When David fled from Saul into the wilderness of En Gedi, he found refuge in a cavernous wilderness filled with caves, sharp cliffs, and springs of fresh water. In fact, the name, En Gedi, means ‘spring of the wild goat’. The presence of horned goats such as these in the area is likely how it got its name.
Today in Israel, these mountain goats are called, Ibex; they are found throughout the country and especially in the Judean Wilderness. They are known for their uncanny ability to scale sheer rock faces with ease (as they are doing in this photograph). David wrote Psalm 18 likely having seen many of these Ibex during his stay in En Gedi. It is these mountain goats David compares himself to in verse 33: “He made my feet like the feet of a deer and set me secure on the heights”. The prophet Habakkuk also invokes a similar image in Habakkuk 3:19.
These photographs was taken in the En Gedi wilderness.