Olives were about the most useful crop to ancient Israel, because their oil could be burned for light (Exodus 27:20), was used for anointing (Luke 7:46), medicine (Luke 10:34) and cooking, the pits (when crushed) had enough oil left in them to burn for heat, and the ashes after burning them could be used to make soap. This olive press was used to drain the oil out of the pits, after they were first crushed by this large stone wheel. The olives were put into those black bags stacked under the long wooden pole, and weights were added to the pole for additional pressure, to obtain more oil after the first pressing. The quality of the oil deteriorated with each additional pressing; the oil first obtained was “virgin olive oil.”
Man and Donkey
This man was dressed in Bible-times attire and working with this donkey in Nazareth Village, which was a place for tourists to envision what life was like in Bible times. I loved Nazareth Village!
This weaver’s loom has a wool garment partially made on it.
Drawing water from the well was the woman’s job. Normally she wouldn’t leave the insula without her brother, father or husband, but going to the well was the only exception. Women could go to the well by themselves (John 4:7-26).
The Jordan Valley is wide and flat, so the Jordan River runs snake-like back and forth a lot, and expands quite wide and shallow in places. But it can also become quite narrow like in this picture, where there’s more steep embankment on both sides. And after the winter rains the amount of water that flows from north to south can substantially increase.
Canaanite Civilization from Abraham’s Time
These foundations were uncovered in the “tel” called Megiddo, which is a man-made hill. To understand a tel, think of a location where an ancient civilization lives for perhaps a few hundred years, then war, or a plague, or a bad fire, or a combination of sad events takes place, leaving the location as a ghost town, or perhaps as a bunch of mere foundations and dead bodies. After say, a hundred more years, enough dirt blows over to bury all of the foundations, but perhaps not all of the remaining structures. Then new peoples move in and appropriate some of what was left from before. But also, they go out to find more rocks to build on top. Then this cycle repeats again, over and over, which eventually creates a man-made hill.
This grain silo was also found at Megiddo, which dates back to King Jeroboam in the 8th century BC. Since Megiddo was already becoming a hill from numerous civilizations beforehand, and since hills were good to build fortresses on, it seems at least by Solomon’s time that’s exactly what Megiddo became. And this grain silo would’ve fed King Jeroboam’s soldiers who also would’ve lived in this fortress. Fortresses stored the valuables of the nation (like grain and oil), and since their goods needed to be defended, that’s where the soldiers usually lived and practiced their warfare maneuvers. Also, the rich could afford to live within the walls, and the king’s men. But not the poor.
Valley of Armageddon
This valley is beside Megiddo and receives it’s name from Megiddo (“Har” means mount and “mageddon” refers to Megiddo). This valley is probably one of the main reasons civilizations kept coming back to live on top of the ghost towns of past civilizations. It’s fertile, and Megiddo also has a source of water, which is another reason. But since it was a desirable place, many felt it was worth fighting for, which is why the Valley of Armageddon was the scene of much blood shed throughout history. And that’s why in Revelation 16:16, the prophecy refers to this valley as being the place for the final battle at the end of time. Whether or not this is literally the place, the “Valley of Armageddon” was an appropriate name for this prophecy.
The promise of God in Exodus 3:8, that God would bring the Israelites to a land “flowing with milk and honey,” speaks of two different lifestyles. In the north where there’s more rain, the Israelites would farm, produce pollen, and the bees would produce honey. In the south where there’s hardly any rain, there’s hardy, sparse weeds. The Israelites would continue their shepherding heritage and nomadic lifestyles there, that they inherited from their parents wandering in the wilderness. Their goats would produce lots of milk, making life so different in the north from the south.
This type of nomadic tent was also home to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, who also lived as nomads.
Tradition indicates the remains of Sodom and Gomorrah were covered by the Dead Sea, which is in the background of this picture. This hill is a mineral and salt-rich mound which inherits the name “Sodom,” because of this tradition.
How a Goad is Used
Paul the Apostle was sharing his testimony years after he was saved, saying, “And when we had all fallen to the ground, I heard a voice saying to me in the Hebrew language, ‘Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me? It is hard for you to kick against the goads'” (Acts 26:14). Are you kicking against the goads?
As Hezekiah prepared for battle with the Assyrians, “…he worked hard repairing all the broken sections of the wall and building towers on it. He built another wall outside that one and reinforced the terraces of the City of David. He also made large numbers of weapons and shields” (2 Chronicles 32:5).
See more pictures at: Lifestyles of Jesus’ Time and Stories About Jesus
Changes for my website
After I had students help me improve my website last year, I did a lot of work to add and change many things. But my “Contact Us” webpage didn’t get fixed so my users could reach me. Also, there were other technical things that could improve my website. Now I have a student who plans to finish what I started last year in May of this year. Check for any adjustments in May at the bottom of my blog index.
- Putting out a Fleece, Casting Lots, and Choosing that Hill to Die on February 24, 2020
- False Humility in the NT, Apocrypha, and Pseudepigrapha, Part 3 of 3 February 17, 2020
- False Humility in the NT, Apocrypha, and Pseudepigrapha, Part 2 of 3 February 10, 2020
- False Humility in the NT, Apocrypha, and Pseudepigrapha, Part 1 of 3 February 3, 2020
- Christ’s Temptation as our Inspiration January 26, 2020
– View previous posts –
My Focus in Blogging
My story of forgiveness and healing is quite unrelated to envisioning the Bible world. But since our world is sin and pain infested, I suspect many will want to hear more about my personal experience. I wrote a couple of blogs about this, but mostly I focused on envisioning the Bible world. I learned lots after being in Israel, and now I can share that with you.
Plans for Improved Website:
Now that my documentary links are all moved under the Tour Israel menu heading, I’ll see if I can get my website working better for the visually impaired. This requires a lot of work and my student may be too busy with other technical fixes. I’ll see what I can get done by the end of May, 2023.
Thanks for your interest.