|Blogger: Amber Schamel|
|Biblical Garden - Neot Kedumim in Israel|
One of the first stops, is to rest beneath a canopy as the guide explains the mission behind the reserve. Nature and the enviroment of the period helps us understand history, and the Scriptures in a much deeper light. The mission of Neot Kedumim is to preserve and share this knowledge with visitors from around the world.
The guide gives you an overview of the plants you will find there. Pomegranates, asparagus, sycamore trees, wheat, olive trees, and countless others. They hand you a stem of hyssop leaves, along with a mortar and pestle. You grind the leaves as they explain the significance of the plant. It smells like a spice you should recognize. That's because hyssop is from the oregano family. Hyssop grows as a small bush. It grows wild, requires very little care or water, and can grow almost anywhere. Yet it produces many leaves and benefits. Because of this, it is a symbol of modesty and humility. Hyssop, as a member of the oregano family, has antiviral and antibacterial properties.Thus it was used in Biblical times, combined with cedar, as a purification for leprosy, which we know to be a symbol of pride and sin. Hyssop is spoken of by the Psalmist, "Cleanse me with hyssop and I will be clean." and was also the leaves used to put the blood over the door posts during the Exodus.
|Explaining Hyssop and the Olive Press|
Our next stop is the water wheel next to the pond. This was a great invention that allowed them to pump water from canals. A man would enter the water wheel and walk (much like a hamster in a wheel). There were pots tied to the wheel that would scoop up the water and pour it out into a gutter that would run to the destination. The video below shows a quick blip of the water wheel in action. This made it much easier for the ancient people to water crops and vineyards. It was very interesting to learn about the different methods of water management in the Holy Land. When the Israelite people first left bondage, God told them that this new land would be different than Egypt. They were accustomed to having the Nile River, a stable water source. In the Promised Land, they had to rely on God for water, since the land is fed primarily by rainfall, not by bodies of water. This made wells, cisterns, and water management very important for the Hebrews.
What a beautiful picture of God's grace and care, and His desire for His children to trust Him for their needs.
Next stop is the threshing floor: a recreation the backdrop of the timeless love story of Ruth and Boaz. After the grain was cut from the fields, it was brought to the threshing floor where it was trodden beneath a threshing board, pulled by a donkey. The threshing board would loosen the wheat grain from the stalk and chaff. Then, the farmer would take their winnowing fork, and toss the remnants into the air. Just as described in the first Psalm, the wind would drive away the chaff. This left the grain of wheat to collect. It was a long and tedious process! It's easy to see why Boaz would have been exhausted and ready for a good night's rest.
The gardens are so beautiful, and filled with history, insight and inspiration. If you ever get the chance to visit the Holy Land, make the Biblical Garden one of your stops. In the meantime, there are some clips of the tours on youtube. Just type in Neot Kedumim Biblical Gardens.
In honor of Spring, Easter, and the virtual tour of the Biblical Gardens, I am giving away an ebook copy of The Healer's Touch, book 1 in the Days of Messiah Series!
Leave a comment on the post to get your name in the drawing.
Amber Schamel writes riveting stories that bring HIStory to life. She has a passion for travel, history, books and her Savior. This combination results in what her readers call "historical fiction at its finest". Her title, Dawn of Liberty, was awarded the 2017 CSPA Book of the Year award in Historical Fiction. She lives in Colorado and spends half her time volunteering in the Ozarks. Amber is a proud member of the American Christian Fiction Writers Association. Visit her online at www.AmberSchamel.com/ and download a FREE story by subscribing to her Newsletter!