Listen to the Land (Historical Geography) - Lesson 17

Jezreel and Herod Valleys

The Jezreel Valley is the center of activity for many of the biblical narratives. Not only was it an important economic and strategic location for Israel, but also for the Canaanites, Egyptians, Arameans and Assyrians. It is also a place where significant events took place in the lives of the prophets and Jesus.

Cyndi Parker
Listen to the Land (Historical Geography)
Lesson 17
Watching Now
Jezreel and Herod Valleys

I. The Mountains

II. Connecting points

III. Stories That Happened Near the Jezreel Valley

A. I Kings 18

B. Megiddo

C. Jezreel

D. Herod Valley

E. Mt Gilboa

F. Mt. Tabor

G. Nazareth

H. Elisha and Jesus

I. Ahab and Omri

J. Beth-shan

K. Jabesh-Gilead and Saul

L. Roman Influence

IV. Description of a Tel

Class Resources
  • The Historical Geography of the Land of the Bible is a course that aims to explore the secrets of the land of the Bible by learning how to pay attention to details like rocks, water, and roads, and how they have a dramatic impact on the people living in that context and will change our theology.

  • The land influences the people that are living on it by affecting their stories. Learning to listen to the land helps you understand the details that are hiding in the background so that when you read the Bible, it’s like you see the narrative in living color and 3 dimensions.

  • Major rivers in the Ancient Near East provided the resources necessary for empires like Egypt, Assyria, Babylon and Persia to grow and flourish. Israel is on a couple of the major trade routes that connects these cultures. The location of mountains, hills and valleys in Israel affects the lifestyle and travel patterns of the people who live there and the people travelling through.

  • Wind patterns and the shape of the land determine where more rain falls. Finding and managing sources of water is a critical aspect of survival. The feasts coincide with the agricultural calendar. Biblical passages containing references to water and the feasts had profound meaning to the original audience.

  • Of the granite, sandstone and limestone layers of rock, the limestone layer is what controls much of the lifestyle of the people. The layers of limestone that are common throughout Israel and the surrounding areas are Cenomanian, Senonian and Eocene. It is a good land because there are enough resources to survive and thrive, but it is not an easy land. It has been referred to by different names throughout the years and the political boundaries have been fluid.

  • Bashan is in the north and has enough rainfall and arable soil to support crops and large animals like cattle. The Dome of Gilead provides connection points for international and local travel. Ammon and Moab are neighbors and descendants of Lot’s daughters. Edom is south and are descendants of Esau.

  • The people that migrated to live in the coastal plain were known as the Philistines. Because of the location and terrain, the roads were sources of international travel and trade. Cities were built for commerce and control. The Negev was an important area to control for travel.

  • The Rift Valley is valuable because of its location and resources. Bitumen and Balsam were sought after. It was a popular trade route but it was important to know where to get water. Jericho was at crossroads and was near some major springs. Connecting events in biblical history to the event and location of the baptism of Jesus adds weight and significance to it.

  • The hill country of Judah has enough rain to grow grapes and other crops. Hebron was first given to Caleb and then was the city that David ruled from when he first became king. It was a connecting point for local roads. Bethlehem and Tekoa are also cities in this area.

  • Jerusalem is framed by the hills and valleys that are near it. The Sorek Wadi System is to the west and the Mount of Olives is to the east. David built a palace and Solomon later built a temple. Jerusalem was important in Jewish history and also has a place in eschatology.

  • By the beginning of the first century, Jerusalem was the site of a magnificent Jewish temple built by Herod the great. He also built an impressive palace and a Roman fort which overlooked the temple. The events leading up to the crucifixion of Jesus take on added layers of meaning when you understand how the geography of the events reminded people of Messianic prophecies.

  • Benjamin has the smallest tribal allotment but it is one of the most significant areas in the nation of Israel. The geographical features, the cities located there and the roads that run through it make it a region of national and international importance.

  • The Shephelah is between the hill country and the coastal plain and has unique geographical features. When you know the location of the roads, valleys and cities in this area, you can see their significance in the stories. When you understand where Micah and Isaiah came from and their historical context, you can understand why there is a difference in their message and tone.

  • The rocks and roads will give you valuable information about the Sharon Plain and Mt. Carmel. The international road took different paths around Mt. Carmel depending on your final destination. The harbor and palace that Herod built in Caesarea were impressive.

  • The hill country of Joseph has abundant resources and nearby roads for commerce. Shiloh was a religious center and the place where Joshua met with representatives from each tribe to determine their tribal allotment. The women of Shiloh also were instrumental in saving the tribe of Benjamin. Shechem was important as far back as Abraham. Every time people would see Mt. Gerizim and Mt. Ebal, it was a reminder of the blessings and curses of their covenant with God.

  • Who was Omri, and why was he significant in making Samaria an important city? When the people of Judah returned from Persia, there was a conflict with the people of Samaria. The animosity that was still present during the ministry of Jesus set the stage for an encounter he had with a woman that was at a well near the city.  

  • Upper and Lower Galilee have the climate soil that is conducive to widespread agriculture. Lower Galilee also has some valleys that became major roads. Major empires of the fertile crescent exerted their influence here as they expanded. When the Greeks took control with their military, they also spread their cultural influence.

  • The Jezreel Valley is the center of activity for many of the biblical narratives. Not only was it an important economic and strategic location for Israel, but also for the Canaanites, Egyptians, Arameans and Assyrians. It is also a place where significant events took place in the lives of the prophets and Jesus.

  • This body of water is often referred to as a, “sea” even though it is fresh water, not salt water. There are not many stories in the Hebrew Bible that take place in this area, but it is a center of activity for Jesus during his ministry. Many of the parables are illustrations taken from local culture and geography.

  • The Huleh basin has an abundance of water from several sources. The soil is also good, but the conditions for growing crops in some areas presents some challenges. Dan is a strategic city in the north as a gateway to the region and a religious center under Jeroboam. Caesarea Phillippi was built by Herod and was a place that Jesus used to teach his disciples about his role as Messiah and their future as leaders of the church.  

  • The Gospel of Luke traces the journey of Jesus to Jerusalem, and the book of Acts traces the journey of the gospel going out from Jerusalem. The events in Pentecost have a connection to the events at Mt. Sinai. The gospel is for the world but the events that made it possible are anchored in Israel. (Don't forget the Epilogue, Lesson 21!)

  • There are two different stories in the Gospels of Jesus feeding large groups of people. One account is in John 6 and another account is in Mark 8. The message is similar but the geography gives you some clues to help you understand why the details are different.

