5 Minute Read + Scripture readings, pictures, and videos

Today’s Bible Reading:

1 Samuel 24
1 Corinthians 5
Ezekiel 3
Psalms 39

Today’s Bible Verse(s):

1 Samuel 24:3 (CSB): “When Saul returned from pursuing the Philistines, he was told, ‘David is in the wilderness near En-gedi.’”

Reflections on Today’s Bible Verse(s):

Once again, the Bible came alive as I was reading the chapters for today. A trip that my wife and I took to Israel in the summer of 2018 has proven to be helpful time and time again. It has helped me to visualize the places in which the Bible events took place.

In today’s reading, we read about En-gedi. This is the place where David was hiding from King Saul. It is also the place where David cut off the corner of King Saul’s robe without his knowledge.

So, let me give you the first four verses of 1 Samuel 24 and then I’ll show you a map, and some pictures and videos to help you visualize what En-gedi looks like.

1 Samuel 24:1-4 (CSB): “When Saul returned from pursuing the Philistines, he was told, ‘David is in the wilderness near En-gedi.’ So Saul took three thousand of Israel’s fit young men and went to look for David and his men in front of the Rocks of the Wild Goats. When Saul came to the sheep pens along the road, a cave was there, and he went in to relieve himself. David and his men were staying in the recesses of the cave, so they said to him, ‘Look, this is the day the LORD told you about: “I will hand your enemy over to you so you can do to him whatever you desire.” ‘ Then David got up and secretly cut off the corner of Saul’s robe.”

First, the map. Below, you can see En-Gedi marked in the center of the map with the red pin. It is on the western banks of the Dead Sea.

On a side note, you may observe that the shape of the Dead Sea is much different in the map below than in the maps at the back of your Bible. That is because the Dead Sea is dying. Not enough water is flowing into it from the Jordan River. Its banks in some places have receded one or two football fields from where the banks once rested.

En-Gedi
Source: Google Maps

Now, here are a couple of videos I took during our brief stop. Simply click on them to view them in YouTube. In the first video, I pan from the mountains to the Dead Sea. In the second video, I got as close as I dared to some Nubian Ibexes feeding in the trees.

Here are some pictures that I took while at En-Gedi. It was amazing to think that we were in the general proximity of the story where David cut off a corner of Saul’s robe.

I’ve heard that story ever since I was a child. It was surreal to visit the place where it happened.

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The mountains at En-gedi.
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The mountains at En-gedi.
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Nubian Ibexes in the trees and bushes at En-gedi.

I had always thought that I would like to visit Israel but I never had an intentional plan to make it happen. Then, someone made it financially possible for Kim and me to visit Israel in 2018. Taking that trip opened up the world of the Bible so that I can actually “see” the places in my mind where the events occurred.

If you want to download a Kindle book that I wrote with plenty of pictures and videos ($2.99 on Amazon), you can do so by clicking here. Here’s one of the reviews that my book received on Amazon:

“I felt like I was there visiting with a good friend who was sharing their experience with just me. The word pictures were just as descriptive as the actual pictures and videos. I loved the scripture that was included.”

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Lord Jesus, help me to realize that Your Word happened in real places at real times with real people. Don’t let me simply read the words on the page. Help me to dig into the places and so many other aspects of life that would allow me to experience the richness and power of Your Word even more clearly. Amen.

A mountain at En Gedi