Gamla holds some rich, but also sad history. What we know about it, comes mostly from the writings of Josephus Flavius. Like the Zealots from Masada, the people who lived here were attacked, and destroyed by the Romans. What was the question in the minds of these Jewish people? “Do we compromise, and let the Romans take over? Do we resist them?”
Matthew 9:35 tells us that Jesus went throughout all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, and proclaiming the Gospel of the Kingdom. Was this synagogue here in Jesus’ day?
Hiking back up the hill to the bus, …
… it was necessary to stop and rest a few times. We are thoroughly enjoying each other.
We then drove into the biblical Mountains of Bashan. Today these mountains are known as the Golan Heights. Both biblically and in the more recent past, this place holds a lot of geo-political history. For instance, on Yom Kippur, October 1973, while most of the IDF (Israeli Defense Forces) were at home with their families on holiday, Egypt and Syria attacked Israel here in this valley. Even today, it is a very important place militarily. We could see into modern day Lebanon, Syria, and Jordan. As Stan, our Israeli guide, explained some of the history and tension between these countries, it became a bit more real, but we Anabaptists are so far removed from the wars of the political world, it was a stretch for us to learn about these things. And yet- how will we pray for the leaders of the countries if we don’t understand more about them?
In the distance, we see remains of snow on Mt Hermon.
We made a quick stop at biblical Caesarea Philippi. Our eyes were opened to the wickedness of idol worship. Why did Jesus bring His disciples here?
Here we are sitting in the ruins of the city gate of Tel Dan. We just came from at the place of the altar built by Jeroboam. Directly disobeying the command to worship in Jerusalem, he led the Kingdom of Israel into idol worship.