Have you ever read about a place and when you went there in person, it came alive? As you walk through the hills and valleys of Israel with Dr. Parker, you will see the stories of the Bible in living color. 

Your location affects your lifestyle, relationships, worldview, occupation, diet and travel. In ancient Israel, you depended on the resources around you to survive. People often lived near springs or rivers, but it was possible in some places to collect rain water and ration it through the year. The terrain and the type of soil would determine what crops you could grow, or what animals you could raise. Living near a road would give you opportunities to sell what you produced or buy what you needed. Your location would determine the amount of risk you would face from people in neighboring countries. By living in the hill country, you would develop a different mindset than if you lived on an open plain.

Once you begin to have an understanding of the, "rocks and roads" of Israel, reading your Bible with a good map next to you will help you get a 3 dimensional perspective. When the characters and the scenery become life-like in your mind, you will find yourself being inspired and motivated in your understanding of your relationship with God and how you can apply it in your interactions with others. Take this opportunity to learn from Dr. Parker to "Listen to the Land!"

Don't forget the Epilogue, Lesson 21!


Recommended Books

Listen to the Land: Historical Geography - Bible Study

Listen to the Land: Historical Geography - Bible Study

Have you ever read about a place and when you went there in person, it came alive? As you walk through the hills and valleys of Israel with Dr. Parker, you will see the...

Listen to the Land: Historical Geography - Bible Study
Satellite Bible Atlas

Satellite Bible Atlas

A comprehensive guide to biblical geography, The Satellite Bible Atlas by William Schlegel provides historical context and insightful maps to help readers better understand the world of the Bible.

Satellite Bible Atlas

Dr. Cyndi Parker
Listen to the Land (Historical Geography)
Jezreel and Herod Valleys
Lesson Transcript

All right. So after our break, this is the time we get to dove into the Jezreel Valley. We have hovered over and around the Jezreel Valley. So now let's dove deep in and take a look. So this is our famous people like to describe it as an arrowhead, as a broken triangle. I had a student who said it looks like a bear with his claws out, like, you know, whatever image works well for you choose. You can personalize this to your heart's content. The shape of the Jezreel Valley is actually defined by the mountains. So I want us to be able to talk about the mountains because the mountains and then, well, it'll form the valley, but it'll it'll give us some clues about some of the stories that happen. We've seen Mount Carmel already, so this one's not a surprise with the high end of Mount Carmel, with the shale of Mount Carmel. So I'm not going to spend a whole lot of time hanging out there. Mount Gilboa we were already introduced to as well. This geologically is the Eocene uprising, that circle that pushes into the Jezreel Valley and it forms this section of our valley, but it actually belongs to the hills of Samaria. It goes down and connects to Iball and to Gerizim. Now facing Gilboa is the hill of Moreh, and you can see how it's at a slant. It goes kind of from a northwest to a southeast direction, actually going parallel to Mount Gilboa. So these two ridges are going to form the harrowed valley in between them. And the harrowed valley is what is going to get us out to the Rift Valley. If we continue around the black circle that is on the map is Mt. Tabor. Mount Tabor is a dramatic mountain. It's really easy to pick out on the horizon line. To me, it looks like you take a tennis ball, cut it in half, put it on the ground. It has a very distinct its own rock and it's kind of flat all the way around. So that is Mt. Tabor. It is higher than a lot of the other hills around it, which means you can see it from all over the place. And it always is marking for us our northeastern corner of the Jezreel Valley. And then we have the Nazareth Ridge, which we were also already introduced to just moments ago. And then we have going from the middle of the valley, of course, then we have the Keystone River, which is pulling water from these far edges of the Jezreel. Gathering them in towards the middle and then draining out this way to the plane of Akko. So we're looking at Jezreel. Of all of our valleys, we start to notice there's really interesting connection points. Like we're always interested in where how do we connect to other people? So of course, right at the base of Mount Carmel, we can connect out to the plane of Akko. We have right here at Shimron, there's a really nice easy pass that gets us into the Batan, a tofu valley and the international trade that is passing through that valley all the way around Mount Tabor. This is going to take us to the horns of a team and ultimately down to the north western edge of the Sea of Galilee. So Mount Tabor is a good access point for us. Of course, the Harrowed Valley is a great access point and I haven't even drawn in the passes through Mount Carmel. Right. So you can see how this geographically is giving you lots of, I don't know, like a revolving door where you have lots of different jumping on and jumping out points. So if we were did take a look around from the perspective of this picture. We're standing on one of the highest points of Mount Carmel and we're looking to the north. And I know the shadows on the ground kind of obscures some of the texture of the ground. But right here, we're actually seeing a cut in the ground. This is where the keystone is draining. In ancient times, it would have been bigger, but because of water management, now we can keep it small and contained. But this is the cut of the keystone to the flat ridge where just off view is going to be the plane of Arco and is going to head out towards the Mediterranean. So we're looking right at the foothills of Mount Carmel. We're looking across the we call this actually these low lands that are just here. We call them the shayla of Galilee, the low lands of Galilee. It's what is distinguishing the plane of Akko from the Jezreel Valley here. And if we swivel our head, we're already starting to pick up the Nazareth Ridge right here. So let's continue that and that's pushing our way around. So now we have the Nazareth Ridge here in the far distance. We have the very round top of Mount Tabor that we can see from all over the place. And we're starting to pick up the hill of Moreh. Right. So you're looking deep into that northeastern corner of the Jezreel Valley. Okay. So let's keep swiveling around. And so we're looking a little bit more head on. So the Nazareth Ridge on that side, Mount Tabor just there. And then from Mount Tabor to the Hill of Moray. Now I had to kind of back up. Actually, I borrowed this picture. But you can see the. A little bit of the ridge of the Nazareth Ridge. Mount Tabor. The hill of Moreh. Mount Gilboa, opposite it. And so this opening right there, that's our harrowed valley opening. It's really fantastic. There's this ridge. That runs right there. That is creating almost like a watershed in the Jezreel. Where everything on our side of this ridge is going to drain into the ocean, out to the Mediterranean. Everything. If you just kind of go and over, it's going to drain down the road valley into the Rift Valley, ultimately into the Jordan River. Okay. And then we swivel a little bit more. This is the shayla of Mount Carmel. Right. And then we're picking up in the distance. We're going to start picking up a little bit more of this Tennessean rock. Right. So that's kind of our big kind of sweep around the Jezreel. I kind of feel a question coming on. 


Speaker 2 [00:07:07] Is that vantage where are you looking? Across the valley in all those shots? 


