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Israel, Day 2

Started early for a long but interesting day. Here's was the day's itinerary. I've linked to an informational site where applicable. the comments are points of interest for me.:

Ceasarea (by the sea)
Built by Herod the Great as the Roman capital for the region and to replace Joffa as the major seaport. Features a 15,000 seat theater (which has been restored but only seats a little over 2000 today). Was home to Pontius Pilot (a dedication stone was found here with Pilate's name on it). Peter visited Cornelius here. Paul presented his defense to Agrippa here. The aquaduct was cool to see; 2 clay pipes set on an elevated, arched ??? to transport fresh water over 4 miles. Each arch into the city was 1/4" smaller than the one before, so gravity did the work getting the water to the city.



The Port and Hippodrome
The Crusader Fortress is also in the background


Mt Carmel
The meaning of the name of this range of mountains meant "God's ("el") Vineyard ("carm").
When entering the Jezreel Valley from the north (Phoenicia/Lebanon) it was the first "high place" to be seen. Until the 20's, Jezreel Valley was a swamp. The small brook that fed it was diverted and the area has become the breadbasket of Israel. Mt. Carmel was the location of the showdown between Elijah and Baal's prophets. I had the pleasure of reading the story to our group.

Looking across the valley are 3 other mountains; Tabor, where Deborah and Barak defeated Sisera (with the help of Jael), Moreh, where Gideon defeated the Midianites, and Gilboa, where Saul was defeated and beheaded by the Philistines. Amazing how events that took place decades if not centuries from each other happened so close to each other.

Tel Megiddo

The military base on a a man-made hilltop guarding the Via Maris (the main route between Egypt and Mesopotamia, was fortified by Solomon. It was one of 3 major chariot/calvary outposts. Also, overlooking the Jezreel Valley, one could see how this was a significant piece of property as a merging place for the African, Asian, and European continents. The Solomonic city was built on top of other cities. The earliest excavated was a Caananite city over 6000 years old.



Nazareth
The home of Jesus for most of his life is tucked into the hills of the lower Galilee. It's estimated that only about 20 families lived in the area during the time of Jesus (no wonder it was insignificant). Most interesting was the idea that Jesus, and his father Joseph were stone-masons, not woodworkers. The Hebrew word translated "carpenter" was more similar to "craftsman." Since the early translators of the scriptures were European, they defined the term by the trade they were most familiar with. There not much wood around Nazareth; its all rock.

The things that stuck with me...
- Standing where Paul not only gave his testimony to Agrippa, but the seaport from which he probably began many of his journeys.
- Looking to the west from Mt Carmel to the Med. I almost thought I saw a "cloud the size of a man's hand."
- The massive size of the Jezreel Valley. It's hard to believe that the scripture says it will flow with blood up to a horse's bridle.

Oh yeah, we're staying here tonight and tomorrow night before heading to Jerusalem for the remainder of the trip.

PS: To view all our photos from today, CLICK HERE

Comments (193)

Terri Molvar:

Jeff,

Wow! You really captured the trip for those of us that have not been to go to Jerusalem. I can't wait to go some day.

Pictures are awesome!

I'm so happy that you and Jayme were able to go...

Take care,
Terri

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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on July 18, 2007 11:36 AM.

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