This trip has been really fun! We’re with our kids, and now we’ve added our dear friends. Our next stop after visiting Masada was Qumran. When I was a student here, the Qumran experience was basically a stop at a vantage point where we looked over and saw this mountain with some cave openings in it:
Today, there is a full National Park that you pay to enter. Inside the park you can walk on boardwalks and paths through all the excavations of the community where the Essenes lived.
Qumran, the guides say, was home to this community of Jewish ascetics (the Essenes), who devoted their lives to writing and preserving sacred texts. They were hard at work by the time Jesus began preaching; ultimately they stored the scrolls in 11 caves before Romans destroyed their settlement in A.D. 68.
Here’s how it looks today:
Qumran is located on a dry marl plateau about 1.5 km from the northwestern shore of the Dead Sea, about 10 km south of the historic city of Jericho, and adjacent to the modern Israeli settlement and kibbutz of Kalya.
Here’s most of Steve & Kalleen Lund’s family:
Steve organized this Israel trip for his General Young Men’s Advisory Board. Brad Wilcox is one of his counselors in the Young Men’s Presidency, and one of our guides here.
A large Mikva or a baptismal font:
Ahmad Corbitt (Steve’s counselor) and Michael Nelson (executive secretary):