Dr. Parker [00:07:14] I changed my perspective once, but I looked I was from the top point of Mount Carmel looking around like this, going from north to southeast. There was once I jumped down into the floor of the Jezreel to get a good table shot. 


Speaker 2 [00:07:33] Is this where the prophets of Bale and. 


Dr. Parker [00:07:36] Oh, yes. Oh, yes, yes, yes. And we are going to join Elijah and the profits of Bale on top of Mount Carmel in just a moment. Before we get there, though, I'm going to tell another story that is predating the Israelites having any kind of control up here. And this story is an Egyptian story. So why should I tell an Egyptian story? Well, one, it tells us some interesting geographical information or how they interpreted this region. Two, it shows us Egypt had control of this whole entire area. So when we're talking about these riverine empires coming in and controlling the land, we're looking at a time period when Egypt was fully in control of all of this area and they loved this Jezreel Valley connection because of the access, the gateway. It opened to them to the north. So it's really fantastic to almost the third is coming up to conquer and open trade arenas for the Egyptians. And in well, I was going to say a dramatic way, but maybe every victor is a bit dramatic in the way that they describe stories. But tell us, the third creates a history of this particular drama. And it goes like this. He and his chariots of Egyptians are coming up. The Sharon plane, as we know. Inland. And at some point, you have to decide, how are we going to get through Mount Carmel? So Top Most knows the Canaanites on the other side of Mount Carmel are gathering together. They know the Egyptians are coming and so they are gathering on the Jezreel Valley side, getting ready for the pharaoh to make an appearance. And so he pauses and there's this like, let me consult all of my advisors. Which past do you think we should go through? What parts do you think we should go through? What parts do you think we should go through? And all of them say either the yoke impasse or the blame or Dothan Pass. These are the biggest and the widest. They're going to allow for chariots to go multiple chariots at a time through the pass, which seems to be strategic. If you know exactly on the other side, there are enemies who are waiting for you. Now, the way Thutmose tells the story, he says, Oh, the great God. Ra told him to go through the Megiddo Pass the middle pass, which would be through here. The problem with this one is you basically have to go single file. So he puts his entire army at risk. Now, it may have been that he had scouts that went to look to see where the Canaanites were. The Canaanites also anticipated that he would come either through the Ibrahim or Dotan pass or Ukrainian pass. And so they had set up camp here and here. They thought, there's no way the pharaoh will be stupid enough to go through the mosquito past. They left this unprotected. So maybe that's what his scouts saw. But he's going to he's he's going to give a head nod to his gods who told him to go through the mosquito pass. So he gathers everyone together. And against the advice of his advisors, he goes through in great bravery, as all the pharaohs are, and against all odds saying, you know, the fear of their gods struck the Canaanites, you know, all this grandiose language, which is fantastic. They come in to the Jezreel Valley and surprised the Canaanites, by the way that they came in, and the Canaanites then end up running and fleeing to the city of Megiddo inside the locked gates of Megiddo. Now, why didn't they win right away? Is is the good question, which is answered by Pharaoh's army, which is paid by the booty that they collect. Got a bit distracted with the booty they could collect from the camp of the king tonight. Soldiers. And so the Canaanites had a chance to get into Megiddo. So most then it takes him several weeks to finally get around to conquering Megiddo. But then when he does, he says this capture ye effectively my victorious army. Behold, all foreign countries have been put in this town by the command of wrath, which is one of the gods, Egyptian gods. On this day, inasmuch as every prince of every northern country is shut up within it, for the capturing of Megiddo is the capturing of a thousand towns. That has become an extremely famous line. Famous because the way that most the third describes it is an accurate way of portraying geopolitically what happens in this area. There are all kinds of very strong Canaanite cities all through this area and most of the third is saying but of them all, Megiddo is the strongest. And as soon as you can take Megiddo, you've taken everything. This. It's a very dramatic way to show, as our emphasis is on the Magneto pass and what you have access to once you have taken Magneto and have access to the Jezreel Valley. Now coming through the Megiddo Pass. So here's the city of Megiddo. We've now entered our Jezreel Valley. The road, there's only one road that goes all the way across. And this shouldn't actually surprise us because of what we've already said about the keystone, the little watershed of the Keystone is about here. And so when it does rain, this is this is the watershed. All of this area, middle part of the Jezreel Valley, can become swampy. So this becomes an area where you can't really traverse. It's actually not even good agricultural land. It is now because we've drained the Jezreel Valley and we control the water collection so much better that now the entire Jezreel Valley is used for agriculture and it is lush and it is beautiful and it's grand, but not in ancient times, except for right here there is this little mound. It's actually made out of basalt. So it's for whatever reason, this little basalt up swelling. Now it sits below. There's still a lot of topsoil on top, so you don't see it as basalt, but it pushes up just enough off of the flatness of the Jezreel Valley to create a higher ledge. And so if you can be really careful to stay on that ledge, you can cross the potentially swampy bits of the Jezreel Valley. All the way around the edges of the Jezreel, we find a whole bunch of cities, very strong cities all the way around agricultural cities and trade cities. And they tended to just kind of take that like a portion of the Jezreel. No one ever controlled everything. It was hard to control everything, but they would have, like the city of Jezreel here would farm the territory around it, but never the entire thing. Right. Instead, this one little place where it's safe enough to get through the swampy bits. And then you go around Mount Tabor and on your way up to Aram Damascus, the swampy ness of the Jezreel. And again, it was always like that until very modern day. And so we get even when we have early Christian pilgrims to the land and some of their journal entries as they record coming in and what they saw, where they went and what their experiences were like, like pre-modern lands. One of them, which I love, Gertrude Bell, is known for the time that she spent in Israel Palestine is how they called it at the time. And if you don't know Gertrude Bell, she is considered the female version of Lawrence of Arabia. She was British. She was bold. She went out, felt more at home in the Middle East than she did back home. Among the elite in their aristocrats at home ended up making lots of friends with the local sheikhs and the. So you you have all of these great connections she was able to make. She has one very funny journal entry about trying to cross the Jezreel Valley and apparently not quite making it all the time up onto that little ledge. So she says she's talking about the Jezreel Valley, which is no doubt the widest plain in the world, which is a bit dramatic. And the mud was incredible. We waited sometimes for an hour at a time, knee deep in clinging mud. The mules fell down. The donkey almost disappeared