DAY 6 – SATURDAY, JANUARY 18: JERICHO, BETH SHEAN, NAZARETH, MEGIDDO, GALILEE
Today was another great day here in Israel. We would drive north through a few more regions of the Bible on our way to the Sea of Galilee. While it rained overnight, we had a rain-free day, with highs in the 60s.
Our day started with the site of Jericho. We read from Joshua 6We climbed to the top of this ancient site. Looking eastward, we could see towards Jordan. Mt. Nebo is located there (Dt. 31-34, where Moses died). Also Elijah served along the Jordan Valley and was taken up into heaven (2 Kings 2). Elisha then purified the spring of Jericho. It was also in the Jordan River where Jesus was baptized (John 1). The city of Jericho was the first city conquered by Joshua. We saw the retaining walls on the southern end of this double-walled city. It was the mud-brick wall that was placed on top of this stone retaining wall that came tumblin’ down after the Israelites circled the city seven times.
Driving northward through the Jordan Valley we arrived next at Beth Shean. The site includes both Old Testament and Roman ruins. Within this massive Roman city we saw the bathhouses, colonnaded streets, the agora/market place, mosaics, the public latrenes, and the well-preserved theater.Appreciating the tall-standing pillars in the Roman city, we remembered the Apostle Paul’s words from 1 Corinthians 15 and his admonishment to stand firm in our faith in Christ. Also, some in the group climbed 180 steps up to the top of the OT site that overlooks the Roman one below. Saul and his son’s bodies were hung on the wall here after they died on Mt. Gilboa (1 Samuel 31).
“Lots more ‘connecting the dots’ with the Bible, as Dr. John likes to say. I loved the fact that I could actually see the ancient walls of Jericho. Standing there and understanding how the story took place brought joy and excitement to my heart!” -Tour Member-
Megiddo was our next site to visit. Located in a strategic area that guarded one of the primary entrances into the Jezreel Valley, this ancient site was 25 levels of occupation that spanned about 2,500 years!After lunch we climbed the site. We saw three city gates from different time periods, Solomon’s stables and storehouses, a grain silo (from the time of Jeroboam II’s day), and the water system. Because of the floods from last week, we could not however descend down through this. On top of the site we could see Mt. Carmel (1 Kings 18), Nazareth (Luke 4), Mt. Tabor (Judges 4-5), the Hill of Moreh (Judges 6-7), and Mt. Gilboa ( Samuel 31). We also remembered Revelation 16 and the mentioning of Armageddon. In the end when Christ returns, God will have the final word!
Precipice of Nazareth
Driving across the Jezreel Valley, our last stop was to the Precipice of Nazareth. From here right in front of us we could get a closer view ofMt.Tabor and the Hill of Moreh. We read from Luke 4 and John 1 and spent a moment of reflection. As Philip said (John 1), we were invited to “come and see” Jesus anew!
At dusk we drove about an hour to the NW corner of the Sea of Galilee. We are staying at Nof Ginnosar for the next four nights.
DAY 7 – SUNDAY, JANUARY 19: ARBEL, JORDAN RIVER BAPTISM, MAGDALA, CHORIZIM, CAPERNAUM, SEA OF GALILEE BOAT RIDE, JORDAN RIVER
We hope this isn’t the case, but the forecast is calling for rain over the next three days and we may need to change our itinerary a bit. We will remain flexible.