The Ark of the Covenant

 Beth-shemesh and Abu Ghosh


The Philistines go to battle against Israel and win.  Worse yet, they take the ark of the covenant back to Ashdod and place it in the house of Dagon, their god.
Then, their troubles begin.  First, the statue of their god Dagon falls down. They set him and the next day he is knocked down again. This time they find Dagon with his head and hands cut off. Next, the Philistines are faced with a plaque of boils, then mice.
After 7 months of this, they have had enough and ask the priests and diviners what to do. The priest said to put the ark in a wagon, fill it with gold mice and gold boils, hitch up two cows to the wagon, and see where they go. If the cows return to Israel, then they will know that the God of Israel caused their plaques.  If the cows go another direction, they will know that their problems were just a matter of chance.
Of course, the cows headed straight back to Israel in Beth-shemesh. The ark stayed in that location for 20 years. King David then moved the ark from the mountain top to the City of David where it eventually was placed in the temple.   
1 Samuel 5 and 6
Monastery Sisters of St. Joseph of the Apparition. 
Six sisters stay at this monastery.  The monastery was build to commemorate the return of the ark to this location where it stayed for 20 years. 




Church of Saint Mary.  Located in Abu Ghosh, with a flowing spring.



Second largest mosque in Jerusalem, located in Abu Ghosh.
The large circle on the right represents Allah.  The circle on the left is Mohammed.  The pillar in the center leads to heaven. 
Near Abu Ghosh is a national park where we stopped to have a quite lunch…only to discover 100’s of school children having fun.   One of their teachers gave us some pop cycles to compensate for the noise.
This area was farmed by the crusaders because of the natural springs in the area making it possible to grow their food. 


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