After getting a glimpse of the Hinnom Valley, Yaron took us up on the Hill of Evil Counsel, a ridge-like hill across the Hinnom Valley to the south of Old Jerusalem.

We drove along the summit/ridge from west to east past the offices of the United Nations

Then past a lush green park until the greenness was only a memory.


The summit of the Hill of Evil Counsel that looked directly across to the Gihon Spring and Pool of Siloam was bare of trees or grass. [I believe the hill would have had trees in the early days though. We had heard all the trees in the land were cut down by the Ottoman Empire when they built the railroad in about 1850.]

Instead of any semblance of manicured landscape, the area was covered with sticker plants of several kinds.




Untended barren gray soil dominated the scene.



More sticker weeds.

Several of the caper bush, Tzaleph, dotted the area.  Yaron said, and a native flowers brochure confirmed later, they pickle the unopened buds (about the size of a finger nail).

There was also a burned-out fire circle a little distance south of the summit—over the ridge from Old Jerusalem. Not a sight-seers’ place but something abandoned and thought to be a hang-out place for late night ne’er-do-wells.


Hill of Evil Counsel above Hinnom Valley does not seem to be the same layered limestone we were used to seeing as terraces. Instead there was a sharp, steep decline so that the base of the hill in the Hinnom Valley was not visible.

Summary of visit to Hill of Evil counsel:

Where the United Nations has an office in modern Jerusalem.

Where Solomon built temples for the foreign gods of his foreign wives in about 900 BC.

From HEC we could see Har Zeitim meaning Mt. of Olives to the right or northeast across the Kidron Valley from Old Jerusalem.

Yaron made this statement: “Gihon Spring had a tower built by Jebusites at some period in the past. The tower protected the spring.”

(I think I can use that in my story, too!)