We started the day at the Jordan River. Everyone walked into the water. We were a little disappointed at how commercialized the site was.
Then we stopped at Bet She'an where, as one of our younger colleagues said, we looked at another pile of rocks. Bet She'an is where the body of Saul was fastened to the walls. That story is told in 1 Samuel 31:8-10.
As we left Bet She'an on Hwy. 90, our guide explained that we would be entering the West Bank. At first, we were in an area where Israelis were allowed. But Jericho is controlled by the Palestinians so our guide, who is an Israeli Jew, cannot enter.
On the way to Jericho we stopped at Gideon Springs. We could not go in because of a union strike, but we got out of the bus and talked about the story of Gideon's defeat of the Midianites. That is found in Judges 7.
We drove along the border with Jordan to get to Jericho. Our first stop near Jericho was at the site of Jesus' baptism, which is also the site at which the Israelites crossed the Jordan.
The Book of Joshua describes the famous battle of Jericho, stating that it was circled seven times by the ancient Children of Israel until its walls came tumbling down, after which Joshua cursed the city.
In Jericho we saw the sycamore tree and Elisha's spring. Jericho is the oldest and lowest - geographically- city in the world.
When we left Jericho we drove the 12 mile road to Jerusalem. Jesus referred to the road from Jericho to Jerusalem in the Parable of the Good Samaritan. We stopped briefly at the Inn of the Good Samaritan.