Day 9 – Tuesday, June 21: Precipice of Nazareth, Megiddo, Carmel Range, Caesarea, Jerusalem
Today was a mix of clouds and sun, and with slightly cooler temps in the 80s. We left the Galilee area in the morning after breakfast, and arrived in Jerusalem in time for dinner. We read from Matthew 5 and 11 as we left the hotel at 7:35.
Precipice of Nazareth
We drove south through the Lower Galilee to the Precipice of Nazareth. The visibility from here of Mt Tabor (Judges 4), the Hill or Moreh (Judges 7), and Mt. Carmel to the west (1 Kings 18) was impressive! We considered the life of Jesus as read from Luke 4. We listened to the song, Jesus Messiah, as we closed a time of teaching and reflection. Jesus came tfor the purpose of redemption to both Jews and Gentiles alike.
Located along the edge of the Jezreel Valley is Megiddo. We drove across this broad Jezreel Valley to get here. This archaeological site was about 25 layers of occupation spanning a period of about 2,500 years! It was a Canaanite and Israelite city. Pharaohs like Thutmose III conquered it in about 1468 BC. Climbing the site, we saw 3 series of city gates, Solomon’s stables and palace, a sacrificial altar from the Early Bronze Period, and a grain silo. We left the site be descending down through the water system that was engineered to bring water safely inside the walls of the city. We also had a great view of the Jezreel Valley referred to as the Valley of Armageddon in Revelation 16. In the end, God wins when Jesus returns!
Driving along the “byways” (edge) of the valley, we then ascended to the highest peak of Mt. Carmel. This is a mountain range overlooking the Jezreel Valley on one side and the Mediterranean Sea on the other. Upon arriving at the site, we first entered a Carmelite chapel called Muhraha. We read from Amos 1 and 9, Isaiah 35, and Songs of Songs 7 (all referring to Carmel). The primary story (1 Kings 18) involved Elijah who confronted the 450 prophets of Baal, the Phoenician/Canaanite god of rain and thunder! Elisha was also on this mountain range (2 Kings 4). The view from the top of the roof of the chapel was incredible. W enjoyed a full view of the Jezreel Valley. We ate a great buffet lunch at a nearby Druze restaurant.
“We traveled from the north to Jerusalem today, seeing a few sites along the way.Once again Dr. John shared many, many biblical connections with what we saw at archaeological sites and overviews. Getting to Jerusalem was also thrilling!”
Following lunch, we descended down to the Sharon Plain to Caesarea. In the theater of this city built by Herod the Great in 22-10 BC, we read from Acts 10 (Peter), Acts 12 (Agrippa 1), Acts 21 (Philip), and Acts 26 (Paul). We then walked across this ancient city to see the palace, hippodrome, the location of the grand harbor, and the Crusader gate, wall, and mote. We also saw an impressive periphery (purple) statue. Before leaving the site we saw the aqueduct and enjoyed sticking our feet in the Mediterranean Sea.
In the late afternoon we began our drive around Tel Aviv before we ascended to Jerusalem. We entered this magnificent city and saw our first glimpse of the Temple Mount and the Old City. We checked into our hotel and enjoyed an early dinner. Following dinner, many walked to the Western Wall, the most hotly place for Jews today! We are looking forward to our first full day in Jerusalem tomorrow, Israel’s capital!