After a couple days break and some more recovery from Herod's Revenge, we were of again for a 4 day trip into the region of Galilee with a few stop overs along the way. The first was at Ceasarea (Maritima) along the Mediterranean Sea. Once again this city is testimony to Herod's building prowess. He built this city and an artificial harbor. It had the finest in Roman planning with a large palace that had a pool that jutted out into the sea. The pictures below show this. I am standing at the outer edge of what was once the pool, and second is a picture looking back into the coast. This city is where Paul was kept after he was seized at Jerusalem (Acts 23:23). This is where he left from to appeal his way to Rome. For the power hungry people of the 1st Century, Ceasarea was their link to Rome. The city also had a theater and a hippodrome both located adjacent to Herod's palace. Herod also built a temple to Augustus here to reinforce his relationship with Rome and advocate the Imperial Cult that was surfacing at the time. Paul references this cult directly and indirectly several times.
Next we went to Mt Carmel. There is a monastery on the highest point of the mountain where they believe the event in 1 Kings 18:19-40 took place. Below is view of the Jezereel Valley from the mountain. From this spot you could see the Mediterranean Sea as well, thus we got a breeze coming off of the Sea. The picture below is pointing towards Megiddo which I will write about next.
Last on this day we went to Megiddo. This is the city that guarded the major path from the Philistine Coast into the Jezereel Valley. Every major power in the area wanted control of this city as a means of controlling trade. This is the place where Josiah meet his early end and it is the place that many believe is referenced in Rev 16:16. Har Meggido is the Hill or Mount of Megiddo and when it is put into Greek many transliterate it into Armageddon. Any way, food for thought. Below is a picture of a Solomonic large 6 chambered gate. Solomon reinforced this city because of its importance in trade routes and in protecting the Israelite people. Also elders would meet at the city gates like this one to discuss political and legal issues. Consider Prov 31.
Blessings - DC