Holy Land Pilgrimage

The Canaanite City

February 1, 2019

Recently, on a bright and unusually warm day, our group visited the Tel Arad National Park, which contains the ruins of an ancient Canaanite city that is briefly mentioned a few times in the Old Testament. By today’s standards, this would not even be considered a “small city”—some of us walked the length of the city wall in about half an hour—but in Scripture, it is noted as a powerful city that blocked the Israelites’ passage (Numbers 21:1), and was eventually overtaken by Joshua during the conquest of the land (Joshua 12:7-24). Of special note here are the ruins atop the hill, at the highest point of the city, where there once stood a fortress and temple. From there, you could see all the surrounding lands, and the rolling hills and valleys were an amazing sight.
Looking down from the fortress and temple ruins, you could reconstruct a snapshot of what life would be like in this ancient city. A home just down the hill, past the well and along the south wall amid the other dwellings. A sturdy wall surrounding the city to protect the people from raiders, animals, or other threats. Traders passing through the city with wares from different lands.
Being there and learning about the ruins that I was walking through painted a very vivid picture that will surely stay with me. This was definitely a unique and memorable site to visit!
Ben Johnson
Diocese of Green Bay
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