Our last day in the Galilee area. Another full day with beautiful weather. Everyday we’ve seen places where Jesus walked, talked, preached, prayed and most likely grieved over the people. The area is truly lovely. It’s green and fertile. It is spring and flowers are everywhere. Okay, so our guide calls them weeds but they are lovely as we walk along the paths. This area seems more the Promised Land than that which is around Jerusalem.
Pulling the modern world in. This is the expensive, so the guys tell me, BMW the owner of the hotel has. The country may be Jewish and Muslim but they definitely like the Christians’ money. Busloads of tourists come from all over the world to visit the holy sites. I don’t know. how much of the economy is based on tourism but I’d say many people make their living from us.
The Primacy of Peter. I’d never heard that phrase before. It’s the restoration of Peter after the Resurrection. This is the traditional beach where Peter, James and John were fishing and Jesus told them to cast their nets on the other side of the boat and they caught 153 fish. Jesus took Peter aside and spoke with him. We don’t know the words they exchanged but Peter went on to lead the early church.
The Jewish numerology of the number of fish. The Hebrew words on the sheet read, ‘I am God.’
Decorations most likely from the synagogue as they are made from limestone. The rest of the village is made from the volcanic rock of the area. The symbols carved in the stone are Jewish from the time.
The star of David isn’t an ancient symbol of Judaism. It is only about 400 years old. The true symbol is the menorah.
The five pointed star is the star of Solomon.
This is the house of Peter. They are sure of this because of the mosaic on the floor and the walls of the church built around the house dating to shortly after Peter was killed. As its fame built and more people came they built a second wall enlarging the church. Now there is a Catholic church built over it. You can look down through a window into the house. It’s simply an open space.
Ruins of Capernaum.
First century synagogue built in honor of Jesus.
Bethsaida, one of the three towns Jesus cursed for their unbelief. It was a puzzle since it is about seven miles from the sea and the industry indicated was fishing. Then they read a history which stated that the lagoon beside Bethsaida had dried up. Puzzle solved. They fished the lagoon.
Israeli poison ivy
Mustard plants. Now I can understand Jonah sitting under the tree.
Magdala. There is a major dig going on here. The Catholics purchased a large property and are building a motel here. They found the town of Magdala. They have built a modern church the first room of which is dedicated as a shrine to women who have influenced the church. Leave it to them to lift people above the Lord.
A table used to hold the scroll while Scripture is read.
Notice the wave in the floor, indicating the earthquake that destroyed the town.
Freshness of the fish was as important then as it is now. These are shallow pools that would have had water to keep the fish alive until they were purchased.
A ritual bath, one of the four things each Jewish town must have. Notice the opening. It would have been where the fresh running water would have entered the bath. Then the water would have drained out below keeping the bath fresh and clean for bathing.
Baby olives. The difference between green and black olives is about 10 weeks. The black olives are ripe. The ripe ones are the ones crushed to get oil. They are crushed once to begin the release of the oil and to remove the pits. They was allowed to drip out the virgin oil for temple use. Then the first press with weight was for food use. The next press was for fuel, cosmetics and soaps.
A wonderful depiction of the story of the woman with the issue of blood. The floor is a first century market street.
As I said before this country is mainly rock. On the highway.
Something I’ve very used before, a square toilet, with a sprayer next to it. We had lunch here. One reason the restaurant was chosen was that it was extremely clean. Not something necessarily true for Islamic places.
Islamic vegetable market and street.
Nazareth is a large modern city. It’s Islamic but in the middle is a reconstruction of part of the ancient town. They’ve done a very good job of showing how people lived in Jesus time.
Hyssop plants. I ate some bread with hyssop ground on top. It was unusual but tasty.
Winepress. Where the girl is standing is where the grapes were stomped. The juice drained into the pit below and was scooped out with jars.
Olive press. This is what ground the olives. They made one circle of the stone to crush the olives. It was too crowded to get a photo of the press. They placed the olives in circular baskets with a hole in the middle. Eight were stacked one each other. The first, virgin, press was simply the weight of the baskets. The next was just the beam of the press sitting on them. Then they added 1500 kilos to get the last press
A carpenter who would have worked not just in wood, but in construction of stone. The images we have of a thin, weak Jesus are not representative of him at all. He would have been strong and muscular.
A woman spinning and weaving.
A ceiling typical of the homes. It would have been simple for the men to tear through the roof to lower their invalid friend to Jesus.
Synagogue. The guide read the verses from the book of Isaiah that Jesus read in Nazareth. It was what caused the people to rebel against Jesus.
Views from the Mount of Precipice. It rises 397 feet above the valley floor. The townspeople attempted to throw Jesus off but he walked away from them.
The wi-fi wasn’t great in the hotel so this was written in the morning and on the bus. You can probably tell. Being rested when I write this makes for more information shared about each place.
In His Steps
My church offered the opportunity to travel for 10 days in Israel. I jumped at the chance. So daily I will be posting images and comments. I hope you are blessed with what I share.
This blog is dedicated to BL who went to meet our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. We’ve been friends for over 40 years, raised our boys together, and our lives should have had many more years along side each other. God had other plans. We will be together for eternity.
I love you and will miss you terribly.