30 – Neot Kedumim

This place reminded me of Nazareth Village. Located between Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, Neot Kedumim (map) is a unique nature reserve that recreates the physical setting and atmosphere of the Bible in all its depth and detail. Visitors can see a wine press in action, wheat threshing, olive presses, a cistern, a threshing floor and much more. It’s more than just a garden full of Biblical plants – it’s an exercise in botany, zoology, history and archaeology to give deep meaning to the terms and expressions we see in the Bible.

It’s also an awesome place to go and relax. And eat! The guy who built the place won some sort of humanitarian award from the State of Israel for his hard work. Well deserved, I say. Apparently he still works on it today.

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Here’s a winepress. It’s a bit more modern in that it has a screw to compress the grapes. The screw was invented by Archimedes a couple hundred years before Christ. So any winepress before 200BC didn’t have a screw compressor contraption.
Our guide was pretty good.
A cover for the cistern. This is the kind of thing Jacob moved in order to impress Rachel. Dang.
We ground up some hyssop.This flower grows a fake bug in the middle. It attracts other bugs to come and pollinate it. Good thing we believe in a literal six-day creation! Otherwise the poor plant would wait a millennia before a bug would come along to pollinate it.
The lowly hyssop plant.I didn’t think the hyssop plant figured prominently in Biblical typology. Exodus 12:2 talks about how the Jews were to use hyssop to mark their doors with blood. And in the New Testament, Jesus was fed sour wine on the end of a hyssop branch (Jn 19:29). That was about all I knew. Turns out it’s used quite a bit in the Levitical offerings and sacrifices. David refers to it briefly: Purify me with hyssop, and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow. (Ps 51:7)

It’s also mentioned often along with cedar. I need to study this more.

The lowly hyssop in front of a mighty cedar.
A fig tree. To think Adam and Eve used these things for clothes. I guess they didn’t have banana trees nearby.
Beautiful countryside.
By the way.. this is the Valley of Elah where David killed Goliath. I tried to find 5 smooth stones, but they’ve all been taken by other tourists.