We started this day at Sephorris. This was a city that was being built by Herod Antipas at the time when Jesus was a boy to young man. Scholars have speculated that he and his father would have worked on this city. It is filled with beautiful mosaics. It is an opulent city that combined Greco-Roman culture with Hebrew culture. It was a tremendous symbol of the Hebrew people of the day living in two world views. The picture below is of one of the mosaics and it depicts a centaur. It is interesting to consider that Jesus may have worked here.
Next we drove through Nazareth. Frankly there is not much to see in an antiquity site. Archaeologists and scholars alike believe this town was no bigger than 300 people. They barely left a mark. It was situated in a little bit of a hole. It would have been unnecessarily hot because of this position as it would not have gotten the sea breeze. However, they needed to live close to a meager water source. We did go up onto a nearby cliff where the story of the people of Nazareth trying to throw Jesus off a cliff might have happened. The picture of me is as close as I would get to the cliff. This cliff also overlooks the Jezereel Valley where most of the battle involving Barack and Deborah took place. The mound behind me is the Hill of Moreh. Nazareth now is a fairly big town.
One of the last places we went was Beth Shean also called Scythopolis. Scythopolis was the only city of the Decapolis west of the Jordan River. It was Greco-Roman in construction. This was our last stop on the 4 day trip to Galilee and I got a little silly. There was a communal latrine on this site and I could not resist this picture. Also there was a theater where I proceeded to dance my way across the stage while singing I Could Have Danced All Night from My Fair Lady. I did not realize that there was a tour guide leading a tour in the seats until after, I had done this. This was my first and only obnoxious American moment.
After here we drove back to Jerusalem. It felt odd coming back to the Old City after being in Galilee. We truly went from the country to the city.
Blessings - DC