by God, said one of the mules tears. You could see nothing but his ears, raising the Jezreel Valley, almost swallowing up these huge animals. We really do need to spend a little bit of time now that we kind of know and understand the shape and the travel in and out in the gateways of the Jezreel. Let's look at the stories that happened here. So just a moment ago, we heard mention of Elijah in the prophets of Bayle. And I'm not going to read the whole thing, but I want to pick out some of the geographical bits that are really interesting. So turn with me to First Kings 18. In First Kings 18 Ahab is king of the Northern Kingdom of Israel. And he and the country have. They're not following God's commands. And so God tells Elijah, go to Ahab and tell him that God, I am going to withhold the rain. And it's supposed to be a signal to you to pay attention because their early in the latter rains are your signal of being obedient to the covenant or not. And so if God is withholding the rain, it's supposed to be the first of the red flags that goes up. Maybe something is awry. So Elijah tells him that we're entering into a time of famine. Ahab tries to kill Elijah. Elijah goes running off into hiding. And then there's going to be this big confrontation when Elijah comes out and he says, Look, Ahab, you gather all your prophets, abeille take them up to Mount Carmel and I'll meet you there. Now, what's interesting is when I first introduced Mount Carmel and we were talking about that far edge of Mount Carmel, the Cinnaminson section of Mount Carmel, the highest section of Mount Carmel. I mentioned that Carmel, Mt.. Carmel, can be so lush and covered with so many trees because of its elevation, because it's on the west. That local Canaanite people would consider it a sacred mountain. It was a place where humans and the divine meet. So it's not by chance that of all places. Elijah says, Ahab, let's meet up for this big face to face among the gods. Let's do this on this sacred holy mountain on top of Mt. Carmel. Now, Bale is depicted in a lot of statues that we have found of Bale in archeology. He is often seen as a man with one foot in front of the other, holding a bolt of lightning in his hand. Bale was the storm God. So everything about this particular competition is supposed to make it easy for Bale to show up. Right. We need lightning to show up from heaven. And we need fire to show up. So as we know, the story goes, Elijah's God wins out over the absent bail. And it is the God of Israel who shows up, who brings fire from heaven. And so then we get Elijah tells the people to kill the prophets and bail. And then in chapter 18, in verse 41. It says now, Elijah said to Ahab. Go up, eat and drink. For there is the sound of the roar of a heavy shower. So remember, we've had drought. It's been about three years of drought. So Ahab went up to eat and drink, but Elijah went up to the top of Carmel and he crouched down on the earth and put his face between his knees. He said to his servant, Go up now, look towards the sea. So he went up and looked and said, There's nothing. And he said, Go back seven times. Okay. Why is his servant having to go look at the sea? Why does that geographically make any sense? That's where the clouds come from. So if there's going to be a storm that is to break this dry season, evidence of it will come from over the Mediterranean Sea. And Mount Carmel's poking and looking right at the Mediterranean Sea. It came about. This is verse 44. It came about at the seventh time that he said, behold, a cloud as small as a man's hand is coming up from the sea. And he said, Go up, say to Ahab, prepare your chariot and go down so that the heavy shower does not stop you. Now, why would a heavy shower stop him? It would be muddy. All we need is a little bit of rain to come and hit and splash down onto the flat jezreel valley for that valley to suddenly turn into mud. And so if you have a chariot, you're not going to be able to get through that mud. So get up and go. And he's telling him to go here to Jezreel. This is where his. He had a second palace here. This is where Jezebel is hanging out is here in Jezreel. And if this location is if it's here, he's like, you have quite a ways to go in. That whole entire thing is going to get swampy unless you start now. And then I love this in verse 45, it says, In a little while the sky grew black with clouds and wind, and there was a heavy shower and Ahab rode and went to Jezreel. Then the hand of the Lord was on Elijah and he girded up his loins and outran Ahab to Jezreel. Okay, now there's different ways we could interpret this. You know, you could do the cartoon version. You know, where his feet spin like this. He's just really fast. Maybe the Spirit of God takes him there and he just gets there faster. Maybe he girds up his loins and he stays on the high ground. And because he stays on that high ground, he's able to get to Jezreel before the chariots were able to get there. Maybe there's no way for us to really know. But a suggestion puts a distance between about 17 miles. It's been a goal of mine to run this, which I have not yet done. What else has happened here? Well, Megiddo, so many things have happened at Megiddo. Not only do we have the Egyptian stories, we have Josiah King, the reforming king of the southern kingdom of Judah. For whatever reason, at some point he hears the Egyptians are coming north, the Egyptians are heading north to Assyria, and Josiah thinks he should stop them. And so he goes to Megiddo to force a blockade and he dies, which is kind of that's not surprising, actually. So there's actually lots of different events that happen at Megiddo. We keep moving our way around while Jezreel. Lots of things happen at Jezreel. Jezreel is the location where Ahab steals the vineyard of Naboth. It is where Jezebel ends up living most of the time, while she is queen of the Kingdom of Israel. So there's lots of events at Jezreel. We could say, Ooh, how about this? In the springs of her road. So down in the valley of the road valley, it is the spring that is right down there where Gideon gathers the men together and God says, You still have too many to fight. You know, we had to whittle it down. So it's really obvious that I'm the one who's with you. So, Gideon, that whole thing happens here, and then he fights the invaders over in this wider part of the Jezreel Valley. Mount Gilboa. Well, this is famous for being the place where Saul and his sons die. So the Philistines at that time were in control of the Jezreel and Harrowed Valley. And we can see Saul going up the spine of the hill country and coming to. Because, remember, this is connected all the way down. He is here and he is fighting the Philistines for whatever reason. You know, whether he's trying to clear this land or get control of this himself and very famously dies there on top of Gilboa. Right across the way on the hill of Monterey, we have this little city that is there where there is a woman from Unum, and she sees that Alicia is constantly coming up and down the harrowed valley. So she tells her husband, like, let's just build a guest room for him and he can stay with us any time that he wants to. And if you know the whole rest of the story, you know that a lie shows like, Hey, how can I thank you? She's like, Oh, you don't have to. And he goes, I'll give you a cage. It's like, I didn't ask you for a kid, but he gives you. He says, this time next year you will have a child. But then a couple of years later, this child, this little boy, dies. He's out in the fields of Jezreel with his dad. Maybe it was heat stroke, but he does it. He comes back to the house and he dies. And then Alicia goes and lays down on top of this kid. It's one of those really awkward, very weird, uncomfortable portions of scripture. Nose to nose, hand to hand, feet, two feet breathes into him and the kid gets up and sneezes seven times. It's a weird detail that gets