The Holy Land Is Expecting More Pilgrim Visits Than Ever

No, havoc is not being wreaked in the Holy Land. Yes, you can come on pilgrimage. The Custody of the Holy Land is not ignoring the wave of violence that is taking place around the country. However, it calls pilgrims to try to understand what is truly happening in this Land.

The country remains safe and the pilgrimage paths have been unaffected by the current clashes…

More here.


Bible Archaeology

New Website Dedicated to the Basilica of the Annunciation of Nazareth

As announced by the Custody of the Holy Land:

The website, which is in four languages (Italian, English, French and Spanish), presents up-to-date and in-depth information grouped into different thematic sections which accompany visitors throughout their discovery of the Holy Land where it all began, thanks to Mary’s “yes” and the tender welcoming of her husband Joseph.

Using the buttons on the hompage, you can access the Virtual Tour of the Holy Land and the Nazareth Pilgrim Office site, which offers a vast amount of information for anybody who wants to celebrate in Nazareth.

This work concludes the quintet of sites published with the Renewal Project for the Sanctuaries’ websites: Holy Sepulchre, Capernaum, Bethlehem, Gethsemane and Nazareth…

We hope that the many pilgrims and visitors wishing to discover the Holy Land of the Lord will appreciate our work, and we wish them a pleasant visit at the website:

Bible Archaeology

When A Lot of Rain is a Good Thing

Ferrell Jenkins has some good news on and for Israel:

Having watched the rise and fall of the Sea of Galilee (Lake Kinneret) over a period of 45 years, it is exciting to learn that winter storms have pushed the lake to the sharpest December rise in 20 years.

According to an article in Haaretz the lake “is expected to have risen 26 centimeters [9.84″] since heavy rains began Thursday, it sharpest December rise in 20 years. [1991 and 1992]“

As a result of the increased flow in northern streams, the Kinneret’s water level rose sharply, reaching 212.07 meters [695.77 feet] below sea level Saturday morning.

Sightseeing boat on the Sea of Galilee. Photo by Ferrell Jenkins.

And when they had crossed over, they came to land at Gennesaret. (Matthew 14:34 ESV)

Rain also fell as far south as Ashdod and Kiryat Gat, “but failed to affect the Negev this time.” This reminds us of the days of the Patriarchs whose lives were often disrupted by lack of rain in the Negev.

According to the report, almost 20 inches of snow has fallen on Mount Hermon.

If you have an interest in weather conditions in Israel, I suggest Kinneret Bot and the site of the Israel Meterological Service.

Geographer Carl Rasmussen says,

All of us who have traveled in Israel and the surrounding countries are well-aware of the importance of the winter rains for the well-being of the inhabitants of the area, local agriculture, and the water supply in general.


Bible Archaeology

Frankincense Returns to the Holy Land

After 1,500 years:

KIBBUTZ KETURA, ISRAEL – Seven years after I revealed her success in sprouting a 2,000 year-old date palm seed found on Masada, botanist Dr Elaine Solowey of the Arava Institute for Environmental Studies has done it again.

1,500 years after the last frankincense tree disappeared from the Holy Land, Dr Solowey has managed to grow the first shoots of a tree whose scented white sap was once worth more than gold.

At Kibbutz Ketura deep in Israel’s Negev Desert, Dr Solowey is carefully nurturing the fragile sapling in her greenhouse, where she is also growing myrrh and balm of Gilead – probably the “gold” brought by the Three Wise Men to the infant Jesus in Bethlehem.

“This is the first frankincense tree to set seed in Israel in 1500 years,” Dr Solowey told me as she presented the tiny sapling for its first public photo-call this week. “It was necessary to bring this variety back to the country because the last people growing these trees near the Dead Sea left and the trees left with them.”

Read on here.


Bible Archaeology

The Custody of the Holy Land on Twitter

 Custody of the Holy Land:

The website of the Custody enables one to follow the life and reality of the Holy Land, in eight languages: English, Italian, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Arabic, Hebrew and Russian.

From now, the Custody of the Holy Land has also been on Twitter, enabling all to participate in real time and in eight languages the events, celebrations and initiative that occur every day in the Holy Land.

Follow us on Twitter and on our website.

And the Twitter account is here.