DAY 6 – SATURDAY, OCTOBER 31
Today was another ideal weather day, with lots of sun and temps in the 70s. We left our hotel in Tel Aviv (located on the Med Sea) at 7:40 once again, We drove north about 40 minutes to Caesarea. This was a city built by Herod the Great, a projected that began in 22 BC. In the theater we read form Acts 10, 12 and 26 about the boldness of Peter and Paul (both who were here). Seeing the palace and crossing the hippodrome, we entered into the Crusader part of the city. From here we could see part of Herod’s impressive harbor (into which Paul sailed a few times).
Driving through the Sharon Plain, we ascended the Carmel Range to Muhraqa. We entered the Carmelite chapel where we read from 1 Kings 18 about Elijah’s confrontation with the prophets of Baal. The view from the roof of the Jezreel Valley was very good, allowing us to see Mt. Tabor (Judges 4-5), the Hill of Moreh (Judges 6-7), and Mt. Gilboa (1 Samuel 31).
Following lunch we drove down into the Jezreel Valley to Megiddo, the most strategic city that guarded entrance into the valley. At this massive archaeological tel, we saw a few ancient gates, Solomon’s stables, and a grain bin. We read from Revelation 16 and rejoiced that we are on the winning side! We also descended into the impressive water system.
Driving across the valley, Sephoris (Sippori) was our next site. This was the major city in the region during the days of Jesus. Located only 4-5 miles from Nazareth, Jesus would have been very familiar with it. Here we saw numerous Roman and Late Roman mosaics, as well as a theater.
Our last experience of the day was a visit to the precipice of Nazareth. We watched the sun set to the west as we enjoyed yet another perspective of the Jezreel Valley below (with Tabor, Moreh, Gilboa, and Carmel all in view). We read from Luke 4 and John 1. We were invited to “come and see” Jesus again with new eyes! It was a great way to end the day.
We drove to our hotel located on the southern end of the Sea of Galilee. We enjoyed dinner and a fun gathering before retiring for the night. We are looking forward to spending three days here up north in the Galilee!
DAY 7 – SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 1: GAMLA, KATZRIN, BEN TAL, CAESAREA PHILIPPI, DAN, ABEL BEIT MAACAH
(REGIONS to study: Golan Heights, Upper Galilee)