Israel Study Tour with North Coast Church

Jan 18-27, 2016

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Caesarea Maritima

Today we drove from the north and the Sea of Galilee towards the coast and ultimately towards Jerusalem. Our first stop was Bet she'an which was a city located on one of the most significant locations in Israel because it is the only valley that runs east to west between the mountains. This is the Jezreel valley. Along this valley many of the battles in the bible took place.

Beth Shean

Located 17 miles (27 km) south of the Sea of Galilee, Beth Shean is situated at the strategic junction of the Harod and Jordan Valleys. The fertility of the land and the abundance of water led the Jewish sages to say, “If the Garden of Eden is in the land of Israel, then its gate is Beth Shean.” It is no surprise then that the site has been almost continuously settled from the Chalcolithic period to the present.

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We also visited Megiddo which is where many kingdoms had established their capital. It is here that John prophesied the the second coming would take place as well as the last battle.

Megiddo

From the earliest times (EB) to the earliest historical records of the area (Thutmose III) to the future (Revelation 16), Megiddo assumes a prominent role. This is largely owing to its strategic location astride the Megiddo Pass (Wadi Ara) and inside the busy Jezreel Valley.

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Finally we visited Caesarea Maritima which was the biggest Roman city in Israel located on the Mediterranean coast. This is also another place where Harod built a palace. This is also likely to be one of the places that Paul was imprisoned.

From there we drove to Jerusalem.

Caesarea Maritima

The city and harbor were built under Herod the Great during c. 22–10 BC near the site of a former Phoenician naval station known as Stratonos pyrgos (Στράτωνος πύργος).[2] It later became the provincial capital of Roman Judea, Roman Syria Palaestina and Byzantine Palaestina Prima provinces. The city was populated throughout the 1st to 6th centuries CE and became an important early center of Christianity during the Byzantine period, but was mostly abandoned following the Muslim conquest of 640. It was re-fortified by the Crusaders, and finally slighted by the Mamluks in 1265.

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