After breakfast, we began our travel by private motor coach toward the Sea of Galilee. On the way, we stopped at Caesarea. This is where the Gentiles first heard the Good News from Peter (after he had the vision). It’s known for Caesarea National Park, which includes a large Roman amphitheater and the historic port. On the site is an archaeological park with pillars and sculptures, and the remains of a hippodrome, with frescoes and stone seating. The ruins of the seafront Promontory Palace include the remains of a mosaic floor.
Caesarea was built by Herod around 25BC named for Augustus Caesar. It
was discovered by fishermen in 1940. The impressive Roman aqueduct was 11
miles long and brought water to the city from Mt. Hermon in the north. It
functioned as the capitol of Judea and the seat of the Roman Governors.
Pontius Pilate and other Roman Governors spent much of their time here. It
was in Caesarea that Paul was sent for trial by Felix (Acts 23) and
imprisoned for 2 years. From there he went to Rome. Caesarea was the home of
Cornelius. The Roman Amphitheater continues to host events seating 5,000.
The Hippodrome, one of the largest in the Roman Empire, seated 20,000
spectators for chariot races and other athletic events. It was 1050 feet
long and 265 feet wide.
This Roman Aqueduct brought running water to the old city of Caesarea, along a raised aqueduct. The source of the water was the springs of Shummi, 10KM away.
This is the oldest Roman amphitheater still standing east of the Mediterranean. It measures 100 meters across and seats 4,000 spectators. It is still used today for concerts.
The hippodrome is shown below.
Here they held chariot races and later gladiator contests. Wild animals were released to attack the slave gladiators. They covered the ground with sand when it was used by the gladiators. They did it so that when they sent in slaves and animals to fight, the sand absorbed the blood .
On the stand below at the hippodrome in Caesarea, Herod gave
thumbs up to allow gladiator to live or thumbs down to signal his death.
We journeyed to Mt. Carmel where Elijah challenged King Ahab and the prophets of Baal.
Statue of Elijah
|Each bus went individually up to Mt. Carmel. This is where Elijah challenged the
prophets of Baal. Separately, the buses had a time of prayer up there. Sandy said
her bus prayed that the Jezebel spirit would be broken over Israel and the the voiceof true prophets would rise up in the land.
Mt. Precipice is located just outside the southern edge of Nazareth. This is the traditional site of the cliff that an angry mob attempted to throw Jesus off after his bold proclamation in the Nazareth synagogue (Luke 4:16-30).
Below: Overlooking Nazareth, a tiny hamlet at the time of Jesus
On one side we saw Mt. Tabor and overlooked the Jezreel Valley (pictures below.) Many great battles have been fought there and the Bible says Armageddon will take place there. Walking over to the other side, we looked over Nazareth. a lot of Arabs live there. At the time of Jesus it was a tiny village.
Views of the beautiful Gai Hotel