thrown into that story, but that happens there. Let's see what else we've already talked about. Name in when I showed you pictures of the Jordan River, name in comes up to see Alicia and Alicia sends him into the Jordan River to dip and he becomes cleared of leprosy. Ooh. Right over here, we have indoor. There's a witch at Indore. In fact, this story, The Witch of Indore, is whose saw on basically the last night of his life, sneaks around the Philistines to go to the Witch of Indore in order to have a consultation with Samuel. Let's see. What else? Oh. We cannot forget our very famous Mt. Tabor story. And this is another really good one that has to do with geography. So I'm going to read a portion of this. This is from Judges four and Judges five. This is our great prophet, Deborah. So this is still before like it's early in the book of Judges. So things haven't gone as awry as they go later. So let's go to Judges for. Judges where there's all kinds of other really fantastic details here, but I'm just going to like cherry pick the geographical ones. So starting in verse two of chapter four, it says, and the Lord sold them the Israelites into the hand of Jabin, King of Canaan, who reigned in hot sauce. We haven't been to hot sauce yet, but it's right up here north of the Sea of Galilee. The commander of his army was Cicero, who lived in her office hugging him, which is down here somewhere, right in here, around in the Megiddo area. So what we see is the guy who the king tonight, currently the most in control of the land is up here. But he has a general and a whole portion of his army stationed down here. Right. You can see them holding on to the trade and the access points of the Jezreel Valley. So the Sons of Israel cried to the Lord, for he had 900 iron chariots and he oppressed the Sons of Israel severely for 20 years. So they were introduced to Deborah and she calls to the general of her army to barrack. Deborah? Well, I won't get into that. Deborah's also she could be the woman of lightning. Could be one of the ways that she was called or fire. So we have this woman a fire. And Barack is lightning who calls her general lightning together, which is a really nice pairing of the two. And they say, gather everyone together, go to Mount Tabor. Right. So they're actually coming. They're they're kind of dividing sister from the King Jabin, who's up in the north in hot sauce. So we're going to say here now, the problem is we have to figure out where the battle is going to be in the Jezreel Valley. Okay. So go with me to verse 13. So Cicero called together all of his chariots, 900 iron chariots and all the people who were with him from Persia hugging him to the river. Keyshawn Debra said to Barack, Arise, for this is the day in which the Lord has given history into your hands. Behold, the Lord has gone out before you. So Barack went down from Mount Tabor with 10,000 men following him. Now they're a bit outnumbered. He might have 10,000 men, but Cicero has chariots. The Jezreel Valley is made for chariots. Right? Because it's just an easy place today. It is the Israelites who have the weaker hand, maybe. Until verse 15, the Lord routed caesura and all of his chariots and all of his army with the edge of the sword before Brock and Cicero alighted from his chariot and fled away on foot. Now Chapter four and chapter five go together. Five is the poetic version of four. Chapter four, which is the the more narrative version. So Chapter five is very fun to read in parallel because it's way more dramatic in good poetry fashion. So let's read in chapter five, go to verse 19, because it gives us a few more details of how it is that the God fight or that God fought on behalf of the Israelites. The first 19. Says The Kings came and fought, then fought the kings of Canaan at Tannock near the waters of Megiddo. They took no plunder and silver. The stars fought from heaven from their courses. They fought against viscera. The torrent of Keyshawn swept them away. The ancient torrent. The torrent. Keyshawn. Oh, my soul. March on with strength. I love it. Okay. How did God fight on behalf of the Israelites to make the strength of Cicero his weakness? If the stars are fighting, the heavens are fighting. The chariots are in the Jezreel Valley. There's thunder, there's lightning like bora, lightning like Barack. But there's a storm that comes. And because of the storm, the chariot wheels are going to get stuck. And now all your charioteers are foot soldiers. And suddenly the Israelites have the upper hand. So the other fun little part of that story, Cicero goes running away on foot, goes to y'all's tent now. Yeah, well, there's a lot of very fine Hebrew irony that is here, but one of them comes in chapter four. So I'm just going to point this out because I like my girl, Yale. So we have this general in verse 18 of chapter four, still judges for verse 18, Yale went out to meet Cicero. This is after he's already been routed out by the Israelites. So she goes out to meet Sister and said to him, Turn aside my master, turn aside to me, do not be afraid. And he turned his side to her into the tent. And then it's it's the the language and what she does here, which is fun. She covers him with a rug. It's kind of like you get this swaddling feel. And he said to her, Please give me a little water to drink for. I'm thirsty. So she opened a bottle of milk and gave him a drink. Again, there's kind of like now she's almost nursing him. There's almost he's becoming more infantile. Right in her tent. And then in a very good tongue in cheek way, verse 20, he said to her, Stand in the doorway of the tent. And it shall be if anyone comes and inquires of you and says, Is there a man here? You shall say No. Because we all know as readers of the text, there's only a baby in there. Right. And then she takes the hammer and the tent peg and room, and then he's gone. Okay. So there's a great number of Israelite stories. There's all kinds of people who are fighting for all kinds of access points and all kinds of access roads. But it just means, like, as we keep saying over and over, that land holds on to memory, land holds on to stories. And so this is when we get back over here to our little village of Nazareth. And if we look off the sharp cliff edge that faces towards the south and the picture is a little bit grainy here, but we're looking off to the south. And here's the hill of Moreh and Tabor. The tail end of Tabor is going to be here. Mount Gilead is just right here. And if we spin our head, we're looking at Megiddo and then Carmel, the Carmel Ridge, everything is super dramatic and visible in front of you. You can see everything. Now, the Gospels do not spend very much time at all telling us how Jesus grew up. We have, well, his birth narrative. We have a story of him going with Mary and Joseph to Jerusalem, and he's in the temple. Other than that, we don't have anything until he is baptized. So he is growing in wisdom and understanding. But what does that mean? And I love going here just to the edge of the cliff and going, Jesus certainly went through the schooling. Other kids in his village went through memorizing Torah, learning to interpret Torah. But I wonder how many times he scampered over to the edge. Maybe with Mary, maybe with Joseph, or a local rabbi, and you can just sit on the ledge and say, What do we think of our first king who died over here? And how should a real leader act? And what about witches and necromancy? What do we think about that? How about the bravery of Deborah? What about our great prophet, Elisha? He was here a lot. What about the confrontation? Like over my shoulder back at Mount Carmel? Right. You can just play the game of how do we understand our history? How do we understand our identity? How do I understand who I am, what God's character has been like through all of these stories? The longevity of God interacting with His people throughout time is marked on