A huge variety of upscale restaurants
present world class dinners. The Eucalyptus in Jerusalem, for example, offers
“biblical food,” crafting a menu using foods
indigenous to the land of Israel ( www.the-eucalyptus.com). And sometime during
the visit every visitor should try the widely
available “mixed grill.”
While the tastes, sounds and smells are
the inevitable backdrop to any visit to
any country, the sights – the sites – located in biblical lands are the primary
PHOTO: I TAMAR GRINBERG / IG TO
Nowhere else in the world can you
board a boat on the Sea of Galilee and
float where Jesus once walked, or climb
the hillside where He delivered the Sermon on the Mount. Nowhere else can you
visit His hometown of Nazareth or nearby
Sepphoris, the place where He very likely
honed His carpenter skills.
In no other country can you cast your
gaze from the Mount of Olives across the valley where the
temple built by Herod the Great once stood in majestic
splendour on the possible site of Mount Moriah, the place
where Abraham was prepared to sacrifice his son Isaac.
From this very hillside you can pause at the lovely
chapel of Dominus Flevit to weep with Jesus over the
city of Jerusalem, and stroll amid the ancient olive trees
in the Garden of Gethsemane. In this holy city you can
join throngs of worshipers and pilgrims at the Western
Wall, the foundation of the great temple. And you can
wade in dark confines through Hezekiah’s tunnel (www.
And that’s just the beginning. Practically every inch
of this ancient land has a story to tell. There’s the road
to Jericho, the setting for the parable of the Good Samaritan. There’s Abu Gosh, a possible site of Emmaus.
The ancient fortress of Megiddo overlooks the plains of
Jezrael (or Jezreel), a place where King Ahab stabled his
horses and where the apocalyptic literature of the Bible
says the final battle will take place.
Land of Hope
Christian visitors to biblical lands are never quite sure
if they are students honing their understanding of the
Bible, tourists enjoying the pleasures of travel, or pil-
grims on some personal devotional quest. For most it’s
a blend of all three.
Doug Koop is a Winnipeg-based writer and spiritual
care provider who considers his visits to the Middle East
highlights in his life.