En Nuqeib

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  • Day29

    Lower Galilee

    June 4, 2015 in Israel ⋅ ☀️ 30 °C

    We had some extra time to sleep in this morning, so I set my alarm for 6:30, thinking I'd get caught up on some sleep. It's 5:45 and I'm wide awake. I hate it when that happens.

    Yesterday we spent some time exploring lower Galilee. This doesn't mean the southern side of the Lake of Galilee, but rather a place that's lower in elevation from upper Galilee, a mountain range to our north. It's mainly around the north side of the lake even though it's called "Lower." That might be hard to visualize, but there it is. We started the day with a boat ride across the Sea (Lake) of Galilee (I guess this is a must do for tourists). There was actually a pretty cool moment when the boat guy stopped in the middle of the lake and played super old, super cheesy worship songs and our whole group lifted voices and eyes to heaven in praise. It was another one of those moments, you know? Being a part of the "the church" on the Sea of Galilee, singing praise to the Creator in the middle of the lake. Even though our voices echoed off of nothing, we were heard.

    We disembarked on the north side of the lake and made our way up to Capernaum. This is the town that, on a few occasions in the gospels, is called "Jesus own town" and his "home." It is likely the home of Peter and his family. It was here that Jesus healed the man lowered by his faithful friends through a broken ceiling. The conversation of the day was a converasation about authority. "By whose authority" angry men ask. Jesus taught by an authority that certainly wasn't given to him by the Jewish leaders of the day, so they want to know. We know who gave Jesus the authority to speak, but that's because we witnessed the transfiguration along wih Peter and John. They hadn't, so it was a legtimate question. Jesus answered the question by doing what only God could do: forgive and heal a lame man and send him walking back through the thick crowds.

    Mt. Arbel is a high and very rocky mountain that juts up into the skyline on the west shore of the lake, near the town of Tiberias. I'll post pictures when I have my computer back. You can see it from the north and east shores. It doesn't necessarily dominate the skyline, but it stands out in sharp relief because of its craggy and imposing appearance. When our professor said, "We're going up there!" I got pretty excited. Mt. Arbel is an important site to modern Israelis because it was the site of another Jewish revolt where Roman soldiers had to work long and hard to oust a group of rebels holde up in mountain caves and on sides of cliffs.

    For Christians, the site doesn't hold specific Biblical reference, but our professor made a strong case that two important, geographically undetermined events happened here. He believes that both the sermon on the mount and the Great Commission happened on this spot. As we sat on top of the 1200 foot cliff, it was not hard to picture Jesus looking across the lake to Hippus, a Roman city that appealed in its worldliness, set high on a hill and saying, "No, YOU, oh, Israel, are the city on the hill." It's not hard to picture him looking down at the village of Magda (home of Mary Magdalene on the west shore of the lake) and telling people, "You are the salt of the earth." (Magda was a town that specialized in the preservation of fish). It's not hard to picture him looking down at the International highway from these heights and using it to tell his disciples that they were to take the gospel to all corners of the earth. I have loved watching as Jesus took the things that surrounded Him and taught theology to his friends.

    That's what I have loved so much about this experience. There isn't much out here in Lower Galilee that is "high church," with airs and pretentions. Jesus became more of a man to me out here. Like a real flesh and muscle man. I think back home, I have a better grip on the God-side of Jesus. I can picture him floating above the water and healing people. But Jesus didn't float everywhere. He walked on caloused and dirty feet. It's no easy hike to the top of Mt. Arbel. You don't get to the top without sweating and panting.

    You don't walk these hills and swim these seas without getting the scent of human all over you.
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    Rita Boyd

    Scent of human.....

    Donna Miller

    Thank you, Paul, for giving a little glimpse of Magda. I'm reading a book on Mary Magdalene that describes a journey that she took from her hometown to Tiberius, and her impressions of this "heathen" city founded by Herod Antipas. Interesting..

    Paul Bernard

    You're welcome Donna. We visited an ancient synagogue there in Magda (Magdala) that was being un-earthed just within the past year. (There is SO MUCH archaeology here that they don't have enough people to do it. They have huge sites where they know they have important artifacts, but they remain buried.) We got to watch the archaeologists at work for a while and it was fascinating (although, if truth be told it was a lot like watching Cal Trans workers... lots of standing around talking about what needs to be done :) This synagogue dates back to first century. Of course, the question in everyone's mind is "Could Jesus have taught in this synagogue?" :) Yet again, walking where He walked.

