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Source: Holman Bible Atlas

Masada is a huge plateau that gives some incredible views of the Dead Sea.

But to get to the top to experience history, we needed to ride a cable car. I loved it!

As incredible as the views are, it’s not the views that make this place a rich part of Israel’s history. It’s what happened here.

This place was turned into a fortress around 30 B.C. It once was King Herod’s Palace.

When the Romans invaded Jerusalem in A.D. 70, hundreds of Jews fled to Masada. Because of its strategic location, the Jews felt safe.

The Romans would have none of it. They laid a siege against Masada. In the next video, you can see the siege ramp it took a few months for the Romans to build. You can also see one of the rock areas that remains from one of the Roman camps.

For quite awhile, the Jews enjoyed plentiful water and the security of their fortress … while the Romans built a massive ramp up to the top of the plateau. They also built a siege tower with a battering ram that was hidden so that the Jews did not realize how they would be attacked until it was too late.

In 74 A.D., the Romans pushed the battering ram to the top of the ramp and began pounded the walls of the fortress. When they finally penetrated its walls and flooded their troops into the Jewish refuge, they were met with nothing but silence. Eerie silence.

The Jews who had lived securely on Masada until that day committed mass suicide rather than subject themselves to Roman slavery. Before doing so, many of them would have met in the synagogue for a final time with God.

Now, 2,000 years later, the place is in ruins but is a major tourist destination.