Israel: En route to Bethlehem with Rachel and Ruth

We headed south from Jerusalem on the hilly road to Bethlehem, stopping near the point where it is believed Jacob buried Rachel. Right on cue a small herd of sheep ascended a nearby hill, reminding us of the Bible’s only shepherdess, a woman whose name means “ewe”: Rachel.

Sheep on the Road to Bethlehem

Standing in what shade we could find, I taught from various passages—Genesis 29:16-20; 30:1; 30:22-24; 35:16-20—recreating the story of the young matriarch who demanded of her husband, “Give me children, or I’ll die!” Both requests were answered in the years that followed, resulting in the births of Joseph and Benjamin, before Rachel’s untimely death by that very roadside.

Stopping by the Road to Bethlehem

Time for a happier story! We moved to a spot overlooking Bethlehem, where I had the blessing of teaching Ruth 2:1-12, which describes her meeting Boaz while gleaning in his barley field. As we listened and learned, we gazed upon those same fields and, in the distance, the mountains of Moab, Ruth’s homeland.

Looking over the Field of Boaz

First, Hedva provided some of the historical and geological context for us. Once again, we had the perfect spot for teaching, for listening, for sightseeing in our ever-amazing Israel!

Another Open-Air Classroom in Israel

And check out these wild, windswept trees that stretched across the hilltop. My camera wasn’t crooked…the trees were!

Windswept Trees on the Hills above Bethlehem

Some of our group went on to Bethlehem for a brief tour, while the rest took camel rides. No photo exists of me riding a camel because, beloved, there is no way I was going to let the owner break his back trying to hoist me onto that poor camel! But I was happy to serve as our official photographer. Wave to Jerusalem, sis!

A Brave Sister of the Mud Rides a Camel

Back to the Old City Market we went for a final round of shopping. I chose a pair of silver candlesticks, a hand-painted tambourine, a wooden mezuzah, a silver pendant, and ten scarves to share with Facebook followers. When darkness fell, we made our way through the Armenian Quarter for our farewell dinner at Boulghourji, another fabulous Mediterranean restaurant, before heading to the Ben Gurion Airport in Tel Aviv for our overnight flights home.

The Armenian Quarter at Night

In a lifetime of traveling, this was truly the most amazing journey I’ve ever taken. Now I’m on a mission to tell every believer, “Go, go, GO to Israel!” Why not begin with a visit to In the meantime, we’ve loved having you “travel” with us on our Women of the Bible Tour of the Holy Land!

20 Responses to Israel: En route to Bethlehem with Rachel and Ruth

  1. Joyce Mesh February 7, 2012 at 3:15 pm #

    I would love to go on a trip to Isreal with you, but that is impossible. But I love the pics and the comments from you. Looking forward to hearing from you soon. Love your books and the way you make the bible come alive to me….WOW!!

    • Liz Curtis Higgs February 7, 2012 at 3:24 pm #

      Thrilled you “traveled” with us through words and photos, dear Joyce!

  2. Earline Miles February 10, 2012 at 11:00 pm #

    How thrilled I was to visit Rachel and Ruth! Seeing those sheep on a hill stopped me in my tracks…oh, my! How that sight took me back to the Bible! And then to visit Bethlehem where Jesus was born! I know that there are many who argue over the exact places of Jesus’ birth, death, and resurrection, and His life whereabouts, but just walking in nearby places He walked and taught was good enough for me! I love our God. I love Israel. I pray for the peace of Israel, for their day of salvation.

    • Liz Curtis Higgs February 13, 2012 at 9:08 am #

      LOVED having you with us, Earline. Your joy in the Lord was delightfully evident…and contagious!

  3. Leana February 13, 2012 at 8:06 am #

    Oh!!! Thank you Liz!!! These pictures are beautiful!!! Unfortunately, much like Joyce, I’m unable to visit our Saviour’s homeland 🙁 However, the pictures were beautiful and breathtaking 😀 God Bless You!!

    • Liz Curtis Higgs February 13, 2012 at 9:10 am #

      I hoped the words and photos would help you “travel there” in your heart, Leana (love your name!). THANKS for taking a look!

  4. Perr Baxter February 13, 2012 at 8:39 am #

    Thank you for the new web page and blog. I love the pictures. I was touched by the windswept trees……aren’t they a reminder of how the Holy Spirit can mold us if we just lift our branches (arms) up to Him?
    I still cherish the day we spent with you in Savannah, GA.
    Thanks again for your ministry…..BTW, your new picture on the web page is stunning!

