Israel’s Biblical Landscape Reserve
Neot Kedumim is a treasure in the heart of Israel that too few visitors know about. This biblical landscape reserve is located between Jerusalem and Tel Aviv and includes 620 acres of trees, plants, flowers, and fauna that were common in Israel in the biblical period.
A new three-minute video does a great job of showing the park in its glory (HT: Biblical Flora).
I brought a group of seminary students to Neot Kedumim last week and it was a valuable time for all. This is one of the few places where one learns with all of the senses. One could spend as little as two hours on a tour or as much as a week without seeing it all. If you have not yet been, you should put this site on your list for your next visit.
The books of founder Nogah Hareuveni are excellent, and I see that Amazon has a few used copies for very good prices (and some copies at very high prices):
Nature in Our Biblical Heritage (from $3.96)
Desert and Shepherd in Our Biblical Heritage (from $84.97)
Neot Kedumim sells these books in their shop for about $30. Shipping is extra.
Tamarisk tree at Neot Kedumim, January 2012
Genesis 21:33 (NIV) "Abraham planted a tamarisk tree in Beersheba, and there he called upon the name of the Lord, the Eternal God."
1 Samuel 22:6 (NIV) "Now Saul heard that David and his men had been discovered. And Saul, spear in hand, was seated under the tamarisk tree on the hill at Gibeah, with all his officials standing around him."
1 Samuel 31:13 (NIV) "Then they took their bones and buried them under a tamarisk tree at Jabesh, and they fasted seven days."