The arid climate of both Jericho and the Judean desert is due to their situation on the leeward side of the Judean Mountains. Located about 820 feet below sea level, Jericho enjoys mild winters and hot summers.
A natural oasis, it has been blessed with nearby springs (2 Kings 2:19). The key to survival in Jericho is the proper utilization of her water resources. The construction and repair of irrigation ditches, as well as a method for distributing the water among all the farmers are necessary for a viable settlement here at Jericho. Such a degree of organization appears to have first been present at Jericho by 7000 B.C., making it one of the oldest cities in the world! Even today, the desolate grey unirrigated countryside and the lush green fields of bananas, citrus and vegetables are still there.
Mount of Temptation
The Mount of Temptation ("Quarantel" from the Latin "Mons Quarantana" - Forty Days) looms behind Old Jericho in the west. A stony path ascends the hill and leads to the Greek monastery carved out of the mountain-side half-way up and built partly in the rock over the chasm. Here Jesus fasted forty days to resist the devil's offer to him if "all the kingdoms in the world" (Luke 4:5).