this landscape. And I just think it's a pretty remarkable place for Jesus to grow up. Yeah, maybe if you head to the north. There are connections to sufferers. There's the connection to Cain. When you're up here, you can watch Roman soldiers walk through. You can watch traders walk through, but how many of those people are going to make it up this way to engage Nazareth? None of them. It's too small of an area. It's in a little chalky basin. It doesn't have a whole lot of good water. No one is interested in Nazareth, so it's actually quite a conservative and protected area for Jesus to grow up. And yet, in spite of all the activity of all of the world which is passing through this Jezreel Valley, there's huge Roman cities on the landscape everywhere. And so you can kind of look at and formulate what is God's design for humanity based on all of the stories that we see held in the memory of the landscape that is around us. So it's a beautiful kind of it's an imaginative exercise because we don't have any of the records of that. But it's an interesting place to go and sit and imagine yourself there and the types of conversations you can have that are there. And just to kind of play on this and just actually touch on I kind of tossed this out as a little bit of an idea when we were down at Jericho because we were looking at all the different people who are crossing at Jericho and Moses and Joshua. Yeah, Moses and Joshua. Elijah. Elation. I said, pay attention to Elijah. Let me give you just two more teaser things with Elijah and then how stories of Jesus kind of play on top of that. So I told you this story actually on purpose. This right here where the woman of Shannon is hosting Elijah all the time and her only son dies. And she, in a very determined way, goes to Elijah and says, You have to come right now to raise my son from the dead with like, there's no doubt in her mind that he is going to do it. Well, look, just right here is a New Testament village in name and that name. We get this story in Luke seven. Soon afterwards, he Jesus went to a city called not rain, but name. Off to visit. And His disciples were going along with him, accompanied by a large crowd. Now, as he approached the gate to the city, a dead man was being carried out, the only son of his mother, and she was a widow. And a sizable crowd from the city was with her when the Lord saw her. He felt compassion for her and said, Do not weep. And he came up and touched the coffin. And the bears came to a halt. And he said, Young man, I say to you, arise. The dead man sat up and began to speak and Jesus gave him back to his mother. Good guy. Interesting, right? If we're following and paying attention to what this Elijah and Eliza narrative is doing and how it is always pointing towards the one who's going to be the redeemer, and then we have almost in the same location, close, close geographical location. Jesus does a very similar Alicia type miracle. That's not the only thing that happens right here in this area. Another story I told you is this one we're naming the leper the outsider, right? The Gentile, the general of Aram Damascus's army. He comes to elation. Elisha says, Go dip in the Jordan River. And he does. And he has. Leprosy is healed. Well, we get a story in Luke 17. It says while he this is Jesus was on his way to Jerusalem, he was passing between Samaria and Galilee. Now we'd really have to pull from a quick image that we had earlier where we were talking about how up here north of the Jezreel is the political region of Galilee. And then we were actually focusing on how the Roman government put Samaria, Judea and Idemia together. Right, the hill country. Samaria is everything from Mount Gilboa South. So if you're going to pass between Galilee and Samaria, there's only one pass that goes between them. The Harrowed Valley. Right. It's this jezreel harrowed. Well, this is where Neiman was and this is where Jesus is. When he sees ten lepers and says, Go, you have been healed and only one comes back to the Vatican. And that one was a Samaritan. And it's interesting the parallels, not only the geographical parallels, the political parallels the gospel writers are telling us all about. Okay. Back into the Hebrew Bible. So still thinking of the Jezreel Valley and the power of the Jezreel Valley. We're thinking of Ahab. Ahab in Omri. Omri, we met when we were talking about the political city being moved to Samaria. And it's in this time that they also build that city of Jezreel. This is another one of the instances where the biblical writers are not specifying for us the geopolitical context of what's going on. But the map explains all we need to know. So First Kings 16 tells us. Ahab, the son of Omri, reigned over Israel in Samaria. So this is his heart. But he has like a summer home. Another big home at Jezreel. Ahab, the son of Omri, did evil in the sight of the Lord more than all who were before him. It came about that he married Jezebel, the daughter of Baal King of the sado unions, and went and served bail and worshiped him. Okay, so this is when we should ask, well, where side on who are the Phoenicians? Well, the Phoenicians are up here, tire and inside on our great shipping industries. And any time you have a marriage, it's always a political agreement. So Jezebel brings Bael worship here into Jezreel and into the Northern Kingdom of Israel. Right. But this marriage is a political marriage, which is strategic. Right. Because now what does this hill country, northern kingdom of Israel, have access to? A seaport. If they are already building Jezreel, the city, they have this. And because of Jezebel, they have this. And so they've just created an open fountain for trade, either pulling things in down here. And maybe that's how they got all those carved ivory pieces. You know, but it probably went both ways. Okay. Now, in a different verse, we have to jump to Second Kings almost in an offhanded way. Whereas as the writer is telling us about how the Kings are cycling in and out, we get this verse and it sounds inconsequential. Now, maybe the king of Moab was a sheep breeder and used to pay the King of Israel 100,000 lambs and the wool of 100,000 rams. But when Ahab died, the king of Moab rebelled against the King of Israel. Okay. Where's Moab? Down here. What kind of soil is down here? Sino-Indian. What's the biggest industry? Shepherding. Right. So we can see somehow. Omri. Was able to suppress or oppress, depending on maybe whose point of view you're looking at the people who are living here. Now, what's interesting is we actually have a version of Matias story from Matias point of view. That's an extra biblical text. This is the only biblical reference we have to him. But if we were to read the mobile, there's a Stella like a stone in which Macia carved his thing. And he says As soon as Ahab died, he went out and he destroyed every Israelite city and he goes through and names them, and they are all up here on the shore. So you can see there's a political thing going on, right? I mean, he's stretching out beyond the Arnon, clawing his way up here, which is going to give him all kinds of access points, you know, and once he no longer has to give all the lambs and wool and all that stuff over to Israel, he is able to overthrow the Israel hold. He doesn't go on the attack over here, but he's definitely loosening things up on this side. So what does this mean? For us when we kind of put lay everything out and I add all of our famous blue lines. Who else besides Moab is then, because of the situation going on, going to be a natural enemy to Israel? Who, because of the way that things are stacked on the map, is at odds with the policy of Israel. If we think if they have all the shipping ports, like you said, they have the Jezreel Valley, they can come all the way over through the Dome of Gilad. They have access to all of this trade down here who has now been blocked out and pushed out. 


