DAY 4 — Sea of Galilee • Upper Galilee (Mon. Mar 16) Sea of Galilee: Biblical figures lived and worked on the shores of the Sea of Galilee. Two millennia ago Jesus lived, sojourned, and preached on the shores of the Sea of Galilee and in its neighboring towns, making Capernaum the center of his ministry. Mary Magdalene was from Migdal, and three disciples were born in Bethsaida. Shaped like a harp ("Kinnor" in ancient Hebrew means harp), some eight miles across (E-W) and 13 miles (N-S), 60 miles in circumference and 150 feet deep at deepest due to drought. the Sea of Galilee (in Hebrew Kinneret) is the most important body of fresh water in the land of Israel.
Fed from the snows of Mt. Hermon and 3 tributaries that form the Jordan River from the tribal territory of Dan (Jor / Dan) The Kinneret provides the modern State with nearly one third of its water needs. It is Israel’s only sweet-water lake. There are 23 family varieties of fish in the Sea.
Woke up to the most beautiful sunrise over the Sea of Galilee But worried a little about "red skies at morn" but the day turned out Terrific! A group of believers waited down by the water and began to sing hymns of praise as the sun peaked over the horizon!
The old and new meld together in amazing ways here in Tiberias. Our high rise hotel sites next to buildings that might have been part of the old walls seen throughout town.
Here is a shot from our room that captured a (relatively) New high rise, an ancient tower and if you look closely down by the water you can see a new sign that has been erected with a digital read out of the Sea of Galilee's depth at any given moment. Recent droughts have it at critically low levels and it is a major concern.
One city survives today, the city of Tiberias was built around AD 20 by Herod Antipas, the son of Herod the Great, during Jesus’ lifetime (probably an adolescent), to honor the Roman Caesar Tiberius. It became the capital of his realm in Galilee. Josephus describes the building of Tiberias by Herod Antipas near a village called Emmaus in The Antiquities of the Jews. During Antipas's time, the Jews refused to settle there; the presence of a cemetery rendered the site ritually unclean. Antipas settled predominantly non-Jews there from rural Galilee and other parts of his domains in order to populate his new capital, and Antipas furthermore built a palace on the acropolis. The prestige of Tiberias was so great that the sea of Galilee soon came to be call the sea of Tiberias.
We enjoyed an incredible boat ride on the Sea of Galilee, in a replica of the ancient wooden boats used in Jesus’ day. Heading out from Tiberias it takes a few minutes for it to sink in that you are really here, on the "Sea of Galilee"… the sea gulls wheel overhead, and as you move further out away from the high rises of Tiberias you begin to think of Jesus' walking on the water (John 6:19-21), calming the storm (Matthew 8:23-26) and telling the disciples he would make them fishers of men! Migdal: this a modern settlement founded in 1910 just north of Tiberias,near the Arbel cliffs, is assumed to be near the ancient village of Magdala Nunayya ("Magdala of the fishes"). ○ Migdal is hebrew for "Tower" ○ Josephus mentions a wealthy Galilean town destroyed by the Romans in the Jewish War (III, x) with the Greek name Tarichaeae (Josephus does not give its Hebrew name), from its prosperous fisheries, and some authors (e.g. Achtemeier, 1996) identify this with Magdala. ○ Magdela was burned in 66ad during the revolt and rebuilt on the higher ground where Migdal is today.
<<< Picture of tombs carved into enormous rocks at Migdal from caves that have collapsed and rolled down the mountain Cows of Basham >>>
Cows of Bashan: Amos 4 is directed at the "cows of Bashan." As you might imagine, this is not a compliment! The cows of Bashan were among the most prized cattle in the area. Bashan, on the east side of the Jordan River, was one of the kingdoms conquered by Moses and the Israelites before entering the promised land. The region was known for its prime grazing land, and its herds and flocks were famous for being fat and well-fed. Amos refers to Israel as fat, lazy cows, you are like a woman who has turned her husband into a serving girl." You were supposed to recognize that as the wealthy in Samaria, it was your job to protect the poor and to deliver the oppressed.
