What a relief this morning to leave our luggage in the hotel, and know we’ll be coming back to the same place this evening! Everyone was busily catching up on laundry since it would have extra drying time.
We drove northward, crossing Jordan and spying the famous snow-covered peaks of Mount Hermon. This part of Israel is green, green, green, and very fruitful!
We visited Tel Dan, at the northern tip of Israel. Here is the huge spring which is the source of the river Dan, one of the tributaries of the Jordan.
Here also was the ancient Canaanite city of Lesher, mentioned in many ancient records. This is where Abram came to rescue Lot. We saw the gates of the ancient city, called Abraham’s Gate.
The Israelite city of Dan was also built on this site. This is one of the places where Jeroboam set up an altar to the golden calf. We saw the remains of a pagan altar there. We also saw gates to this city with the seat where the king would have sat.
Our guide showed us the pre-1967 borders with Syria, then we went to another lookout, Ben Tal, in the Golan Heights. Here we could see miles in every direction, into Lebanon and Syria.
Next we went toward Caesarea Philippi. Here is another tributary to the Jordan River, flowing out of the rock of Mount Hermon.
We saw the remains of a temple to the god Pan, a place the Jews knew as “the gates of hell”. Jesus said here that the gates of hell could not prevail against the church.
We ate an authentic lunch in a Druze town -pita, falafel, labeneh, hummus, salads.
We saw a reconstructed 2nd century village and synagogue at Katsrin, from the “golden age of Judaism”.
After an interesting stop at an olive oil factory, we made our way back to our hotel on the shores of Kinneret (the Hebrew name for the Sea of Galilee).
We now have a totally different picture of this as a green and fruitful land, flowing with milk and honey and water, than we acquired in the deserts of the south.
The faint outline of Mt Hermon over the Sea of Galilee this evening.
Martha Hurst is from Lancaster County. She lost her husband of forty-four years about two years ago. They did a lot of traveling, but never to Israel. She is thankful for the privilege of being on this tour. As she reads the Bible, she will have a new perspective and will never be the same! She has six children and nineteen grandchildren.