Speaker 2 [00:46:47] Assyria. 


Dr. Parker [00:46:48] Yet? Well, Assyria is yet to come. But Aram Damascus, who is the local neighbor, who is the one like, look, they're right up here at Damascus. How do they get their goods anywhere? I mean, they can go this way, but they have to interact with the Phoenicians and are probably having to pay tribute to Israel. They can't go all that far south because then Israel is going to be in control of all of this. And sure enough, we find immediately after Omri and Ahab, the Israelites and Aram Damascus go head to head in Clash. Now, where do we. Well, I'll ask this question. Be thinking about this question. I'm going to come back to it. Where do we think they would clash? So knowing everything you know of the Transjordan and the hills and valleys that we've talked about over here, if Israel is pushing and Aram, Damascus is coming down, where's the natural clashing point? Just think about it. We'll come back. I'll come back and get your answer. Okay. Jezreel and all the stories thickly layered on the soil of the Jezreel. And the other portion of that is the harrowed valley. This squished in between Gilboa and the hill of Moreh. It's about 11 miles long from one side to the other, and it's the narrowest on the western side with Jezreel kind of guarding up here. It is the widest is just kind of wide and opens up and blends into the Rift Valley. But it is Beit Shine that is here is the biggest city guarding the way right where the stars are. I had already planned to say that. I am zooming in on to Beit Shahin, and although it's a little fuzzy now that it's on the screen, the archeology that we have found at baseline is pretty astounding and gives us more clues of the geopolitics of this area. So it's quite a huge mound or tell where there's layers and layers and layers of civilization and as they dig through, it's like reading the history of the area and as they dig through, sure enough, they find all kinds of Egyptian hieroglyphs that like it this huge stellar. This is from Ceti, the first when he was the pharaoh of Egypt, and yet he had a very strong presence up here. He tells this huge long story about why he comes up here and why he is needed. And it goes like this. So he's talking about these are all Canaanite cities at the time. So the Philistines are not strong enough to be here. The Israelites aren't anywhere close to being in the land. So this is all Canaanite area. But remember, the Egyptians are always trying to get the trade. So there's a city, it's called Hama, and it's actually not on this map, but it's down a little bit further south. So Hama has already taken Beit Shine, the Canaanite against Canaanite, so they've kind of stifled Beit Baoshan, Hama and Pella are attacking Rehov. Okay, so it's like inter fighting among the Canaanites, but these are all four very powerful cities that are guarding this harrowed valley, Rift Valley Junction, which is very profitable. And there's not only lots of trade, but there's lots of agriculture in the areas. And so Sethi says because of this conflict, I went up and conquered all of them in one day, maybe one day. I mean, they're all pretty close together. Or maybe that's a dramatic reading and retelling of the events. But he comes up, takes all of them. And now Egypt has not only the Jezreel area, but Egypt now has control of this like hinge in the landscape. So not only is a portion of the Stella found, but we have all kinds of Egyptian hieroglyphs. We have a house that was built in the very middle part of Beit Shawn, and it's styled after the type of Egyptian housing which was not like Canaanite housing. So it definitely has a you can see the foreign influence that is there even to this day. You can go see these are all replicas. The governor's house is also there, but it is a replica. The original one they examined and then they reburied it to protect it. And then they built a replica up on top. But you can still see it too today. So it's showing us, right, this Egyptian influence, how it is coming up and hooking into all of this area. So the harrowed valley although this is kind of a fuzzy it was a little bit too hazy when I took this picture. But I'm standing on Mt. Gilboa, so we're on the south side of the road valley, so that as we look to the left, we're looking into the Jezreel Valley, the city of Jezreel, the ancient site is right over here somewhere. So we're looking across to Schoonover is over nestled in the hills over there and we're looking across the agricultural ability of the harrowed valley. There's a whole bunch of water right at the base of Mt. Gilboa. There's all kinds of natural springs and even hot water springs that are down there. So it's a very lush and very fertile area. Now, remembering, as soon as we get to the hills of Moreh, we're reaching into the basalt, the influences of basalt. This is that eastern lower Galilee area that has the blanket of basalt over the top of it. So if we turn like and look towards the Rift Valley now we're seeing right into the haze is actually where that nice, huge, wide open Rift Valley is. On a clear day, we would look directly across and feel like we could touch the Transjordan. And Beit Chahine is going to be right here at the edge of the valley, right at the hinge. Okay. So I asked a question about where a natural conflict zone would be. And I'm actually kind of giving you the answer to all at the same time. But if during the time, right after Ahab and Omri die and Aram Damascus, who's way up here in the corner of Bashar, and once Aram, Damascus is trying to push open doors of trade and access, where is the natural point of conflict? Well, I would say south of Bashan, because this is that plateau. It feels like Aram Damascus the whole way across the Yarmuk and this is the low rise of Gilead. And we would expect somewhere before you get into really strongly held Israelite territory is where you'd find the conflict. And sure enough, in remote Gilead, this is where that conflict was. And there is a very long battle that happens here between the Israelites and Aram Damascus. So if we read Second Kings nine. We're actually picking up a story we talked about long, long ago. On a different day when we were exploring the Transjordan, we looked very briefly at remote Gilead and we said, there is a general who is fighting on behalf of Israel over here and his name is Jehu. And Elijah was told by God to anoint Jehu as King of Israel. Okay. So let's meet up with Jay. Who? So Eliza actually sends a servant and the servant goes and anoints Jehu and says, You're the next king. Get rid of the house of Ahab. He's like, All right, happy to do that. Ahab has already died. There's another king in his place. And so Jehu is going to do this. And so let's start reading in verse 14. And so Second Kings. Chapter nine, verse 14 it says So J who? The Senator Joseph at the synonym she conspired against Joram. Now, Joram, who was the king of Israel with all of Israel, was defending remote gilliatt against had sought king of Aram. Right. So this is our conflict zone. The King, George Ham, had returned to Jezreel. Right. This would be the city of Jezreel here. To be healed of the wounds which the airmen's had inflicted on him when he fought with Hazel. King of Aram. So Jehu said, If this is your mind, then let no one escape or leave the city and go tell it on Jezreel. Then J, who rode in a chariot and went to Jezreel for Jaume, was lying there and Amaziah King of Judah, had come down to see Joram. So now we have two kings who are hanging out here at Jezreel and Jay, who is on the way. So now in verse 17, the watchman was standing on the tower in Jezreel and he saw the company of Jehu as he came and said, I see a company. And Jerome said, Take a horseman, send him to meet them and let him say, Is it peace? So horsemen went to meet him and said, This says the king is at peace. And J who said, What have you to do with peace? Turn behind me remembering this. He's talking to his own countrymen. And if he's one of the general, he would have been known. And so the messenger turns behind him and joins his company. So the watchman is like, oh, wow. Like reports back to the king. The messenger hasn't returned. It goes, well, just send another messenger who joins J. Who's Army? Send another messenger. Okay, fine. I'll go. Right. There's something about that. But this is the part that I really love. So this is down to verse 20. It says, The Watchman reported he'd. The other messenger came even to them, and he did not return. And the driving is like the driving of J who the sun in him. She for he drives furiously. Ray, you can just imagine that, right? Like this is your look down the road valley when you're watching a company of chariots coming your way, determining whether friend or foe. And then they get a little closer and you're like, That guy's crazy. Oh, it's Yahoo! Right? Like, I feel like I know a few people who drive furiously, like j. Who? So to get all the way down to finish off our story, this right here is the ancient site of Beit Shawn. Huge, powerful, massive tell. So this is where city this is the governor's house is beyond actually where that overhang is. The governor's house, this is where all those hieroglyphics were found is up on top. It is only later after Greece has come and the Roman army has come and they're building in a Greco-Roman style that we get the massively big city that ends up surrounding the ancient site. Okay. It's up on this old mound, then picking up another one of our stories. We said our first king of Israel, Saul, died on top of Mount Gilboa. And in for Samuel 31, the last chapter of the book, it talks about how since Soul dies, the Philistines go up to Mount Gilboa. They find his body, the body of his sons. They take it down to Beit Shine. So the Philistines have control of Beit Shon at the time, and they hang his body from the walls of the city. It's a way to shame your enemy. But then we get this odd little bit. And this is a good Bible trivia moment. Now in the inhabitants of Jarvis Gilead, which is right over here. Little town in Gilead, but close to the Rift Valley. When the inhabitants of Job Esh Gilead heard what the Philistines had done to Saul, all the valiant men rose and walked all night and took the body of Saul and the bodies of his sons from the wall of Beit Shawn. And they came to Jabez. And they burned them there. They took their bones and buried them under the tamarisk tree at Job ash and fasted for seven days. Why do the men of Jabez Gilead care about Saul? What's their involvement? Who actually cares? Why aren't any of the Israelites showing up? It's an interesting question, right? Yeah. There's a good a good amount of puzzled faces in the room. Let's go all the way back to our first Bible trivia that happened ages ago. Feels like when we were in the heartland of the house of Joseph and we said, What's the connection between Jebediah, Shiloh and Jabez Gilliard? Remember? And this is when they almost destroyed the tribe of Benjamin. But then they went, Ooh, Jabez Gilliatt didn't make a promise not to marry their daughters. Let's just go take all their women, right? Which is crazy. But they go, they take all of their women and some of those women, along with the women of Shiloh. Then marry the Benjamins and allow for the tribe to continue. Okay. Well, all of this is in in response to what happened at Jibia during the time of the Judges. Sol is from Jibia. He's a Benga mate from Jibia. Right. So if we have the tribe, Benjamin almost disappeared, but didn't. And because they're still around. Saul is of that tribe is one of them. There's something about through their lineage, they have connections. So maybe it's that. It could also be one of the first things that Saul did in his act of King Ship is Jarvis Gilbert was under attack by other people in the Transjordan. And they send out word and Saul goes, I will come to your aid. And the very first thing Saul does as king is to go and defend Jabez shakily. Ed. So there's you see almost this kinship that is there and then loyalty because of the way he protected them. And so even in death, they're going to go and make sure that he is not humiliated in death. Okay. And then, like I said, this area, once the Roman influence comes, boy, the whole place just explodes. This is pretty typical we find after the Hebrew Bible time period, once Hellenism enters the land with Alexander. Once we start building in bigger, fancier Western styles, the cities move off of the layers of layers and layers of cities. The tels that we've been looking at, they move off and down onto the ground and just expand. And so that's what we're seeing here. This is the city of See Topless, which is it? It surrounds the ancient site of Beit Shawn. And even though a Roman city, it is here doing the same thing Beit Shawn did. It is watching the trade and the connections. There's not a point of conflict anymore because Rome is in control, but they're definitely watching and inhaling wealth that comes in off the trade routes. All right. The Jezreel Valley and the Harrowed Valley. Any questions now that we have finished and we've looked at all the trade and told lots and lots of stories.

