After these things Jesus went over the sea of Galilee, which is
the sea of Tiberias.
After these things Jesus showed himself again to the disciples
at the sea of Tiberias; and in this way showed he himself.
As Jesus walked beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and his
brother Andrew casting a net into the lake, for they were
fishermen. “Come, follow me,” Jesus said,
“and I will make you fishers of men.” At once they left
their nets and followed him
Jesus left there and went along the Sea of Galilee. Then he went
up on a mountainside and sat down. Great crowds came to him,
bringing the lame, the blind, the crippled, the mute and many
others, and laid them at his feet; and he healed them. The
people were amazed when they saw the mute speaking, the crippled
made well, the lame walking and the blind seeing. And they
praised the God of Israel
Most of us were in bed by 10:00 pm last night. Since many
hadn't slept well on the plane, they slept pretty good this
first night. I was a bit jet-lagged, however, and even
though I was in bed by 10:00 pm, I woke up at 3:00 am and
couldn't go back to sleep. I eventually got out of bed at
3:30 am and spent some time reading my Bible and praying.
I did go back to bed at 5:00 am but hadn't gone back to sleep
when the alarm clock went off at 5:30 am.
I wanted to see the sunrise over the Kinneret (Sea of Galilee)
as I had done in 2005 so I dressed quickly and went downstairs
to 1st floor balcony. The sun rose over the surrounding
hills at 5:50 am. I stayed there till about 6:00 am, then
went back to my room to shower and clean up for the day.
Sunrise on the Kinneret
Thanks to Duke for this awesome Sea of Galilee sunrise photo
A little more than a mile from Kiryat Shmona
is the Tel Dan Nature Reserve and sight of an important
archaeological dig. To the west is the southern part of Mount
Lebanon; to the east and north are the Hermon mountains.
Tel Dan is about 50 acres in size and is located in the Golan
Heights near Mount Hermon, the tallest mountain in Israel.
The city dates back nearly 4,000 years to the days of the
Canaanite rule. As a border town of the kingdom of Israel along
the main trade route between Damascus and the Galilee, and the
Dan River, one of the three main sources of the Jordan River,
Dan was an important strategic outpost. Consequently, it became
a battleground between Israelite forces and invaders from the
north, such as the Assyrians. Today, the area is a nature
reserve filled with poplars, eucalyptus, oak, pistachio and many
other varieties of trees, ferns and flowers. Eucalyptus
trees, which are not native to Israel, were originally brought
into the country to help drain the swamps and are now being
removed from some natural areas.
Entrance to the park
Dan which the Book of Judges
(Judges 18:27-29) states was known as Laish prior to
its conquest by the Tribe of Dan, whereas in Joshua
19:47 it is called Leshem.
Tel Dan Nature Reserve
The Dan River is the largest and most
important source of the Jordan River. Its springs provide water
fed by the snow and rain on Mt. Hermon to the area. Because of
its location Tel Dan is rich with plant life and animals.
The Dan source of the Jordan River in the Tel Dan Nature Reserve
From the Pistachio Tree Lookout you have a view of the reserve,
the Hula Valley, the Naphtali Mountains, Mount Hermon and the
Golan Heights. The lookout is named after the large Atlantic
pistachio tree that grows there.
The Pistachio Tree Lookout
The temple at Tel Dan is the only surviving
monumental temple complex from the Biblical kingdom of Israel.
Although the temple features several phases of construction and
adornment, the Hebrew Bible attributes its establishment to King
Jeroboam I, who led the northern secession from Judah ca. 930
BCE to establish the independent kingdom of Israel. To prevent
northerners from making pilgrimage to the temple in Jerusalem,
we read in 2 Kings 12, that Jeroboam built new temples at Bethel
(on Israel’s southern border) and at Dan (on the northern
border). At each of these shrines, he set up a golden bull calf,
calling them Elohim, the gods who brought the Israelites out of
"The Sacred Precinct"
The precinct before you, dated to the time of Jeroboam son of
Joash (8th Centure BCE), replaced an earlier structure
constructed by Jeroboam son of Nebat in the 10th Century BCE.
The precinct continued to serve as a sacred place for a thousand
years, until the end of the roman period.
Left to Right: (1) Wall
from the Hellenistic Period, (2) Water Resevoir, (3) Priest
Chambers, (4) Altar, (5) High Place
The Tel Dan High Place Alter built by King Jeroboam I
and scale model of Jeroboam's altar
The Golan Heights are very strategic in the
security of Israel.
