Monday, February 16, 2015

On to The Golan

As Amy Manns wonderfully observed, today was a day that blended Biblical, social, political, cultural, economic, geographic and military elements.  That probably could be said about the whole trip, but it was especially true today.

Our first stop was the Naot shoe factory at Kibbutz Naot Mordechai.  This allowed us to see a working Kibbutz and also contribute to the Israeli economy (the 11th commandment), as well as simply buy some very comfortable shoes at half the cost of the same thing when sold in the US.

Next, we visited Tel Dan.  The Danites were given land around what is now modern Tel Aviv as their inheritance.  But when they could not conquer it, they came north and conquered this city and named it after their forefather.  The spring here is one of the sources of the Jordan River.  This city was one of two places (Bethel was the other) where Jeroboam set up a worship center to golden calves so the people wouldn't return to Rehoboam by worshipping at the Temple in Jerusalem.  We also viewed a mud brick Canaanite gate which may have been used by Abraham when he was chasing those who took His nephew Lot and family in Genesis 14.  The back side of the site of Dan sits just a few hundred yards from the Lebanese border, close to the area where two Israeli soldiers were killed a few weeks ago.

Caesarea Philippi or Banias was our next stop.  It was in the area of this pagan city where Jesus asked His apostles, "Who do men say that I am?   Who do you say that I am?"  This happened in an area where people were demonstrating faith in whatever god they wanted.  And they were sacrificing their children as a part of the process.

We ate at a Druze restaurant on the edge of a volcano.  No, it was not active.   The meal was delicious.  Following lunch, Reuben gave us a clear and concise view of the political/military situation along the Syrian border.  It was evident that Syria is no longer a solid state.  For Israel, that means that the battle is not against a state but a group of people.  It is not a good circumstance.  A cup of coffee to warm up sent us on our way to the town of Qatzrin.  There we toured a village that was excavated including a nearly intact first century house.  It was amazing to see how people lived in Jesus' day.

A stop by the Olive shop and we were on our way back home for supper.

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