The Castle of the Servant 

The ruins of the Castle of the Servant in Jordan. The historian Josephus wrote that the dynasty of Tobiah built a castle on the east side of the Jordan River, in Ammon. He specifically wrote in the Antiquities of the Jews about the carved "beasts of gigantic size" visible here on the left corner of the structure. The beasts on the right side are not as well-preserved. The structure dates to the centuries after Nehemiah, however it shows the power and prestige of this family of "servants." Photo by John Buckner

The Castle of the Servant  “When Sanballat the Horonite, and Tobiah the servant, the Ammonite, heard of it, it grieved them exceedingly that there was come a man to seek the welfare of the children of Israel” (Nehemiah 2:10). An enigmatic figure of Scripture is Tobiah the Ammonite. He came from a clan who may…

Read More

Where Was the House on Pentecost? 

 “And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it…

Read More

Bible Valleys  

Bible Valley

The Hebrew Bible uses several words for a valley. The largest valley is the emek, which is a wide, U-shaped valley. The valley of Elah, famous for the fight between David and Goliath (1 Samuel 17), is one example from the Bible, the Jezreel Valley is another. (A related valley type is bikah, but that…

Read More

The Herodium in Bethlehem 

“For verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith” (Mark 11:23). In Mark 11, Jesus…

Read More

Mixed Worship at Arad 

“And when king Arad the Canaanite, which dwelt in the south, heard tell that Israel came by the way of the spies; then he fought against Israel, and took some of them prisoners. And Israel vowed a vow unto the Lord, and said, If thou wilt indeed deliver this people into my hand, then I will…

Read More

Mars’ Hill 

“Then certain philosophers of the Epicureans, and of the Stoicks, encountered him. And some said, What will this babbler say? other some, He seemeth to be a setter forth of strange gods: because he preached unto them Jesus, and the resurrection…Then Paul stood in the midst of Mars’ hill, and said, Ye men of Athens,…

Read More

Moab

 “Now it came to pass in the days when the judges ruled, that there was a famine in the land. And a certain man of Bethlehemjudah went to sojourn in the country of Moab, he, and his wife, and his two sons.” Ruth 1:1  Biblical Moab, in modern Jordan, is only about twenty-five miles from…

Read More

Paths of Righteousness  

“He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake” (Psalm 23:3). As a shepherd from the wilderness south of Bethlehem, David wrote about one of the most salient characteristics of the hills in those barren lands: the magal. Residents of the deserts of the holy land understand it…

Read More

Milk and Honey

“And I am come down to deliver them out of the hand of the Egyptians, and to bring them up out of that land unto a good land and a large, unto a land flowing with milk and honey;” Exodus 3:8a Throughout the Hebrew Bible, God referred to the promised land as a land that flows with milk…

Read More

It Is Well in Zion

“And they that know thy name will put their trust in thee: for thou, Lord, hast not forsaken them that seek thee. Sing praises to the Lord, which dwelleth in Zion: declare among the people his doings.” Psalm 8:10-11 “When peace like a river attendeth my way, When sorrows like sea billows roll; Whatever my lot, Thou…

Read More

Jonah and Peter in Joppa

“And now send men to Joppa, and call for one Simon, whose surname is Peter: He lodgeth with one Simon a tanner, whose house is by the sea side: he shall tell thee what thou oughtest to do.” Acts 10:5-6 The city of Joppa, known in modern Hebrew as Jaffa, is just a short walk…

Read More

Diana of the Ephesians

“For a certain man named Demetrius, a silversmith, which made silver shrines for Diana, brought no small gain unto the craftsmen; Whom he called together with the workmen of like occupation, and said, Sirs, ye know that by this craft we have our wealth. Moreover ye see and hear, that not alone at Ephesus, but…

Read More

The Pool of Bethesda

“After this there was a feast of the Jews; and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. Now there is at Jerusalem by the sheep market a pool, which is called in the Hebrew tongue Bethesda, having five porches. In these lay a great multitude of impotent folk, of blind, halt, withered, waiting for the moving of…

Read More

Floods in the Desert

“And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock. And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand:…

Read More

Millstones in Capernaum

“At the same time came the disciples unto Jesus, saying, Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven? And Jesus called a little child unto him, and set him in the midst of them, and said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter…

Read More

The Brass Serpent

“And Moses made a serpent of brass, and put it upon a pole, and it came to pass, that if a serpent had bitten any man, when he beheld the serpent of brass, he lived” (Numbers 21:9).  Even in judgment, God provides a means of salvation. When the people cried out due to the fiery…

Read More

The Heath in the Desert 

The prophet Jeremiah grew up in the Judean Wilderness, the large desert on the edge of the Great Rift Valley. As a desert dweller, he often wrote about the animals and plants found there. In Jeremiah 17, he described a person who puts his trust in God as a leafy, fruitful tree planted by flowing…

Read More

The Tombs of the Prophets

“And his feet shall stand in that day upon the mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east, and the mount of Olives shall cleave in the midst thereof toward the east and toward the west, and there shall be a very great valley; and half of the mountain shall remove toward the…

Read More

Why did David keep Saul’s water cruse?

In I Samuel 26, we find a puzzling account from the life of David. He recruited Joab’s brother Abishai to go with him on a high-risk night raid into the very center of Saul’s camp. “And David arose, and came to the place where Saul had pitched: and David beheld the place where Saul lay,…

Read More

The Graveyard of the Old Gods in Shechem 

“And if it seem evil unto you to serve the Lord, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve…

Read More

Guest Post: A Meditation on Psalms, Sirens, and Terror.

Enjoying the Journey has many friends in the ministry who help and encourage us along the way. John Buckner is a real student of God’s Word. He has spent the last several years in Jerusalem completing a Master’s degree in Classical Hebrew and has dedicated His life to the study of God’s Word. Please read this recent…

Read More