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Just off the city center, on the right side of the road to Tel Al-Sultan and within the new Russian compound and garden, is a large sycamore tree. The tree is marked by its name “Tree of Zacchaeus” after the Roman tax collector of Jericho Zacchaeus, who according to the gospels was a short man and climbed the tree in order to see Jesus, who was surrounded by crowds of people upon his descend from the Mount of Temptation.
Zacchaeus welcomed Jesus into the city and invited him to his house. Jesus initially accepted the invitation, but when the people of the city objected he ordered the tax collector to donate some of his money to the city’s poor. Zacchaeus accepted and Jesus blessed him and the people of the city. Jericho to the Christians is a city blessed by Jesus.