    • Liz Curtis Higgs February 13, 2012 at 9:12 am #

      What a lovely interpretation of those windswept trees on the hilltop above Bethlehem! Oh, that we might bend to God’s Will so thoroughly. LOVED that day in Savannah, Perr. Blessings and hugs for my sisters there!

  5. Pam Martin February 13, 2012 at 9:49 am #

    Enjoyed reading of your travels to Israel. My husband & I & 4 friends will be touring Israel & Jordan together in 4 weeks. We are thrilled to be returning. I encourage anyone & everyone to visit Israel. Visting Israel makes the Bible comes to life before your very eyes. If you can go with a small group all the better but every how you can – go! I appreciate you so much Liz and the encouragement you give me & countless other women.

    • Liz Curtis Higgs February 13, 2012 at 10:07 am #

      What an amazing time you’ll have! You are exactly right: one never reads the Bible in the same way after seeing the land where it all unfolded. Godspeed, Pam!

  6. Waunda Kee February 13, 2012 at 8:56 pm #

    When can I sign up to go with your group to Israel? I was there May 2011 and today was my first day on your blog to read about “your journey”. Oh what wonderful memories it brought back to me. I cannot wait to return either with a/your travel group or with Jesus when He returns would be even better.

    • Liz Curtis Higgs February 13, 2012 at 10:13 pm #

      If you’ve signed up for my newsletter, Encouragement to Go, dear Waunda, then you’ll know the minute I put together another tour of Israel. I hope to do so in 2013 or 2014. Would love to have you join me!

  7. Colleen February 22, 2012 at 9:05 pm #

    Oh, thank you for sharing. I had to remind myself: Thou shalt not covet thy bloggity friend’s trip to Isreal. Thou shalt not covet thy bloggity friend’s trip to Isreal. 🙂

    • Liz Curtis Higgs March 26, 2012 at 8:40 pm #

      Tee-hee. I get it, dear Colleen! Thanks for taking my virtual tour.

  8. Sashika March 10, 2012 at 11:27 pm #

    It was great to see and hear you talking in New Zealand last week, and meet you too! And I have also loved looking through this! Though it would be even better to really go there, it’s wonderful to see the landscape and think about everyone who went there! Especially Ruth, who’s story has always been so inspiring to me!
    Thanks for this blog entry, it’s so great to hear about it all 🙂

    • Liz Curtis Higgs March 26, 2012 at 8:42 pm #

      What an amazing month I had in your beautiful country! I could blog for weeks about New Zealand. (Hmmm. Sounds like a plan…) Thanks for your encouraging words, sis!

  9. Robin April 24, 2012 at 4:15 pm #

    Thank you SO much for sharing your trip! I have never been to the Holy Land but your photos and commentary entice me. I appreciate (and resonate with) Colleen’s comment about not coveting this trip to Israel. I would have liked to have heard your teaching and to have been re-baptized in the Jordan with the other ladies.

  10. Cheryl August 13, 2012 at 3:59 pm #

    Israel is on my bucket list!
    I think it would have given you some good material, had you mounted that camel! Somehow, I can hear you telling a camel story with much hilarity.

  11. Kavitha August 17, 2012 at 3:08 am #

    Dear Liz,
    I just now went through most of your blogs and this Israel trip. really thank you for sharing your wonderful experieces with us. all the photos are very nice and it made us to feel that we were there with you. I with my hubby would like to join with you on your next trip… but don’t know how far it is possible.. We wish for it and if God’s will is there, we will come with you Liz…so that i can meet my author in person…. am eagerly waiting to read all your books, Liz. Liz, have you been to India? I am from India…

    Looking forward to hear from you!

  12. Marlynn August 22, 2012 at 6:56 am #

    Dear hilarious, wise, encouraging,giving Liz, Thank you for pics and text of your trips. I,too, cannot fly for medical reasons. SO, your photos and descriptions are invaluable to me. I’m sure God has me grounded for a reason. More importantly, to be grounded in His Word. Just finished TGSGI at MUMC. Because I’m also ADD, will review it again and again. Blessings and prayers for you, His anointed one, and praises to Him who brought you to us. Marilynn