Today was a short day. This is our last full day (sort of) in Israel. Therefore, we cut the day short so that we could all come back to the hotel and get packed up for the flight to the United States tomorrow night. We started our day with a surprise visit to Nabi Samuel. It is a location north of the city of Jerusalem in which you can view the land of Benjamin. The view was magnificent and helped us to better understand the land which was given to the Israelites by God.
Jerusalem Model - There is a huge model of the city of Jerusalem in the First Century. Everything that we have learned over the last several days can be molded into a practical understanding by looking at the model. Last time I was at the Israel Museum, we arrived at the model about 10 minutes before closing. Therefore, we barely had time to fully understand it and take all of the pictures that we needed. Numerous times since my last visit I wished I had more pictures of this model. I remedied that today. I'm sure that I will realize later that I missed some angles, but I took dozens and dozens of pictures that I hope to use in Bible classes.
Shrine of the Book - This is where some of the Dead Sea Scrolls are housed. Earlier in the trip, we visited Qumran, which is where they were found. Now, we get the chance to actually see some of them. It is very interesting.
Main Hall - The last time I was here, the Main Hall was under renovation, therefore, we were not able to go in. This time, not only were we able to go in, but we were able to take pictures (which had not been allowed until a couple of months ago). The museum is very well laid out. Like all museums, we could have spent days there, however, we didn't have that much time. We quickly hit the "high spots", allowing ourselves to see some artifacts that we had discussed earlier in the trip. Anybody that comes over here should make it a point to spend some time at this museum.
Our day ended with a trip to the Garden Tomb. For years, some people thought that this was the actual tomb of Jesus. Due to other evidence, most have backed off of that claim now. However, it does allow us to see a good example of an Iron Age tomb.
Tomorrow will be an exciting day because we will spend most of the time driving through the Shephelah. Our flight is due to leave Israel late tomorrow night and arrive in the United States Saturday morning. I'll do my best to post something while I'm waiting to board the flight tomorrow night. If I don't get the chance, I'll post something as soon as I can upon returning home.