Israel Study Tour with Bethel Bible Church

October 24 - November 4, 2015

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Galilee, Capernaum, and so much more

Galilee Boat Ride
Today was a very full day. We started with a ride across the Sea of Galilee, and heard the story of Jesus asleep in a boat during a storm, and how He calmed that storm. This made the disciples fear Him instead of the storm; healthy fear that is rightly directed is a good thing.

Jesus Boat
We then toured a museum that housed a boat that dates back 2,000 years, so it was the same shape and size as the ones Jesus’s disciples would have used. This makes the story of the storm all the more interesting.

Mount Arbel
We traveled high up on the mountain called, “The Ambush of God.” It may have been here that Jesus prayed as He was about to call His disciples, and where He charged them in the Great Commission.

Mount Arbel

Mount Arbel (Hebrew: הר ארבל‎‎, Har Arbel) is a mountain in The Lower Galilee near Tiberias in Israel, with high cliffs, views of Mount Hermon in the Golan Heights, trails to a cave-fortress, and ruins of an ancient synagogue. Mt. Arbel sits across from Mount Nitai; their cliffs were created as a result of the Jordan Rift Valley and the geological faults that produced the valleys.

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Magdala
This is a very recent find, and only recently opened. It shows a 1st century synagogue, and is the hometown of Mary Magdalene.

Magdala

Magdala, the birthplace of Mary Magdalene, was a prosperous fishing village at the time Jesus was active in this region. The ruins of this Roman village is now enclosed within a wall. The archaeologists uncovered the remains of the village dating from the time of Jesus, and a Byzantine monastery. A mosaic floor featuring a fisherman's boat was found at the place.

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Mount of Beatitudes
We listened to a teaching on the same mountain that Jesus gave His sermon on the mount. This overlooked the Sea of Galilee and was a stunningly beautiful view.

Mount of Beatitudes

The so-called “Sermon on the Mount” is recorded in Matthew 5-7 and Luke 6. The alleged discrepancy between Matthew’s version being on a hill and Luke’s being on a level place is easily reconciled with observation of many level places on the Galilean hillsides. Scripture gives no indication of the exact location of this event, but the Byzantines built a church to commemorate it at the bottom of the hill. Some of Napoleon’s men placed it on the nearby Arbel mountain.

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Tabgha
This is the shore of the Sea of Galilee where Jesus called Peter as His disciple, and later restored him after Peter had denied Jesus. There is a hot spring that feeds into the lake, and so the fishermen would have been there frequently.

Tabgha

Two miles west of Capernaum is what Josephus referred to as the “well of Capernaum.” Undoubtedly a popular fishing spot of the locals because of its famous “seven springs,” Heptapegon (today the name has been corrupted to Tabgha) is the traditional location for several episodes in Jesus’ ministry.

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Capernaum
This is the town where Jesus moved His family after He was rejected in Nazareth. It is the location of much of the Gospel stories such as the paralyzed man being lowered through the roof, and Jesus healing a woman who was bleeding as well as resurrecting a synagogue ruler’s daughter.

Capernaum

Jesus made Capernaum his home during the years of his ministry: “Leaving Nazareth he went and lived in Capernaum” (Matt 4:13).

Peter, Andrew, James and John were fishermen living in the village. Matthew the tax collector also dwelt here.

Capernaum is one of the three cities cursed by Jesus for its lack of faith.

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