Sunday 29th March
Day 7
Today we will explore the City of David and as we walk through the streets, you can easily imagine Joab, climbing up the water tunnel, to take the city. We will see the Gihon Spring, ancient Jerusalem’s water resource, Hezekiah’s miraculous Tunnels and the Shiloah Pool. Afterwards, we will head to the Southern Steps of the Temple Mount where Peter preached to thousands of Jews about the Risen Messiah and learn more about Jacob, Yeshua’s brother.

Then exploration of another kind, as you delight in the sights and smells of the Arabic and Jewish quarters in the Old City Souk. The perfect opportunity to buy that unique Holy Land keepsake.

After dinner, you will experience a fantastic night of ‘Prophetic Voices’, as our special guests share and minister. Lindell Cooley will lead worship as we celebrate together.
Overnight in Jerusalem
City of David
City of David

The city of Jerusalem was originally built around the Gihon Spring, The original inhabitants of Jerusalem lived not on the site of today’s Old City, but on a narrow ridge descending south from the present Temple Mount. Jerusalem has been continuously inhabited since at least 3000 BC, but it was only in the time of Solomon that the city limits expanded beyond the southeastern spur, known today as the “City of David.”

This is where King David captured the fortress of a Canaanite tribe, the Jebusites, 1000 years before Christ. On this slender spur — about 5 hectares (12 acres) in area — David established his capital and pitched a tent to house the Ark of the Covenant. The site possessed the natural defences of the Hinnom valley to the south, the Kidron Valley to the east, and the Tyropoeon Valley (now largely filled in by the debris of centuries) to the west. And it had fresh water from the Gihon Spring gushing at its foot.

Besides David and his son Solomon, this would have been the stamping ground of kings Hezekiah and Josiah and the prophets Isaiah and Jeremiah.

Standing on the observation platform of the City of David archaeological park, it is easy to see how David could have looked down from the roof of his palace and spied the beautiful Bathsheba bathing (2 Samuel 11: 2).

In Scripture:

David captures Jerusalem: 2 Samuel 5:6-7

Hezekiah’s Tunnel
Hezekiah's Tunnel

The importance of water to Jerusalem’s early residents is evident from the elaborate tunnels and fortifications they established to access, manage and defend it. Crucial to the city’s survival was the Gihon Spring — shown on some old maps as the Virgin’s Spring.

As far back as 1800 BC, the Jebusites fortified the Gihon with massive guard towers. They cut a system of tunnels from within their city walls to a rock-cut pool, also fortified, that received water through a feeder channel from the spring. You can also walk from the Gihon Spring through the 530-metre Hezekiah’s Tunnel. King Hezekiah’s workmen dug this in the 7th century BC to bring water to the Pool of Siloam inside his city, in preparation for an impending siege by the Assyrians.

The Construction
2 Kings 20:20 “As for the other events of Hezekiah’s reign, all his achievements and how he made the pool and the tunnel by which he brought water into the city…”

2 Chr 32:30 “It was Hezekiah who blocked the upper outlet of the Gihon spring and channeled the water down to the west side of the City of David.”

In Scripture:

David sees Bathsheba bathing: 2 Samuel 11:2

Hezekiah brings water into the city: 2 Kings 20:20

Southern Steps
The Southern Steps

“Three times a year all your men must appear before the Lord your God at the place he will choose: at the Festival of Unleavened Bread, the Festival of Weeks and the Festival of Tabernacles.” Deuteronomy 16:16.

Resting quietly right next to what is probably the most controversial piece of real estate on earth, the Southern Steps of Temple Mount are located at the southern edge of the Western Wall. This broad staircase was in daily use, 365 days a year, with great crowds swelling to hundreds of thousands of people during the three Pilgrim Feasts when all the male members of the nation of Israel were commanded to come up and worship God at the Temple.

Not only is this site an archeological treasure house, displaying and confirming biblical events and personalities connected to the Jewish Temple in Jerusalem, but we also know beyond any doubt that the Lord Himself ascended and descended these steps many times during His visits to the Temple complex.

As an island of peace, focus and perfect poise, we read that “Each day Jesus was teaching at the Temple, and each evening He went out to spend the night on the hill called the Mount of Olives, and all the people came early in the morning to hear Him at the Temple.” (Luke 21:37-38).

Called the “teaching steps” by some, these Southern Steps were used by rabbis and teachers from that period as a platform to spread their doctrines to the passing multitudes along this busy and crowded passageway. With over 50 ritual baths discovered in the vicinity so far, serving the multitudes before entering the Temple courts, this area was no doubt the busiest spot in all of Israel and the greatest platform to stage a public event as we see happening numerous times in the Gospels.

The setting was perfect! Peter’s powerful words still rang in the Jerusalem morning air when thousands of Jewish worshipers “were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, ‘Men and brethren, what shall we do?’ Then Peter said to them, repent, and let every one of you be baptised in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is to you and to your children, and to all who are afar off, as many as the Lord our God will call … Then those who gladly received his word were baptised; and that day about three thousand souls were added to them. And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers. Then fear came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were done through the apostles.” (Acts 2:38-43)

With dozens of ritual baths ready to serve these thousands of new disciples, obedience was instant! And they, themselves being pilgrims from all over the world, would now carry the good news of salvation in Messiah Yeshua to their homelands. A new beginning dawned on earth, and it all started in Jerusalem, and probably upon the Southern Steps.

Neil Armstrong was the very first man to walk on the moon. While visiting Israel he asked his guide, the renowned archaeologist Meir Ben Dov who excavated the Temple Mount, if there was a place where Jesus would have walked without a doubt 2,000 years ago. Ben Dov’s answer was, “the Southern Steps.” Visiting the Steps, Mr. Armstrong was quoted as saying that this was a more exciting moment for him than walking on the moon!

Old City Souk
Old City Souk

Sprawling through the Christian and Muslim quarters of Jerusalem’s Old City is the Arab Souk (market). This market has been around since the Ottoman Era and today features a paradox of traditional items and kitschy souvenirs. Not only is this generally the cheapest place to purchase gifts, but it is also the home to some well-known delicious eateries. Haggling is expected here, so this is a chance to practice your negotiating skills.

City of David and Ramparts

Hezekiah's Tunnel

The Davidson Center

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