Saturday, September 13, 2008

On our first full day in Israel we'll visit Neot Kedumim Biblical Reserve

Much more than a Biblical garden, Neot Kedumim is 625 acres of nature reserve where actual landscapes have been recreated to show how the Bible's writers have used concrete images from their surroundings to give their messages added resonance.

And the developers have literally created it from nothing! Take a look at the "before" and "after" photos here. They trucked in tonnes and tonnes of rich soil to cover a barren and ravaged landscape and, in the absence of irrigation, even hand-watered the first tender plantings.

Even the wildlife has been introduced to the area because it was previously so degraded that few species could be sustained. What a difference 30 years of dedication has made.

Threshing floors, olive presses, cisterns, sundials and water wheels are not part of our everyday life but at Neot Kedumin we'll see exactly what they look like - and maybe even get some hands-on experience!

We'll see cedars of Lebanon, hyssop, oak and terabinth trees, and come to grasp the nuances of their Biblical imagery, and springs of water, pastures, crops of wheat, olives, figs, and wildlife will all bring the Bible's language alive for us in ways we could formerly only have imagined.

Feeling peckish? Take a look at some of the dishes we might expect for our Biblical-style lunch.
Looks delicious, doesn't it?

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