March 14, 2015
Day 5 of the trip represents the middle of the road. Up to this point we have learned so much and seen so much. It’s hard to believe we have 5 days to go until our journey is over. This day we visited a lot of Bible history sites as we made our way to our final spot, Jerusalem. Again, like previous days the order in which we did these things is hard to remember.
On this day we visited the ruins of the city of Capernaum, where Jesus is noted to have done most of His miracles. From this site I was able to read Matthew 4:12-16 saying that Jesus came here after Nazareth just as it was prophesied in Isaiah 9:1-2. Capernaum would have also been the customs’ station in Jesus’ day and high Roman officials would have lived here.
When you say the name “Chorazin,” most people would have no idea what you were talking about. Is it a person? Is it a place? Well, it’s a place. More like, it’s ruins of a place. Chorazin was a city that Jesus cursed in Matthew 11:21-22 because the people would not repent. In the early 300’s an earthquake destroyed the entire city and it has never been rebuilt. It was a thriving city in it’s day but what Jesus said came to fruition.
Judges 7 tells the story of Gideon and how he chose his soldiers. We visited what they call Gideon’s Spring and saw this natural water as it now flows under a mountain. It was also at this spring where Saul encamped the night before his death in the Philistine battle. This site is also part of Israel’s National Park System. A side note about Israel is that a lot of the Biblical history sites we visited were National Parks so the same time we are touring there might be a high school group doing science experiments on the rocks or taking a tour themselves.
Also an Old Testament site was Beth Shean (Judges1:27; 1 Samuel 31:8-13). This city protected the entrance to the Valley of Jezreel from the Jordan Valley. Excavations have revealed 18 levels of occupation with 6 pagan temples! Today Beth Shean is one of the largest archaeological excavation projects underway in Israel.
Due to security issues we did not visit Bethlehem. It is currently under Palestine rule. As we were driving into Jerusalem on this night we stopped by a shop that sells items made from olive wood trees. The family that owns this shop has a factory in Bethlehem but because there is such tension in the area tourists are no longer visiting Bethlehem so their business was failing. The city of Jerusalem allowed them to open a small shop to sell their items.
We ended the evening driving into Jerusalem.