Caves of Arbel: The Arbel Cliffs hang over the sea of Galilee, and its natural caves were used as shelters for rebels against Herod, fortress during the revolt against the Romans and was fortified again in later periods. Herod finally subdued the rebels by lowering his men on ropes down to the mouths of the caves from above and setting fire to kill or smoke out the families hidden within. The ruins of a Greek, Roman and Byzantine village (Arbela) lies below the cliffs. In Gospel of Luke, Jesus mentions the Galilean Zealots who were killed by Pilate and their blood mixed on the altar as a sacrifice. May have been hiding out in these caves. Safed: can be seen from most of the Galilee. The valley below is possibly the site where Jesus gave the Sermon on the Mount. When Jesus gave the Sermon on the Mount and referred to the city on a hill that cannot be hidden, he was possibly referring to Safed. Even at night, the lights of the city could be seen.
Incredible view of Mt. Hermon from the Sea of Galilee Psalm 133:1-3 Behold, how good and pleasant it is when brothers dwell in unity! 2 It is like the precious oil on the head, running down on the beard, on the beard of Aaron, running down on the collar of his robes! 3 It is like the dew of Hermon, which falls on the mountains of Zion! For there the Lord has commanded the blessing, life forevermore.
Deuteronomy 3:17; Joshua 12:3; 13:27; 19:35; Numbers 34:11; 1 Kings 15:20; Matthew 4:18-22, 34; 8:18-27; 15:29; Mark 4:35-41; 5:1; 6:53; Luke 5:1-11; John 21:1-23 Thoughts from Harry while on the Sea of Galilee • We sang "To God be the Glory" • Harry read from the gospels about Jesus calming the storm and from Psalm 133… • As Jesus asked the disciples… Harry asked us… "In the storms of life…where is your faith?" Mount of Beatitudes: The mountain is topped by a Catholic chapel built in 1939 by the Franciscan Sisters of the Sacred Heart with the support of the Italian ruler Mussolini. (It reminds us of the event but is not based upon a traditional site) • The building which was constructed by the noted architect Antonio Barluzzi is full of numerical symbolism. He did not build his chapels to compete with European churches but to convey the spirit of the place it stood. Byzantine in style. Its octagonal shape represents the eight beatitudes." • In front of the church, the symbols on the pavement represent Justice, Prudence, Fortitude, Charity, Faith and Temperance.
Harry's thoughts from amphitheater near Beatitudes Chapel • Once again this is remembering the event not marking the site; there are a few particular sites along the Galilee which seem to be natural amphitheaters and have excellent acoustics from the bottom and even better from a little ways out in a boat. • Four purposes of the Law • Show sin; need for a savior • School/teacher of Righteousness • Guide/Restrain evil in our world • Jesus did not say "Accept me" to the disciples as if it were a life decision rather than the life definition implied by "Follow me". • Beware, there are some "following HIM" who are not really "Following HIM" (many will say on that day, Lord, Lord…) • Closed singing the Gloria Patri: "Glory be to the Father, and to the Son and to the Holy Ghost. As it was in the beginning, it is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen." Travel to Mt Hermon • Background of Kibbutz: communal farming • Lit. meaning "gathering, clustering" • First founded in 1910, a group of young people formed a communal living based on socialism and Zionism. Began as utopian communities but have gradually embraced more scientific methods Page 4
scientific methods • Pogroms and other persecution of the Jews caused many to flee Europe and Russia. • Jews in Europe were not allowed to own land so they had no agricultural background to draw from. • They pooled their money to buy the land and learn to feed themselves and the nation state that would soon emerge. • Jordan RiverThe Jordan River was always an important source of water for agriculture in the Bible, but many other biblical stories are told of its banks. • The crossing of this tiny river would have terrified the generation that grew up in the desert wilderness with Joshua (Joshua 3 & 4). • The floating axe head in its waters in the ministry of Elisha, • the healing of Naaman the Syrian by Elisha, • the Baptism of Jesus by John, his cousin, were important events recorded in the Biblical record. • Three Sources of the Jordan SNIR River (Lebanon) Dan River (LeShim) Hermon River (Banais Springs) • We sang "Swing low sweet chariot as we crossed the River the first time"
