En-Gedi is an oasis on the western shore of the Dead Sea, about 20 miles south of Qumran and 10 miles north of Masada. David hid in En-Gedi on his flight from King Saul, and it was there that David cut off a corner of Saul's cloak (1 Samuel 24:1-7). The battle between King Jehoshaphat and the Ammonites and Moabites began at Hazazon-Tamar (which is En-Gedi) (2 Chronicles 20:1-3).
En-Gedi is known for its aromatic plants as mentioned in the Song of Solomon 1:14. Josephus wrote that the finest palm trees and balsam grew there. Excavations during the 1960s and 1970s uncovered several layers of settlement going back to King Josiah. It was destroyed in 582 BC, again in 40 BC, and again in 68 AD.
Today, En-Gedi, with its lush vegetation, springs and waterfalls, is a nature preserve and tourist attraction.
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