Day 5, we are so thankful to be here.
Today we started out going to Katsrin and experienced the culture of the Talmudic people. We saw the village that they lived in, where they made and bottled their olive oil, and where they went to synagogue during the Talmudic period. It was incredibly fun having volunteers press the olives and to learn how the olive oil was made. I really loved learning that the first drop of oil from the oil press was used to light the menorah in the synagogue. It was also fun learning how they live, by sitting in the a reconstructed house and hearing how they did everyday life. In Mark 2 we read about the paralytic man being let in by the roof and we were sitting in a home similar to the one that would have happened in. It blew us away.
Katzrin (cultural experience)
Ancient Katzrin is a restored Byzantine period village in the central Golan area. This unique archaeological park provides a complete picture of the everyday life in a typical Jewish village at these times, also known as the Talmudic period. The park is located near the modern city of Katzrin - the main Jewish city of the Golan.
Then we traveled to Mt. Bental and looked into neighboring Syria. We then went on to Caesarea Philippi. We read Matthew 16:13-20 where Jesus proclaimed himself Christ and asked His disciples who they say that he is. This was so powerful because they were in a city that was extremely Pagan, filled with the worship of the god Pan. They built a temple to worship him. There was an amazing river, that gushed out of the mountain side because it was adjacent to a spring. We then enjoyed lunch together nearby!
This abundant water supply has made the area very fertile and attractive for religious worship. Numerous temples were built at this city in the Hellenistic and Roman periods.
After that we headed to Tel Dan. This was a site filled with history and beauty. Once again we left in awe of what has been preserved and what all of this preservation proves. First we walked through the beautiful forest next to the gushing fresh water, flowing into the Jordan. That lead us to the remains of the temple of Dan. This is where Jeroboam erected a golden calf for worship(1 Kings 12). It was sobering to see how compromises or small steps of disobedience lead to huge sin and the wiping out of the northern tribes. Then it was very cool to see Ahab’s gate and the kings seat, which was built around 800 BC and the Canaanite gate where Abraham would have passed by in 1800 BC was just amazing.
On the northern frontier of the kingdom, Dan was particularly well fortified. This gatehouse was built in the ninth century BCE, probably by Ahab, and is part of a series of gateways discovered.
It was a fun day, filled with bonding, time with the Lord, and more time in the holy land! We can’t wait to see Jerusalem tomorrow!
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GTI Signature Tour: Israel & Jordan Study Tour
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Experience Israel and Jordan for 11 days in the context of biblical history and personal faith.
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