November 9, 2011
Today we were getting a tour of Bethlehem. We were excited to see the ancient streets and the Church of the Nativity which is the oldest church in the Holy Land which is still being used today. Driving through the Judean Hills and seeing the Valley of Elah, which gets its name from the Elah tree, a type of oak tree that produces turpentine. I’ve read that biblically the valley is known as the area where David fatally wounded the fearsome Philistine warrior Goliath with a stone plucked from the nearby Elah Brook.
We finally arrived in Bethlehem, the birthplace of David and Jesus. We took a tour of the Church of Nativity. We looked through the trap doors on the wooden floor and saw the original mosaic tiled floor below. We also saw the low Door of Humility that prevented anyone from entering the room without bowing, and the grotto, which is supposedly the birth place of Jesus.