Monday, July 1, 2013

Day Sixteen: Galilee Field Study - Western Galilee

Okay, so I'm a bit behind on my posts. I've actually just gotten back from Jordan this evening. We didn't have any internet over the weekend, so I wasn't able to post the couple days before that. … Here's Wednesday ... have the next few days done, just need to upload the pictures. Working on Jordan trip now - hopefully will get the rest up tomorrow :)

Surprise! We're going on a boat ride over the Sea of Galilee
This was our last morning on the Sea of Galilee – at least for this class. I am sure we will be back for the New Testament class. We started with a surprise boat ride across the Sea of Galilee! Once out toward the middle, we stopped for a demonstration of net casting and a lecture about fishermen. From here, we could make out the gospel triangle – Magdola, Capernaum, and Bethsaida. It was in this triangle on the northern end of the sea that Christ did much of ministry. We discussed that James and John likely had much to inherit from their father in the fishing trade. By following Jesus, they were give up much. Perhaps this was a motivation for their mother asking Jesus to let them sit at His right and left. They had given up the family business and essentially their inheritance to follow Him. Surely they should be entitled something in Christ's kingdom? … My pack broke yesterday and I took had taken out my extra batteries and memory card. After getting the pack fixed, I did not put these back in my pack, so my camera was out of operation for the ride. Thankfully, my roommate Shihan took some pictures for me. Once on the other side, we stopped at the "Jesus Boat" museum. Here we watched a video about the discovery of this first century boat. Was it Jesus' boat? Did it belong to one of the disciples? Rather unlikely; nevertheless, this is a boat from the right time period. It t is made of twelve different types of wood and would have been rather shallow – only three to four feet deep. Just the regular two  to three foot waves could be a bit intimidating, but when a sudden storm would be channeled in from the Mediterranean, it could certainly be life threatening!

Arriving at Caesarea
Once back on the bus, I was able to get my camera back in operation, but we had a little snag. One of the tires on the bus was having some problems, so we made a stop at a garage for it to be checked out. It was not long before we were back on the road to the cliffs of Arbel. Here we had a good look over the Sea of Galilee and a quick lecture. We then hiked/scaled the cliffs down to the bottom of the Arbel pass. Along the way we could see the caves in which Jews would have hidden from Herod the Great and the Romans as they worked their way south retaking the region.

Our "final" destination was at Caesarea on the Mediterranean coast. Here, Herod took a no name village and built a port with the modern Roman invention of underwater concrete. This moved a lot of traffic here rather than all the way to Tyre and Sidon. This was Heord's favorite place, and certainly the most "Roman" in the region. He named it Caesarea after Emperor Caesar Augustus. It was here that Peter came to the house of Cornelius. It was here that Paul was imprisoned for two years before making his plea for Rome. Evidentially, this killed two birds with one stone – Paul had been wanting to go evangelize in Rome and if he was released he would probably be assassinated by the Jewish community. Thus, he gets his ticket paid to Rome and escapes his assassin – smart move. Vern then surprised us with a five minute stop at the remains of Herod's aqueducts. These would have run at least 15 kilometers from Mt. Carmel to Caesarea.

Looking out across the Sea of Galilee

The gentlemen in our group.

The "Jesus Boat" - had been preserved in the sand for almost two thousand

Looking down toward the Sea of Galilee from the West side

Hiking up to the Arbel Pass

Overlooking the Sea of Galilee from the top of the Arbel Pass

Looking down toward Capernium 

Lecture Time!

Getting ready to hike down into the valley. 

Looking back at the top of the Arbel Pass

Looking over to the caves on the other side. Jews hid in these caves during
Herod's takeover of the region. He ended up lowering baskets down with
soldiers to pull the remaining individual's out with hooks.

Getting ready to scale the cliff. 

Scaling the cliffs of Arbel

Looking down the Arbel Pass

Yep, me and my hat ... 

Yeah! We made it :)

Mt. Tabor ... still another chance to go to En Dor

Stopping for lunch ...

Arriving at Caesarea on the coast.

Now that's a big foot!

Looking down toward Herod's Palace.

Looking down the coast of Caresarea over the Hippodrome

The lower end of Herod's palace.

Standing in Herod's Palace overlooking the Mediterranean 

Herod's Palace

Lecture in Caesarea

It would have been in this building that Paul stood before Felix and
King Agrippa 

Looking toward the amphitheater (still in use) 

Another view of the site where Paul would have made his defense. Imagine
Paul with this great desire to go to Rome, being held captive here. The sound
of the crashing waves would be a constant reminder of this intense desire!

The "beach" is all shells!

Inside the Hippodrome 

Looking out toward the Hippodrome from the inner

The gardens next to the hippodrome 

Walking to the upper city

The public bath hosue

With some amazing mosaic floors

The public bathhouse overlooking the hippodrome and
the Mediterranean  

More Mosaics 

Looking out toward the port of Caesarea - today it mostly gone. Herod
literally built this port out of the beach. With the "new" Roman technology
of underwater cement, he was able to build a port city within Israel. Previously
one either had to go up to Tyre or south to Ashkelon. This altered the main
trade routes through the region. 

Inside the Byzantine period walls. 

I saw several couples getting pictures taken here at Caesarea - must be a
popular place to get married - or at least a photo shoot. 

This may have been the top portion of an ossuary. 

They Byzantine Gate leading into the city. 

Inside the City Gate

Shot of the Byzantine Moat around the city. 

Here are the remains of Herod's massive aqueducts carrying fresh water to
Caesarea - all the way from Mt. Carmel. 

Dark Shot ... 

Light Shot ... perhaps a bit too light ;) 

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