Saturday, July 3, 2010

The Cliffs of Arbel (Ooohhh)

I must start with this last part of the day first. The Cliffs of Arbel weighed on me like a ton of bricks this entire day. You see, I am reallllly afraid of heights and there was a hike down the cliffs along a trail then back up them again on another side. The Cliffs of Arbel factor into the Jewish mindset around the time Herod was securing his kingdom with the full approval of Rome. Jewish rebels lived in caves that were completely inaccessible to others. Herod wanted to root them out so he lowered his troops in baskets holding long hooks to pull the people out and then drop them down the cliff. Herod did give these people a chance to surrender with no consequences and some did. There is a story of that one man would not let his family surrender, he preferred to kill them instead and then commit suicide. This is all recounted for us by Josephus. Why is this important? This event took place about 30 years prior to Jesus birth and about 10 miles from his home. The Cliffs are situated along the Sea of Galilee. This story would have been legend and goes to the mindset of the people in and around the area that Jesus grew up.

I was ready not to do the hike, I felt good physically but was terrified. One of my friends here shamed me into doing it and I am glad he did. Below are a few pictures. There was a steep, scary descent and ascent, but I was able to push through my fears and do it. There is something to be said for not letting fear get you down. I am glad I did it. After this particular hike, I had a surge of energy that has served even to this moment now. I feel great again. By the way the temperature was over 107 this day.

Me trying to smile.

The way down

Part of the way back up.

We started the day on a boat ride across the Sea of Galilee. We got a demonstration on 1st Century fishing methods in the Sea. It was a great feeling to cross this Sea that Jesus crossed so many times. Below is a picture from the boat looking towards the modern and ancient city of Tiberius.

We stopped at a museum where they kept a fishing boat that was dated to the early 1st Century. This would have been the exact type of boat that Jesus crossed the Sea in. Below is a picture.

We went to some other sites this day. We saw Capernaum where Jesus based his ministry. This site had been excavated by a Church and they believe they found Peter's house here. The pictures of this did not come out well. We also went to Tahbga where Jesus is said to have multiplied the fish and bread and we went to the Mt of Beatitudes where they believe Jesus gave the Sermon on the Mount. Churches had taken over these areas for better or worse. They were neat places, but they did not preserve the natural site. Anyway that is all for now.

Blessings - DC

1 comment:

  1. Your simple description of crossing the Sea of Galilee, along with the photo that includes the boat's wake, made such an impression on me: It's real. The places are still there, where the Son of God lived and breathed like we do.

    And the churches have had to leave the sea in pretty much its natural state, haven't they?