Saturday, October 9, 2010

Holy Land Tour Day 4

Ray at the ancient shrine Caesarea Philippi
After an earlier start our bus driver, Wasim, takes us north of the Sea of Galilee in fact to the far northern region of Israel. This is the corner where the borders of Israel, Syria and Lebanon converge. The hills around this area have been hard fought battle zones down through the ages and even in recent times.

We are most interested in the ancient shrines of Dan,  Caesarea Philippi and Banias. A strong spring was one of the vital reasons for these settlements in ancient days. The area has an array of fascinating worship sites, castles and the remnants of village life all uncovered by archeologists. The spring is the source of the Jordan River - it is powerful, cool, fresh and we enjoyed walking alongside it for some distance and even saw fish in it. See in the picture ancient carvings in the rock face above Ray's head.

Glenys with Ranji & Fred Benjamin taking a break

After a delicious falafel lunch we visit Chorizim a rocky and desolate place that Jesus threatened to curse because of the lack of welcome he received there.

An impressive ancient synagogue of huge proportions occupies the site along with other  ruined buildings taken down by an earthquake hundreds of years ago- not by Jesus' curse we do believe.

From here we travel a short distance to a church built on a huge rock on the shores of the Sea of Galilee. This is called 'Peter's Primacy" it combines Jesus' commission to Peter "feed my sheep" and the church which straddles a massive rock reminds pilgrims today that Jesus charged Peter to be as solid as a rock and on such a faith the church will grow.

Statue of Jesus commissioning St Peter by the Sea of Galilee

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