30 AD Miracle of turning the water into wine - Cana. Jerusalem 30 AD drives the moneymakers from the temple - Cana. Jerusalem 30 AD Nighttime visit Of Nicodemus—Christ enlightens him - Jerusalem.
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On the east side of Jerusalem you will see mountains that run north and south. The Mount of Olives is part of that range. In those mountains on the other side you will find the lush springs, pools, and ferns of Ein Gedi (Goat Spring) where David hid out with his men. Farther to the east you will see the Dead Sea. This valley is 1300 feet below sea level, and the Dead Sea is about 1300 feet deep, the lowest point on earth.

What you Need to Know About Jerusalem

Here’s a very simple map of modern Israel so you can see where Jerusalem is located.

In the very north of Israel there are a few high mountains, yet Jerusalem is considered to be “the mountain of the Lord’s house.” Because it is the holy city, people say they are going “up” to Jerusalem no matter where they are coming from. When they leave Jerusalem, they say they are going “down.” In fact, the elevation of Jerusalem is about 3800 feet, not so high for a mountain. 

On the east side of Jerusalem you will see mountains that run north and south. The Mount of Olives is part of that range. In those mountains on the other side you will find the lush springs, pools, and ferns of Ein Gedi (Goat Spring) where David hid out with his men. Farther to the east you will see the Dead Sea. This valley is 1300 feet below sea level, and the Dead Sea is about 1300 feet deep, the lowest point on earth.

The Jordan River runs south from the Sea of Galilee to the Dead Sea. Under the river is the huge Jordan Rift Fault that caused the destruction of the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah. Another fault runs to the west to Jerusalem, right through the Mount of Olives.

Jerusalem is very rocky! There are so many rocks that they say pilgrims took them from their stony hearts as they entered the holy city. The people there build terraces and buildings out of them, but they never run out. Wood has always been very precious, especially in ancient times. Many things can be made of stone. In fact, in Jerusalem today, all homes have to be faced with stone. This stone is actually exported all over the world because it’s pretty. Of course, it’s called Jerusalem stone:

The beating heart of Jerusalem is Mount Moriah. It is a stony outcropping where Abraham was supposed to have “sacrificed” his son Isaac. (Moslems believe it was Ishmael, not Isaac.) This rock is on the temple mount in the center of the Dome of the Rock Mosque of Islam, it’s third holiest site on earth.

King David is the one who made Jerusalem his capital. At the time of Christ, the walled part of the city was smaller than a square mile, with its most important feature being the temple complex built by King Herod the Great. All of the important locations in the last week of Christ’s life are within walking distance of each other. Bethany (southeast along the mountains) is easy to walk to and so is Bethlehem to the southwest.

Jerusalem has mild weather compared to the rest of Israel because of its elevation. The humidity is about 50% and the nights are always cool unless there is a “hamsin.” A hamsin is when the wind changes direction. Instead of coming from the west, from the Mediterranean Sea, it comes from the east, the Arabian desert. Then the air is hot, dry, and sandy, even at night. This happens about 50 days each year.

As soon as you go over the mountains to the south and east, you are in the Judean wilderness, and it is a desert. Along the coast from Jaffa (Joppa) and north, and in the Galilee, Israel is fertile and humid and hot in the summer. In all of Israel it only rains 6 months of the year (September to April) and then there is no rain at all for 6 months. When you read in the Bible about rains coming in their season you can see why it’s so important. The Bible also talks about dew. Dew accounts for about 25% of Israel’s moisture, so the people can’t do without it.

Jerusalem is a very inspiring place to be and it feels like the spiritual center of the world. Some people who visit develop “Jerusalem syndrome.” Even if they weren’t religious before, they suddenly become very moved and need psychological help. Israel has counselors available for when this happens.