Wadi Qelt: The Valley of the Shadow of Death?


I woke up excited. "Yes, we're finally going to Jerusalem tonight!" But before that, we'd have to head to the various sites planned for the day's pilgrimage. It's the 4th day since our arrival in Israel.

What a gorgeous wilderness! Standing at the side of the hill, I thought to myself, "What image could King David have in mind when he penned these words in Psalm 23:4?"

"Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, 
I will fear no evil, for you are with me; 
your rod and your staff, they comfort me."
~ [Psalm 23:4]

Is the 'valley of the shadow of death' a literal place or figurative?

(Wadi Qelt) The Valley of the Shadow of Death: Things to Do in Israel

Can you find the gorges?

The Wadi Qelt is a deep gorge in the Judean Wilderness that runs from Jerusalem down to Jericho. The area is one of the places likely considered to be the setting for 'The Valley of the Shadow of Death' in Psalm 23:4 mentioned above.

Streams of water are found in the valley. Nope, I haven't seen them myself. It looks so dry out there how can one possibly see them? Well, it may not be the streams but the gorges. Anyone up gorge hunting?

From Wadi Qelt, you can catch a glimpse of the city of Jericho. Can you see it from the photo below? 

(Wadi Qelt) The Valley of the Shadow of Death: Things to Do in Israel
(Wadi Qelt) The Valley of the Shadow of Death: Things to Do in Israel
(Wadi Qelt) The Valley of the Shadow of Death: Things to Do in Israel
(Wadi Qelt) The Valley of the Shadow of Death: Things to Do in Israel

Beat the winter cold with these faux fur rimmed hood blue coats.

Look, a camel! My apologies for the sudden burst of excitement. This is the first time in my entire existence to have seen a live one. 

You can ride on it for a fee. Are you up for the challenge? Let me tell you, It gives off a strong smell. Believe me, I grew up on a small farm with cows and goats, the smell coming from camels is intense. Still, I'd like to ride on one someday.

Significance of The Valley of the Shadow of Death (Wadi Qelt)

The biblical events believed to have occurred here are the ff.:
  • King David's conflict with his son Absalom (2 Samuel 15-16);
  • Zedekiah's battle with the Babylonians (2 Kings 25:4);
  • the story of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:25-37);
  • and Jesus' travels from Jericho to Jerusalem (Luke 19:28).

(Wadi Qelt) The Valley of the Shadow of Death: Things to Do in Israel

From Wadi Qelt, you also get to see the city of Jerusalem. It is that city on top of the hill a little to the left. Can you see it? It's too far away it looks so tiny in the picture.

Word of Caution

Vendors tout the area, yes including small children. Don't act interested. When the merchandise is on your hand, it's too late, that item is considered sold. Sly, huh? Be mindful and ignore them if you have no plans to buy. And oh, they're persistent so keep on saying no.

The Valley of the Shadow of Death (Wadi Qelt) Israel Travel Guide

It's time to go! The Wadi Qelt is a gorgeous natural wonder. I'm glad to have beheld this beauty in my lifetime. 

Finally, we are making our way to Jerusalem! Woohoo! This is the moment I've been waiting for. My excitement is fanned aflame on the way there because we'll be spending Christmas in the city where it all began.

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I hope our experience at Wadi Qelt gave you an idea of what to expect during your visit to the area. Be wary and don't forget to enjoy the scenery. Talk to you soon then. ;)