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  • Day5

    Mount of the Beatitudes

    November 25, 2019 in Israel ⋅ ⛅ 18 °C

    When the leve our room to reach the breakfast hall, we realise that our guest house is right on the shores of the See of Galilee.
    Despite the name, it's actually a lake that, thanks to its remarkable dimensions (20km long and 10km wide), represents the main water reservoir in Israel. Apart from the size, the See of Galilee is special in many ways. For instance, its waters are partly fresh and partly salted: the lower layer is made of saltwater while the upper layer is freshwater.

    After a 40-minute drive we reach the Mount of Beatitudes, where Jesus is believed to have given the famous "Mountain preaching". On the top of the mountain was erected the Church of the Beatitudes, characterised by an octagonal floor plan (one angle for each beatitude). The facade is decorated with an alternation of black basalt and white limestone.

    The church is surrounded by a lush garden with many prayer spots, where people sing or give speeches. The best part is however in front of us: the See of Galilee.
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  • Day3

    Zum Schluß des Tages

    January 18, 2020 in Syria ⋅ ⛅ 13 °C

    Wieder im Hotel in Tiberias
    Die Füsse tun weh , der Kopf ist voll mit Informationen, Erlebnissen, Eindrücken und Emotionen.
    Die Stätten an denen Jesus gelebt und gelehrt hat, an denen er seine Jünger fand, die für ihn zur Wahlheimat wurden zu sehen, auf seinen Wegen zu gehen und das Eine oder Andere vielleicht genauso zu sehen, wie er das damals sah, all das ist schon etwas besonderes.
    In Kapernaum konnten wir das Wohnhaus des Petrus besichtigen. Da ist man schon nahe dran am Geschehen.
    Aber auch die heutige Realität im Dreiländereck Israel, Syrien und Jordanien in den Golanhöhen und in einem nahegelegenen Kibbuz, in dem noch heute jeder Einwohner, vom Kind bis zum Erwachsenen, seinen eigenen Bunkerplatz hat, haben uns sehr beeindruckt.
    Wir werden sicher lange brauchen, um all die Dinge zu verarbeiten.
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  • Day49

    Kibbutz & Christian Sites

    November 18, 2019 in Israel ⋅ ⛅ 23 °C

    We spent an hour at a Jewish Kibbutz where we learned about their communal way of life, based on agriculture: farming avocados, mangoes, bananas and cows. It seems relaxed and affluent. When we visited the location where Jesus apparently delivered the Sermon on the Mount with what we now know as the Beatitudes, there were crowds of big buses and people. We then spent half an hour at a Greek Orthodox Church which was very ornate. Driving to a kibbutz by the Golan Heights, we took a ride on an old wooden ship on the Sea of Galilee. We saw Temptation Mountain, and the Sycamore Tree where Zacheus climbed up to see Jesus. The Kibbutz was interesting, but the rest of the day seemed quite touristy. Our hotel tonight is deluxe, a former casino, where we had a sauna, steam bath, hot tub, and played ping pong.Read more

    Lynn Burnip

    Enjoying the travel log...but even just following you I am getting tired!!!! Stay Well!

  • Day3


    January 18, 2020 in Syria ⋅ ⛅ 13 °C

    Die Golanhöhen (arabisch هضبة الجولان Hadbat al-Dschaulān, DMG Haḍbat al-Ǧawlān, hebräisch רמת הגולן Ramat haGolan, deutsch [ɡoˈlaːn] ausgesprochen; gräzisiert Γαυλανίτις, Gaulanitis) sind im geographischen Sinne ein dünn besiedelter, hügeliger Landstrich im Nahen Osten. International anerkannt als Teil Syriens, wurden die Golanhöhen im Sechstagekrieg von Israel besetzt und 1981 annektiert. Israel verwaltete die Gebiete als Teil seines Nordbezirks; die Annexion wurde aber von den meisten Staaten nicht anerkannt. Syrien beansprucht das Gebiet nach wie vor komplett und zählt es zu seinem Gouvernement al-Quneitra; eine schmale Pufferzone wird seit 1974 von UNO-Friedenstruppen überwacht (UNDOF). Der Status der Golanhöhen war ein Hindernis für die Friedensverhandlungen zwischen den beiden Staaten.[1] Während des Syrischen Bürgerkriegs wurde die Region wieder zum Brennpunkt mit Raketenangriffen aus Syrien und Israel. Am 25. März 2019 wurden die Golanhöhen von den USA als Teil Israels formell anerkannt.[2][3]Read more

