06 Apr 2016 245 views
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These pictures are shown for two reasons:


1. It was mentioned how the pictures of the Mount of Temptation, bring to mind Zorba and hermetic monks. In these pictures, there are a lot of caves to be seen. Top left is the mountainside directly adjacent to the Mount of Temptation. Some of the caves are clearly enhanced by humans and the caves are big. Top right shows other caves with walls on that particular cliff side. At another place the landscape is rather flat, but has huge caves (compare with the yellow water bowser that is just showing). Most caves are natural, although some were enhanced through human effort.


From roughly 100 A.D. for another 500 years, the desert on the west bank of the Jordan; crawled with hermit monks. Many of them in the area of the Mount of Temptation. These monks were imitating the life style of John the Baptist and also that of Jesus' fast in this wilderness, following His baptism in the nearby Jordan river.


2. The landscapes, caves, erosion ditches (wadi's) - see the portrait style picture - reminded me of a specific period in the history of Israel. This is from the introductory Bible verses, leading up to the history of Gideon:

"Judges 6:1 The people of Israel did what was evil in the sight of the LORD, and the LORD gave them into the hand of Midian seven years.
Verse 2 And the hand of Midian overpowered Israel, and because of Midian the people of Israel made for themselves the dens that are in the mountains and the caves and the strongholds.
Verse 3 For whenever the Israelites planted crops, the Midianites and the Amalekites and the people of the East would come up against them.
Verse 4 They would encamp against them and devour the produce of the land, as far as Gaza, and leave no sustenance in Israel and no sheep or ox or donkey."



comments (14)

  • Ray
  • Thailand
  • 6 Apr 2016, 03:05
Thank you, Louis...instructive and entertaining.
Louis: Thank you Ray. I looked at the position of the caves where these hermits lived and decided they must have been excellent mountaineers. Even if they fasted a lot, they had to get in and out of those places, to get water and food and then carry it all the way back to where they lived. And what did they do when they got really old? Oh well, most of such info is hidden in the mists of time.
Wow - isn't that just amazing! It reminds me very much of the Anasazi, and Pueblo dwellings of the American South West
Louis: There was a time I have done a lot of reading about the 'ancient ones' in the US. One may make a lot of guesses, but I will always wonder why they built those villages in the rock face. Studies that were done, showed that there were times of extended drought and then you wouldn't want to be chained down to some of the drier areas of the continent. It would have been easier to lead a nomadic life with teepee's and stuff, like the later natives did. And then, why did they stop living like that? Just as with these hermit monks, information about them is well hidden in the mists of time.
  • Chris
  • England
  • 6 Apr 2016, 06:45
Amazing what people will do isn't it Louis. The Mount of Temptation might tempt me to rush to find accommodation at the nearest 5 star hotel..
Louis: True. Well the nearest 5 star is in Jerusalem and you will have to cover some miles in the desert. Hope you have a car to do it with smile
Those Bible verses sure take on new meaning, Louis, don't they! WOW.
Louis: It was interesting how something I have read long ago, jumped to the fore in my mind, when I saw the abundance of caves and possible strongholds.
Quite instructive Louis! It makes me think of Matmata in Tunisia with its troglodyte homes.
Louis: I never heard of Matmata before, so it was interesting to read up about the place. Thank you Richard.
  • Philine
  • Germany
  • 6 Apr 2016, 08:11
accomodations for hermits?
Louis: Yes, that is where they lived, Philine.
God was generous and angry with the people in equal measure as he knocked them into shape.
Louis: A fair assessment of the situation in the times of the Judges. It never took those Israelites long to forget the previous time they were saved and start being ungrateful again.
  • Lisl
  • England
  • 6 Apr 2016, 10:11
I thought at first that these were burial places
Louis: Since caves were also used as tombs, the hermit looking around for a suitable place, may have stumbled on a surprise, Lisl.
The pictures, the verses and your words really put this lot together Louis.
Louis: Thank you Brian. It was interesting how something I have read long ago, jumped to the fore in my mind, when I saw the abundance of caves and possible strongholds.
  • Astrid
  • Netherlands
  • 6 Apr 2016, 18:04
To me it is amazing that you walked the ground where history was created and the bible was written.
wonderful pictures showing all the caves. Were you bale to get up close or was it too high up.
Louis: I believe it is possible to find climbing routes, but it will take a lot of time, which we didn't have. Thank you Astrid.
I was going to say just what Elizabeth said, Louis.So you don't need to double up on your answer...smile
Louis: Thanks for being considerate, Frank. Good thing for a couple to have similar thoughts about a subject.
Reminds me of a Monty Python sketch about hermits
Louis: I haven't seen it, but can imagine a Pythonesque take on the subject.
If things were more peaceful this would be a theme park with trendy cave accommodation smile
Louis: Good idea. "Come and experience the hardships of hermit monks. Only £15,000 for a 3 night stay. As part of the experience, no food is provided. Water from the nearby Wadi Al Garram will be available at a charge of £10 per litre bottle, when delivered. To enhance the feel of reality, guests can fetch the water from the wadi, for free. Here they can also pick up a daily allowance of locusts and honey. Intended guests suffering from acrophobia are advised not to book. No wheelchair facilities are available. Guests participate strictly at their own risk and will sign an indemnity certificate on arrival."

And I believe there will be takers ...
  • blackdog
  • United Kingdom
  • 7 Apr 2016, 11:08
Super photographs Louis. I have always had a fascination for caves. These are splendidly isolated.
Louis: Thank you blackdog. Good to have you around again.

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