Israel Study Tour with North Coast Church

Jun 18-29, 2019

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Ancient Cities

Shalom shalom!

We said our goodbyes to the Sea of Galilee this morning and are now headed to Jerusalem. This trip has been non stop leaving our hotel at 7:45am every morning and returning after 8pm, sometimes seeing 6 sites in one day! Our group is beyond excited to spend the last 3 days of our tour in Jerusalem.

We started our day with a short hike up Beth She’An, the place where Saul’s army was defeated from the Philistines and Saul fell on his sword (1 Samual 31). Beth She’An is a Tel of 19 civilizations. We stood next to the walls where the heroic men from Jabesh-gilead came in the dark of night and took down the body of Saul, brought him back to their village for a proper burial.

From there we walked around the top of Beth She’An to the other side which allowed us to have a panoramic view of one of the greatest cities of its time Scythopolis. This city has a massive amphitheater, bath house, trade center, shops,and much more. We walked through the city over parts of the original streets covered in marble and beautiful mosaic tiles. The massive marble columns were quite a site. The sauna discoverd at Schitopolous bathhouse is thought to be the largest sauna in the world even today.

Next stop was Megiddo which is referenced in the Bible as the place of Armageddon. Megiddo is the largest of the Tels with 27 different civilizations having built on top of each other in the last few thousand years. We learned about the two most prosperous kings Solomon and Ahad.

As we continued to head toward the Mediterranean Sea we stopped at Mount Carmel, the epic spot where Elijah called down fire on the prophets of Baal destroying their altars (1 Kings 17).

Cesarea Maritima is hard to put into words because it is so grand, the structures and marble columns are breath taking, and the sound of the waves and beauty of the Mediterranean Sea are the back drop to the city.

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