JERUSALEM-the 50 sites you may overlook

In a historic and religious city like Jerusalem there is so much to see no matter how much you tour. When time is a limiting factor, even the most efficient tour guides have to compromise while deciding what to incorporate in the itinerary. Although it depends on the interest of the individual visitor as well, there is still a huge must-see-list in Jerusalem that cannot be avoided. At every stop so much information is thrown on a visitor that sometimes s/he tends to forget the details after leaving the place.

I remember when I first visited the Church of Holy Sepulcher, it appeared to me more like a small museum than a church. I was virtually clueless inside a dark and dull overcrowded massive complex of more than 25 chapels with several curious artifacts and antiques scattered under some dusky arches and dingy columns. It took me at least three visits with a proper map in hand to understand the Church complex. A normal visitor for instance would be satisfied with Golgotha, the ‘Stone of Unction’ and the ‘Holy Sepulcher’, but the oldest part of the complex, viz. the first century tombs inside the Syrian Orthodox Chapel could be easily missed.

In the upcoming posts I plan to upload 50 such sites from Jerusalem that I believe can be easily overlooked or go unnoticed by an average visitor. I am incorporating the following sites from my previous visits, again with no specific order of importance. I am sure that a serious traveler who loves history, traditions and the Bible has noticed or been to most of them.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

From the Greek Orthodox Migdal Eder (Tower of the Flock) and Fields of Jacob (Genesis 35:21). Beit Sahour.

Migdal Eder or "Tower of the Flock," is where Jacob grazed his sheep on his journey to Hebron after the death of Rachel. "And Israel journeyed, and spread his tent beyond the tower of Edar" (Genesis 35:21). Prophet Micah alluded this place to the coming of Messiah. "And thou, O tower of the flock, the strong hold of the daughter of Zion, unto thee shall it come, even the first dominion; the kingdom shall come to the daughter of Jerusalem" (Micah 4:8). Later, Christian traditions applied Migdal Eder to the watchtowers where shepherds kept watch on their grazing sheep at the time of Christ's birth. "And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night" (Luke 2:8).



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