  • Day27

    Zwanzigste Etappe zum Lavnun Beach

    March 5, 2019 in Syria ⋅ ☀️ 20 °C

    Nach fast 70 km und über 1200 Hm bergab waren wir wieder am See von Genezareth angekommen. Am Nachmittag genossen wir endlich wieder mal bei T-Shirt-Wetter die herrliche Sonne und trockneten unsere völlig durchnässte Ausrüstung.Read more

    Gisela Müller

    Was für ein interessanter baum liebe Grüße maman gisela

    Monika Koppenhöfer

    Mensch do ischs awer schee unn warm😄

    Monika Koppenhöfer

    Ganz allein für Euch

  • Day7

    Day 4 Biblelands tour

    September 17, 2019 in Israel ⋅ ⛅ 32 °C

    Day 4 started with a trip to Gamla in the Golan Heights ( An interesting day to be driving through this area on Israel's Election Day today given the struggle for control over this area of the state of Israel throughout history as evidenced in driving past active mine sites, tank training bases, bunkers, and abandoned Syrian army bases and bombed buildings from the 1967 and Yom Kippur wars.. even a bunch of active tanks we sneakily photographed from the bus)
    Gamla was a fortified City so named because it looked like a camel.. Almost inaccessible due to the topography. Josephus reports that it was conquered on the second attempt by the Roman legions who slaughtered 4000 of the Jews taking refuge there. The remaining 5000 jumped to their death from the tower. A very hot walk down the hill and back up into Gamla but well worth it for the view (and the bragging rights)
    Lunch at El Rom Kibbutz and watched a movie about the part of the Yom Kippur war that was fought here in 1973, the reason for the area being renamed Valley of Tears
    Banias(or Panias) also known as Caesarea Philippi in Dan..a centre of pagan worship..where Jesus said to Peter 'Who do you say that I am?'. Peter's reply (Matt 16) 'You are the Christ, the son of the living God' Another surreal moment.
    Nimrods Castle a crusader fortress built in 1228 to prevent the crusaders invading Damascus conquered in 1260.
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  • Day8

    Day 5 Biblelands tour

    September 18, 2019 in Israel ⋅ ☀️ 35 °C

    Belvoir.. Another crusader fortress built in 1168AD
    En Harod (still a bubbling spring) from where Gideon went to spy on the Midianites on Mt Moreh (Judges 7) and where God told Gideon to cull the army from 32000 men to only those 300 that lapped the water from their hands
    Mt Gilboa where Saul and Jonathan died.. we read David's lament for his friend Jonathan and saw the barren areas on the Gilboa range..a stark reminder of David's curse on the area that nothing would grow because of what happened
    Lunch at a kibbutz at Tel Megiddo.. an archaeological site where 25 different layers of rebuilding have been uncovered, dating back to 5000 BCE. Of interest was a temple built by Solomon and the stables for his horses, and a tunnel to allow water collection from a well without going outside the city walls, probably built by Ahab.(197 steps down underground!) Great views across the Jezreel Valley of Mr Tabor . To the right Mt Moreh . To the left Nazareth.
    Mt Precipice overlooking Nazareth(now a predominantly Arab City) the area our Lord grew up in, imagining him recalling all the events of the Old Testament. Hard to believe so much happened in this small area. We read in Luke 4v29 where the people wanted to throw Jesus off a cliff.. possibly here.
    Another goosebump moment when we sang a hymn... "We saw thee not when thou didst come to this dark world of sin and death, Nor e'er beheld thy cottage home in that despised Nazareth. But we believe thy footsteps trod it's streets and hills thou son of God"
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  • Day8

    Sea of Galilee

    November 16, 2017 in Israel ⋅ ☀️ 14 °C

    The boat ride on the Sea of Galilee is an Israel classic, but Ronen (our tour guide) brought it up a notch. We won't get into all the details here, but I'll just say the boat-ride turned dance party as we celebrated the land (and water) where Jesus walked.

    May your day give you some reason to do a little jig step (if not a full blown dance party)!
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  • Day28

    Sea of Galilee

    June 3, 2015 in Israel ⋅ ☀️ 34 °C

    Almost no time this morning except a quick run-down of where we went yesterday. Reflections will have to come later. Hazor, Dan, Caesarea Philippi, Golan Ridge (OT Bashan) and then on to Azeka (I think... or is it Aphek? The names start to blend a little bit..) where I write from. By far, this is the most luxurious site we've been to. We're right on the shore of the Sea of Galilee, complete with a beautiful man-made, white sand beach (reminiscent of Herod?). We were all swimming and having fun last evening, then went back down for a night swim around 10:30. Swimming at night on the Sea of Galilee? It's more like a Hawaiian vacation!

    Which is why I'm glad we get another night here. :)

    More later. I've got a boat to catch.
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