijah visit Tamar? As Dr. DeWayne Coxon walks us step-by-step through the seven historical periods of Biblical Tamar Park, he shows how Elijah could have walked here in 874 BC.

When Elijah turned at the Arad intersection, he may have glanced up at Masada, but not until 800 years later did Alexander Jannaeus begin to fortify this mesa. We inspect Masada’s “synagogue without walls,” look down on Roman encampments, and wander freely on this huge fortress, listening to a few of its stories.

dead-sea-6d5cf960Ever since we left Jericho, the Judean Plateau has been shouldering us over toward the Dead Sea. Finally, at a public beach 1,412 feet below sea level, we get our chance to float in all that salt.

From Scorpion’s Pass we spot where Aaron was buried on Mt. Hor, a few miles from Biblical Tamar Park.

Mt. Hor – Aaron’s burial site

Near the park we stop at a grove of flourishing date palms surrounding Miriam’s Spring.

Dinner is luscious, and in the sukkah we promote our pet theories:

  • That night at Ein Gedi, should David have let King Saul live?
  • Josephus — Traitor or true? Fabulist or historian?

As we head over to our rooms, we glance up at the dome of stars and quote the poet of the Arava:

“The sun goes down, and the sky is ours.”

We sleep peacefully on this, our second night in Biblical Tamar Park under the stars of the Arava.

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Elijah

Elijah