On the monochrome landscape north of the Dead Sea, a conspicuous green splotch appears at the western edge of the Jordan Rift Valley.
“The city of palm trees” exemplifies what we imagine when we picture an oasis.
Jericho’s date palm trees have roots that stretch toward a source of fresh water that has turned a desert into a garden. Visitors to Jericho, or Tell es-Sultan, can see the perennial spring that supported the city for centuries and provided a splendid irrigation system, distributing water to the plain as well as to all travelers in antiquity. Likely, Prophet Elisha purified this spring (2 Kings 2:21).
The “oldest city on earth” also sits as the lowest one—at more than 800 feet below sea level. Jericho owes its existence to the spring, to be sure. But the city also sits at the base of the primary roads that ascended from the Jordan Rift valley up to the Hill Country of Judea. Anyone crossing the Jordan River from the Plains of Moab had Jericho to face.
The walled city stood as a strategic roadblock that no one passing could ignore.
There’s much more over at Wayne Stiles’ blog.
Jericho is a special place, definitely worth visiting, as it is the lowest (230 meters below the sea lever) and the oldest (around 10 000 years) town on Earth. Arriving in Jericho you will be astonished by its natural setting, with its vibrant colours, aromatic fragrances and the backdrop of the Dead Sea and Moab Mountains beyond in Jordan. The city has a subtropical climate making it a perfect place for flora and fauna to thrive.
Jericho can be called an oasis as it is situated on a very rich land with a couple of perennial springs, surrounded by the wilderness of Judean Desert. For its perfect agricultural conditions, the town looks nowadays like a great plantation – dates, cabbages, eggplants, lettuce, zucchini and many more kinds of vegetables are grown here to support the people. In the winter time, plenty of citrus trees with yellow, orange and pink fruits are delighting our eyes with its bright colours.
But Jericho is actually called “City of Palms” date palms dominate the area. While touring Jericho you must buy a pack of its delicious dates – Majoul dates, which originally come from this region. Bananas also grow plentiful in Jericho, and they were introduced to the area during the Islamic period.
Jericho, with its alluvial soil, lively three springs and tropical climate was an attractive place for the ancient nations to settle the remains of which are called Tel es Sultan or simply Ancient Jericho. This site is also mentioned in the Hebrew Bible, It became a city of Joshua, who conquered it with the famous trumpets, symbolising the holy intervention of God. (Joshua 2:1-4:24)
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