Israel Study Tour

Mar 20-31, 2019

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Definitely a “wow” moment…

After a morning of rain, the sun came out just in time for us to hike up the back side of a beautiful hill, only to be surprised by what Dan said would be a “wow” moment. He was definitely right! We crested the hill and sprawling out before us was the most amazing, completely excavated Roman city. It had pillars and an amphitheater, with rows of shops and marble everywhere. The highlight was a well preserved Roman public latrine. No description would do justice to this experience. Suffice it to say that I would love to have my own paid “seat warmer” too. Quite the contrast to the humble village life in Qatzrin yesterday.

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 journeyed toward the sea and landed at Megiddo, an ancient fortress overlooking the Jezreel valley—arguable the most important and strategic valley in the most important land in the world. The history of battles here is staggering…culminating in the last battle, Armageddon.

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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After eating lunch at a Druze restaurant, we cruised past Mt. Carmel, discussing the showdown between Elijah and the prophets of Baal.

Mt. Carmel

Biblically, Mt. Carmel is referenced most often as a symbol of beauty and fertility. To be given the “splendor of Carmel” was to be blessed indeed (Isa 35:2). Solomon praised his beloved: “your head crowns you like Mount Carmel” (Song 7:5). But for Carmel to wither was a sign of devastating judgment (Nahum 1:4).

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We ended our day in Caesarea Maritima. The city and harbor were built under Herod the Great during c. 22–10 BC. The city featured a theater, hippodrome (stadium where they held horse races), a large harbor, and one of Herod’s many palaces. This concluded our journeys up in the Galilee. We now will spend the rest of our trip up in Jerusalem.

Please continue to pray and follow our updates!

Josh & Jeff

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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Day six.... another baptism in the Jordan! #cvccbomisrael

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Day 6... amazing amphitheatre in Beth Shean #cvccbomisrael

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I'm not sure what to say about this one...you give it a caption. #cvccbomisrael

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Day 5... sailing on the Sea of Galilee at sunset. Are you kidding me? We turned off the motor and spent time with God. That's next level quiet time! #cvccbomisrael

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Day 5... being able to teach on the primacy of Israel in the plan of God--at Tel Dan...was pretty cool! Abraham walked through this gate. #cvccbomisrael

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Using the public urinals in Beth Shean. Those Romans really knew how to live! #cvccbomisrael

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Day 5...making bread in an authentic 1st century village...Katsrin. #cvccbomisrael

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Dressing up and living out insula in Katsrin. Looking good Rich Thune! #cvccbomisrael

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Day 6...we got a bit of rain on the hike up to Beth Shean. #cvccbomisrael

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My sweetie on top of Mt. Arbel #cvccbomisrael

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