Side Note: Philistines (from Agean Islands) immigrated at the same time as Israel and brought the Iron Age to the Near East, bringing it out of the Bronze Age. Ate Lunch of St. Peter’s fish (Tilapia) with a beautiful view of the Sea of Galilee! Caesarea Philippi, (Banias Spring) where Jesus decided to return to Jerusalem. Scripture Ref: Matthew 16:13-20; Mark 8:27-33 Matthew 16:13-18 "He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am? And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God. And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven. And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter , and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. "
• Panais Spring "Worship of Pan" pagan sacrifices thrown into the cave at base of Mt Hermon where springs came out. • Peter made his famous profession of faith here • This was the last of Jesus' visits to villages around the area before turning back to Jerusalem. Harry's thoughts at Caesarea Philippi • First EE training (Diagnostic Questions) :) □ Who do the people say that I am? □ Who do you say that I am? • Built by Phillip the Tetrarch, son of Herod the Great • Named for Tiberius Caesar • In the shadow of a pagan place of worship Christ said answers Peter's profession with the statement that upon that truth he would build his church and the gates of hell would not prevail. Christ came to the very gates and put Satan on the defensive! Golan and Huleh Basin
Fences along the Golan Heights with red
Fences along the Golan Heights with red triangles on fence to warn about land mines
Syria has attempted in the past to cut off Israel's water supply. Basalt Mined here used in great deal of architecture in country. The Golan Heights and the Huleh basin, situated on the Syrian-African rift, were formed by volcanic activity, earthquakes, and an uplifting of entire regions of the earth’s surface. They combine natural beauty, the sources of the Jordan River and the beginning of Biblical history. It is here that Abraham first crossed into the Promised Land.
The region served as a crossroads and meeting point for the civilizations of Mesopotamia and Egypt and throughout human history has witnessed countless battles. King Solomon found it necessary to fortify this important thoroughfare - the Via Maris - at the biblical city of Hazor. A view from the peaks of Mt. Hermon reveals the rugged plateau of the Golan Heights, and beneath it the green pastoral Huleh valley. Despite harsh physical conditions and constant Arab attacks, modern Jewish pioneers succeeded in draining the malarial swamps of the Huleh valley and turned the region into fertile fields. Scripture Ref: Numbers 34:12; Joshua 3; Judges 12:5, 6; 2 Kings 2:6-14 Matthew 3 Qiryat Shemona: location in valley so close to the Lebanon mountains makes it a rich target for cross border attacks and missile bombing.
Travel to Tabgha Tell Hazor: one of Solomon's fortified cities that protected the road to Damascus
Bernice mentioned that the road to Caesaria Phillippi is the "Road to Damascus"; the glaring reflection of the snow of Mt. Hermon ca be dazzling and reminds her of Paul's vision.
Capernaum: Matthew 4:12-16; 8:5; 11:23; 17:24; Mark 1:21; 2:1; Luke 4:23, 31-41; 7:1; 10:13-15; John 2:12; 4:46; 6:17, 24, 59 Caper: Village Nahum: Comfort • Though Jesus grew up in Nazareth, he chose to move His teaching and healing ministry to the shores of the Sea of Galilee. • At that time that Jesus stayed primarily in the village of Capernaum on the shores of the Sea. In this village, Jesus attended synagogue and performed many miracles such as the cure of the man possessed by an evil spirit (Mark 1:23-26); the cure of Peter’s mother in law, (Mark 1:29-31); and taking the money for taxes from the mouth of a fish (Matthew 17:24). Jesus frequented the village so much that Matthew 9:1 calls it His "own town". • Jesus needed a place of comfort and protection • Luke 8: Jairus, a ruler of the synagogue • Matthew 8:5-13 Faith of Centurion • John 4:46-53: Healing the Official's son
• A magnificent 4th-century synagogue was uncovered here during excavations carried out by the Franciscans. • A second story was present for women to be allowed to observe • Before the destruction of the temple the synagogue was a meeting place and a place of study but not a place of worship. Most ornate synagogues come from 4th century, w/o the temple they paid to improve them. • The synagogue we are able to see is the remains of a later building; in Jesus' time it was of local stone (basalt) and was not nearly as ornate as this. • Also found in the ancient town was an octagonal church from the 5th century which many believe was built above the home of the Apostle Peter’s mother in law. Remains of village farm implements - including a flour mill and oil press carved out of basalt rock were also revealed at the site, and are now displayed in a lovely garden setting.
