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This stretch of the Kidron Valley lies between Mount Moriah and the Mount of Olives in one of the world’s holiest cities. The valley continues eastward about 20 miles to the Dead Sea. The valley and adjacent slopes have been burial grounds for thousands of years due to their association with End Times in Judaism, Christianity and Islam.

 

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NAME THAT COUNTRY

Byzantine Christians named this ancient citadel The Tower of David because they mistakenly understood one of the Herodian watchtowers to have been built by the 2nd king of the land. In modern times, the Tower of David refers to the 17th-century Ottoman minaret, which adjoins the Mamluk mosque built within the citadel grounds. Today, the Tower of David is a museum, with historical, cultural and art exhibits, as well as activities and lectures.

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NAME THAT COUNTRY

The Western Wall, built around 19BCE, is among the world’s most holy places, but much of it is hidden behind unrelated structures built up against it over the centuries. The section commonly known as the Western Wall is only about 200 feet of a total length of 1600 feet . Fifty years ago tunnel excavations began to reveal the full length of the wall, as well as the lower 17 courses below modern street level. One of many interesting things uncovered in 20 years of digging is the wall’s largest stone, which is 45 feet long, 10 feet tall and weighs 570 tons!

 

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NAME THAT COUNTRY

When Jesus was 30 years old, he left Nazareth and settled in the village of Capernaum, about 30 miles away. The village sits on the northern shore of the Sea of Galilee, which is actually a fresh water lake, known locally as Lake Kinneret. Several of Jesus’ disciples lived in Capernaum and fished in the lake for a living. The synagogue pictured above post-dates Jesus but is built on remains of a synagogue where he certainly preached.

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NAME THAT COUNTRY Episode 129

Biblical wisdom is timeless, but it is often expressed in the activities and settings of very particular times and places. In the northern Galilee region of our mystery country, Nazareth Village provides visitors with living context for some familiar ancient stories.
Visitors observe and participate in daily chores performed in the manner of 1st-century Galilean villagers. Tending animals and crops, pressing olive oil, baking bread… The village buildings and methods of farming and household tasks are based on scholarly research and archaeological evidence.

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NAME THAT COUNTRY Episode 123

Over 20 layers of habitation, one atop the other, make up Tel Megiddo in the north of our mystery country. An important Egypt-Mesopotamia trade route crossed the Carmel Mountain ridge at a pass near the settlement. This is Armageddon (Greek for Megiddo) of the Book of Revelation, where the final battle between the forces of good and evil is prophesied to take place.

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NAME THAT COUNTRY Episode 119

In 1947, local Bedouins found the first cache of what came to be known as the Dead Sea Scrolls in a Judean Desert cave. Eventually, eleven caves would yield pieces of some 800 ancient manuscripts, the last found in 1956. It’s generally accepted that the scrolls were collected by the Essenes, or a similar Jewish sect, which had a community living at Qumran, in the shadow of the caves.

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