Speaker 3 Could you explain a little bit about that tel and how how do they I mean, yes, huge class, but how they build on top of each other. How that works.

Dr. Parker So one of the famous examples, what people will say is a tel is like a layered cake. So you have the base cake layer say and that ID people are always going to settle where there is a road and where there's water and where there's food. And that strategic point never moves. Right. So you have one group that is there and then let's say they're destroyed by someone. And so someone comes in, destroys their houses, and so there's a destruction layer. But this is the most strategic place to live. And so they rebuild their own houses on top, maybe even using some of the same stones. Right. And then something is going to happen and they will be destroyed and it flattens out the layer. So we had the cake and then we had the cream layer. Now we get the fruit layered, then we get another cake layer on top. And it really is this stratified layer of civilization. Over time, it's going to go from being very short to building up, building up, building up. And then you have this huge mound. So what archeologists love to do is to cut holes, like to dig in squares. There's quite it's turned into quite a scientific process now, very carefully going layer by layer, carefully. And then as they dig the hole down the wall of the hole tells the story because it's written in the wall. What are the like? Which implements were found here? What kind of cooking vessels are they using? Can we see the influence of cultural movements come in and come out as they're fashionable or not? Do we find people sacrificing animals in this site? Are there pigs that are here or just kosher animals that are here? Right. So then we can tell who's who, what are they doing and how are they controlling it? So I'm glad you said it. I should have explained all of that at the very beginning of the course. 

Speaker 2 [01:05:10] Have you thought about geographically how height being in high places is something that people feel gets them closer to God? Yeah, Mount Carmel, being revered by the people around you have the Acropolis and Athens where people thought, well, if we just build these big buildings really high, that that will get us power and get us closer to God. And even the Tower of Babel and Mount Olympus. Yeah, yeah. Mount Olympus, those kinds of things. It seems like that's a common theme. 

Dr. Parker [01:05:50] It is a common theme. Mountains in particular tend to be sacred mountains. And it is because visually they touch the sky and they're out of the way. It's it's more effort to get up there. Right. So there's a purposefulness of going up there and it gets you out of the realm of everyday. So there is something of that. Elevating yourself out of what is normal, you know, in order to touch the heavens. Yeah. So definitely in fact we have even a bima. So a bima would be a high place or even within synagogues. A bima is like a platform, just a higher location on which someone can stand and read scripture in front of everyone. So there's always something. It just it feels different, right? It feels just a little bit more sacred.