Today, like every day it seems, was an adventure. While it wasn’t part of the “field study,” having to find an alternative route to JUC this morning because of the pope was rather fun. I know this city better than I thought I did! The exam part of the day wasn’t too bad having been tested on most of this material before. Next stop: City of David!
On the way down to the City of David, we stopped to peer over at an archaeological site. I believe it was a palace belonging to a queen (I wish I remember who!) It’s fun that you can walk down the street and see archaeological sites everywhere you look!
While we don’t know exactly where Bathsheba lived, it was helpful to look down from the top of the City of David and see how easy it was for him to look at her despite the fact that he should not have taken advantage of this. David abused his position of living at the highest point as monarch for personal gain. I appreciated that Dr. Phillips pointed out that Bathsheba did not do anything wrong by bathing on her roof. Bathsheba is a classic example of how women are looked down upon unnecessarily and men are given a free ticket to lust rather than being held responsible for their agency. In this tale, Bathsheba bathed on her roof like everyone else because there wasn’t room to do that in her house. There was the understanding that you didn’t look at people’s roofs in order to afford them some privacy. Too often I have heard Bathsheba bringing this whole situation about by flaunting her beauty for all to see when in reality she was doing nothing wrong; David must be held responsible for this entire event.
After looking at the City of David from above, we delved down into the depths below to head towards Warren’s Shaft and Hezekiah’s Tunnel. Warren’s Shaft was interesting to look down and visualize the different sides of the arguments for whether or not David climbed up this, but at the end of the day the most convincing argument against this being the way David took in 2 Sam 5 is the difficulty people would have getting water up from the bottom. The rock face itself looked fairly clime-able but not realistic for what it would have been built for if it was built at all (Dr. Phillips suggests that it was a naturally occurring vertical tunnel.)
Hezekiah’s Tunnel was such a treat! I thought at first that the water pumping was artificial. How amazing is it that the Gihon Spring was right there?! Basically every place we see, I get overwhelmed by the fact that these things are real—no longer just words on a page.
After arising out of the tunnel, we stopped at the Pool of Siloam to read John 9. There were two little Israeli boys trying to sell us popsicles during Dr. Phillips’ lecture. “One dollar or three shekel!” It was kind of adorable watching them dance around Dr. Phillips, weaving throughout the rows of students while pitching their cheap prices on a hot day.
Like on the way to JUC in the morning, heading back to the hotel at the end of the field day was interesting with portions of the city blocked off for papal security. What a fascinating time to be in Jerusalem!