The present day Jericho, similar to the present day Bethlehem, is a Palestinian territory in Israel.
Most Christians associate Jericho to two biblical events that happened there.
First, in the Old Testament, Jericho is the city whose walls crumbled down after Gideon’s army of musicians marched around the city for seven days while blowing their trumpets, or something to that effect (Joshua 1-6).
And then, in the New Testament, there is the story about a vertically-challenged tax collector named Zacchaeus (Luke 19:1-10) who climbed sycamore tree to get to see Jesus.
There is a third event that happened in or near Jericho that is not very well known to many Christians. The temptation of Jesus (the first temptation — turning stone to bread — in particular) is believed to have happened in a mountain near or in Jericho. This event was chronicled by three of the four canonical gospels (Matthew, Mark & Luke).
ON OUR WAY to the Jordan border from Jerusalem we passed by Jericho to see the famous Sycamore Tree and the Temptation Mountain. To my surprise, in spite of its biblical renown, Jericho, it turns out, is one small and sleepy town.
Yes it is the same exact Sycamore Tree that, according to St. Luke, Zaccheaus supposedly climbed. That makes it one really old tree — more than 2,000 years old, approximately.
The present day temptation mountain is quite tempting to take a closer look at. There seems to be a nice mountain-top resort on its slope, and there’s a cable car system going up there from somewhere down below.