Jericho, a city of both ancient and modern importance, is found within a short distance of the Dead Sea. With its long history, Jericho is mentioned throughout both the Old and New Testament. Led by Joshua, the ancient Israelites once crumbled the city walls with the blasts of their rams' horns (Joshua 6:16) as they first entered the Land of Israel after forty years in the desert. Joshua then cursed this city from ever being rebuilt (Joshua 6:26). Later, the Prophet Elisha was known to purify the waters' of Jericho's natural spring with salt (2 Kings 2:21).
Jesus passed through Jericho numerous times on His way from the Galilee to Jerusalem; for this reason Jericho is considered to be the location at which He healed Bartimaeus the blind beggar and eaten with the tax collector, Zacchaeus. During Jesus' time, Jericho was a residential city for priests and Levites working in the Temple; near Jericho, is the famous parable about the Good Samaritan discusses the deeds of these same "holy" Temple workers who ignored a man being robbed to the actions of an out-of-town visitor who chose to help (Luke 10:30 - 33). Jericho is also known for being a gift given to Cleopatra by Mark Anthony and later sold to Herod by Cleopatra for an exorbitant fee.
The area surrounding the Dead Sea is filled with natural wonders, ancient history and sites connected to the life and times of Jesus. The Dead Sea, along with Masada, Qumran, and many other sites are spots not to be missed by Christian groups touring in Holy Land.