Harry's thoughts from Capernaum • Messianic Church never intende to have separate Jews and Gentiles • "Ecclesia" the called ones" was to replace the synagogue • Dispersions of the 6th & 8th century bce destructions of the temple: • Began assembling in synagogues • Ezra "do not dispise the day of small things… no record of the Shekinah Glory ever entering the 2nd temple…Immanuel "God with us" the Glory of the LORD entered the 2nd temple for the first time with Christ… "the word became flesh and tabernacle among us…" • Peter came from Bethsaida and married a girl from Capernaum Ruins of Chorizon & Bethsaida: not able to visit this trip but not a lot different that Capernaum. • Woe to Unrepentant Cities in Luke 10:13-16 “Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the mighty works done in you had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago, sitting in sackcloth and ashes. But it will be more bearable in the judgment for Tyre and Sidon than for you. And you, Capernaum, will you be exalted to heaven? You shall be brought down to Hades. The one who hears you hears me, and the one who rejects you rejects me, and the one who rejects me rejects him who sent me.”
• Earthquake in 749ad destroyed these three cities which Jesus cursed… Sermon on the Mount (Mt Eremos located between Capernaum and Tabgha) The Spina Christa "Jerusalem Thorn" Paliurus spina-christi, is a species of Paliurus native to the Mediterranean region. It is a deciduous shrub or small tree growing to 3-4 m tall. The shoots are zig-zagged, with a leaf and two stipular spines (one straight, one curved) on the outside of each kink.
Ginnosar: This kibbutz along the shore of the Galilee was the sight of the 1986 discovery of a boat hull identified as an ancient fishing boat dating back to the 1st century time of Christ.
Tabgha: Miracle of the Loaves and Fishes • is the traditional site of the Miracle of the Loaves and the Fishes. (Matt. 14: 13-21) • Tabgha is an arabic corruption of the Greek name Heptapegon. (Seven Springs) • The earliest building at Tabgha was a small chapel from the 4th century CE; only a part of its foundations was uncovered. • During the fifth century, a large monastery and a church decorated with exquisite mosaic floors was built on the site. The monastery and church at Tabgha were destroyed in the 7th century, probably during the Arab conquest of the country, and buried beneath a thick layer of silt and stones. In the 1980s, after excavation, the church was restored to its Byzantine form, incorporating portions of the original mosaics under glass. • Nilometer and birds that are not local indicate Egyptian craftsmen. • A raised platform in front of the apse is surrounded by a chancel screen and at its center an untrimmed stone was preserved under the altar. • This is the traditional site of the miracle of the Loaves and the Fishes. • A mosaic depicting a basket of bread flanked by two fish was found behind the untrimmed stone. It was added in the 6th century, suggesting the stones significance; today it is displayed in front of the altar. There are four loaves of bread in the mosaic because the fifth was to be on the alter for use in the service during communion. (See Picture above) • Olive Press "Cold Press" on display at Tabgha is similar to the age of the presses at Gethsemane and reminiscent of Jesus "the anointed one" pressed until he sweat drops of blood in the "Garden of Gethsemane (See Picture above) Dinner and overnight in Tiberias.