This was a fun day. It started out with snorkeling in the Red Sea (yes, it was our job to snorkel in the Red Sea), then a really HOTsegment back in the wilderness of the Timna Valley. (Without sounding like I’m complaining, I guess I can’t really explain how hot it was except that I now have a clear visual to go with “wilderness” when I read it. This is when the camera started giving us “overheating” errors and we wondered if we should just go ahead and ice it down.) We saw and taped more lectures at Solomon’s Pillars and at a life-size replica of the Tabernacle. We also did a short drive-thru in the Yotvata Hai-Bar Nature Reserve where we saw leopards, ibex, rock badgers, gazelles, oryx and some of those animals you wondered if the biblical writers were confused about. The day ended with a surprise visit to the Dead Sea where we bobbed around for a little bit (if you’ve been there, you know that you don’t “swim” there — oh, I LOVED the Dead Sea!) before catching dinner, washing out our laundry and off to bed at our Masada hostel.
The geography started to make sense to me here. So many times in Bible studies, I had watched someone draw the Sea of Galilee, then the Dead Sea and the Red Sea and try to explain where this tribe or that was moving in the text, but now I had been there (and to two of them in one day!). I now had a little feeling of the distance between some of the major locations, what the landscape looked like, what a crazy problem getting water would have been, and how wonderful a “Promised Land” must have sounded…..but how hard it was to get there!