DAY 6 – THURSDAY, MAY 10: JERICHO, SHILOH, BETH SHEAN, SEA OF GALILEE
(Theme of the Day: Preparing and recommitting ourselves to trust God)
Today we drove north to Galilee. On the way through the Judean Desert, Hill Country of Samaria/Ephraim, and the Jordan Valley, we saw some great sites that again connected us to the Bible. It was another sunny day, with highs in the 80s.
Our first site was Jericho. Climbing to the top of the site, we first looked east towards Mt. Nebo. This is where Moses died (Dt. 34). Elijah and Elisha also had ministries in this area. Looking about 2 miles south we could see “New Testament” Jericho (where Zacheaus and Bartimeaus were from (Luke 19, Mark 10). Herod had his winter palace here. He also died here. Yet it was this Old Testament Canaanite site that Joshua conquered. We read from Joshua 6 as we saw the very retaining walls that Joshua saw! It was on top of this stone wall that a mud-brick wall was placed. It was the mud-brick wall that came tumblin’ down! We praise God for the reliability of Scripture and how archaeology confirms the biblical record!
Wadi Qelt/Judean Desert
Driving west towards Jerusalem, we cut off the main road for a panoramic view of the Wadi Qelt. Here we heard the words of Isaiah 40 from “the prophet.” This Judean Desert was the context for these words of hope and promise. John the Baptist would echo these same words! Shlomo also sang Psalm 23 for us as well.
Continuing our drive through the Desert of Pareth (Jeremiah 13) and past Michmash (I Samuel 13-14) and Bethel (Genesis 12 and 28), we arrived at ancient Shiloh. It was here where the Tabernacle and the Ark of the Covenant was located until the Philistines took the city (1 Samuel 4). We read about the call of Samuel that took place here (1 Samuel 3) and Jeremiah 7 about this place. Before leaving, we walked down to the flat area of the site where most suggest the Tabernacle was located.
Continuing our drive north through the Samaritan hills, we saw lots of shepherds along the way. We arrived at Beth Shean for lunch and to visit this huge archaeological Roman site. We saw the bathhouses, the pillared streets, the agora (market place), many mosaics, the public latrine, and the impressive theater. Some climbed to the top of the OT site of Beth Shean were Saul’s body was hung after he died on M.t Gilboa close by (1 Samuel 31).
Sea of Galilee
Driving about 30 minutes north to the Sea of Galilee, we arrived at our hotels. One is located on the southern shoreline of this “lake,” while some are staying on the NW corner in Tiberias. We enjoyed dinner together and a free evening.
DAY 7 – FRIDAY, MAY 11: ARBEL, JORDAN RIVER BAPTISM, MAGDALA, CHORIZIM, BETHSAIDA, CAPERNAUM, SEA OF GALILEE BOAT RIDE, MT. OF BEATITUDES
(Theme of the Day: Walking as “Talmidim” / disciples of Jesus)