What to see in Israel | 3 Must-Visit Biblical Gardens
Have you ever wondered what bible gardens are and what took place in them? Gardens of the Bible were places of loveliness, sanctuary and sustenance. It is referred to as a place of shelter, recognised as a place of provision of food and seen as a place for quiet retreat. It is also a setting to meet with friends.
Israel has some of the best landscaped gardens with a biblical theme. These gardens feature cultivated collections of plants that are mentioned in the Bible. Some of these biblical gardens also display objects to illustrate biblical stories or to demonstrate how people lived in biblical times.
Jesus’s crown of thorns possibly made from this thorny tree which can be seen at Neot Kedumim.
1. Neot Kedumim
Take a journey to the world’s only biblical landscape nature – Neot Kedumim, spread across 625 acres of restored land. The reserve is a remarkable place for the family and especially people wanting to get a glimpse into the landscape of ancient Israel, as reflected in the Bible.
To create the biblical park, thousands of tons of soil were trucked in, reservoirs were built to catch runoff rainwater, ancient terraces, wine presses and ritual baths were restored, and hundreds of varieties of trees and plants were cultivated. You can find the seven species – olives, wheat, barley, figs, pomegranates, dates and grapes. You can see plants and trees, water and agricultural fittings such as cisterns, oil presses, wine presses and threshing floors as they were thousands of years ago. This amazing biblical reserve won an Israel Prize in 1994 as a model of restoration ecology. The park also offers additional activities such as tree planting and sheep herding.
Sheep Herding at Neot Kedumim.
2. Nazareth Biblical Village
Go back in time to the first century to witness first-hand daily life at the Nazareth Biblical Village in the Galilean city where Jesus once lived and walked. This open-air museum provides a 3D experience focused on showing examples Jesus used in His teaching. The Village is the ideal place for anyone looking for a one-of-a-kind experience where the crossroads of first century and present meet. It makes a biblical first century come alive for visitors.
Synagogue at Nazareth Biblical Village.
You meet costumed staff and pose next to them. All this deepens your experience and captures it as a photographic memory. You see villagers praying in the period synagogue, milking goats and practising their trades. You visit a reconstructed first century tomb, a watch tower, an olive press, a carpenter shop and a weaver’s room. In spring, you smell the blooming wildflowers. Donkeys and chickens roam about the grounds. In summer, you see grapes being pressed for wine and in the fall, you see the olive harvest.
Joseph is busy with his carpentry work at Nazareth Biblical Village.
3. Yad Hashmona Biblical Garden
Yad Hashmona Biblical Garden gives visitors a glimpse into the spiritual, physical and agricultural world of the Jewish people in the land of the Bible. The lovely biblical garden includes an ancient wine press, an olive press, a burial cave, a ritual bath, an agricultural tower, a Galilean-type synagogue and a Bedouin tent. You find a variety of biblical plants and trees as well as reconstructed facilities from biblical times.
Olive Press at Yad Hashmona Biblical Garden.
The skilled guides of the garden take you through a journey of biblical stories such Ruth and Boaz, spiritual symbolism and the parables of the New Testament. Not to be missed – the biblical meal with Jesus Passover experience, a sumptuous culinary trip to the past. The meal comprises greens, lentils, meat pottage, stuff chicken, dried fruit and Haroset served with grape juice and tabun baked pita.
Biblical meal with Passover experience.
The site is also home to the Yad Hashmona Country Hotel, surrounded by stunning views of the evergreen Judean Hills and the Mediterranean coastal plain. It is a great place for spiritual rejuvenation during your stay at the hotel. In addition, you can visit the nearby biblical city of Kiriath Jearim known for the house of Abinadab that guarded the Ark of the Covenant from the time of Samuel until the time of David.
View from Yad Hashmona Biblical Garden.
Our Lord Jesus says in Song of Songs 8:13 (NLT), “O my darling, lingering in the gardens, your companions are fortunate to hear your voice. Let me hear it, too!”