Sorek Valley NOTE: I am continuing my series of retrospective posts on the our tour one year ago. I invite you to start at the beginning and read through all of them.

A year ago today, we toured the Shephelah.

Pressed between the coastal plain and the central mountain range is a small area of land called the Shephelah. In our Bibles, it is translated "lowlands". It only measures about 10 miles wide and 50 miles long, but it played a very important role during the United and Divided Kingdoms.

The Shephelah is bisected by five valleys. During the time of Saul and David, Philistines controlled cities on the western end of the valleys and the Israelites controlled cities on the eastern end. This arrangement was the setup for numerous battles between the two nations.

Probably the most famous battle was the one commonly referred to as "David vs. Goliath". This battle took place in the Valley of Elah. An Israelite defeat in this battle would have given the Philistines an easy path up the valley and into the hill country.

Tomorrow: The little town of Bethlehem.

2015 Israel Poster B

Have you been enjoying these posts on last year's tour? Are you interested in traveling with me this year? Then, I would love to have you join me. OurĀ 12-day tour is scheduled for October 12-23. We will stay one night on the Mediterranean Sea, three nights on the shores of the Sea of Galilee and five nights in beautiful Jerusalem. During the day, we will visit dozens of sites that will enhance your understanding of the land and of the Biblical stories that take place in them. Reservations are coming in, but we still have some availability! This is a first-class tour with many extras thrown in that many Israel tours overlook. If you are interested, I encourage you to read the itinerary and contact me personally for more details.