A pencil was responsible for the "Water War"
between Syria and Israel. The British wanted the border between
the British Mandate area of Eretz Israel and the French Mandate
area of Syria and Lebanon to reflect the Biblical verse, "from
Dan to Beersheva". The line north of Tel Dan was drawn in
1923. The border was drawn on the map with a leaded pencil.
Both sides claimed sovereignty over the area covered by the
pencil line, which represented 130 meters of land, including 'En
Dan which flows nearby.
'En Dan is one of the most profuse springs in the Middle East.
In 1964, Syria used the thickness of the pencil line as grounds
to claim the right to draw water from the Dan. The Syrians
built a post in the village of Nohila (400 meters across from
here) and stationed tanks there. In response, the Israel
Defense Forces paved the patrol road (which passes a few meters
below here) and blocked Syrian access to the Dan springs. The
Israeli armored forces also used the Tel Dan post, where we are
presently standing, to prevent the Syrians from diverting the
sources of the Jordan River. The conflict intensified and
firing became a daily event. The most serious incident began on
13 November 1964. The Syrians shelled nearby Kibbutz Dan. The
Israeli army reacted forcefully, bringing in the armored forces,
the artillery and the air force, and eventually silenced the
Syrian cannons and stilled the excavation equipment. Thus
Israel prevented the sources of the Jordan River from being
The Tel Dan Lookout Post and Lookout Post Bunker
The Lookout Post Bunker
The Lookout Post
Looking toward Lebanon
Our Tour Guide, Pamela, talks about the Tel
Dan area - CLICK HERE
The Canaanite Gate, or "Gate of the Three
Arches", was approached on a stepped path and was built with
three arches. The arches, the piers supporting them, and the
towers flanking the gate are constructed of sun-baked bricks and
were covered with white plaster. The gate has survived to its
full height of seven meters. Today it is possible to see only
the outer arch.
The Canaanite Gate, AKA Abraham's Gate
Remains of the Iron Age Israelite Gate on the City's South Wall
Pamela's explanation of the Iron Age Israelite Gate,
Caesarea Philippi was an ancient Roman city
located at the southwestern base of Mount Hermon. The city
is mentioned in the gospels of Matthew, and Mark. The city was
located within the region known as the "Panion" (the region of
the Greek god Pan) or Banais. Today, the city, now no
longer inhabited, is an archaeological site located within the
Golan Heights. In the Gospels, Yeshua is said to have
approached the area near the city, but without entering the city
itself. It was here that Yeshua asked his closest
disciples what they thought of him. Accounts of their answers,
including that of Peter, are found in the Books of Matthew,
Mark, and Luke. Here Peter made his confession of Yeshua
as the Messiah and the "Son of the living God".
A woman from this area who had been bleeding for 12 years, was
miraculously healed by Yeshua when she touched the "wings" of
Mt. Tabor is considered by many as the sight for the
Transfiguration of Yeshua, but Caesarea Phillipi is considered a
better location by many others.
The ladies danced at Caesarea Phillipi while a group of
Indonesia sang and worshipped the Lord with flags & banners
Ancient ruins at Caesarea Phillipi (Banais)
Gid reads the Scripture from Mark 8 at Caesarea Phillipi
And Jesus went out, and his disciples, into the towns of
and on the way he asked his disciples, saying unto them, Who do
men say that I am?
After touring all morning, we stopped at a Druze village for our
first Falafel lunch. The Israeli Druze are mostly in
Galilee (81%), around Haifa (19%), and in the Golan Heights,
which is home to about 20,000 Druze. The Druze community
in Israel is officially recognized as a separate religious
entity with its own courts (with jurisdiction in matters of
personal status - marriage, divorce, maintenance and adoption)
and spiritual leadership. Their culture is Arab and their
language Arabic but they opted against mainstream Arab
nationalism in 1948 and have since served (first as volunteers,
later within the draft system) in the Israel Defense Forces and
the Border Police. The Druze in Galilee and on Mount
Carmel have always kept in contact with the other branches of
the community, especially with those of Mt. Hermon and Lebanon.
During the British Mandate over Palestine they refrained from
taking part in the Arab-Jewish conflict, and during Israel's War
of Independence (1948) became active participants on Israel's
The mikveh was an important part of ritual purity for Jews as
they prepared for temple worship. Even Yeshua participated
in mikveh (baptism) as he began His ministry. In churches
around the world, baptism is a part of a person's walk with the
Lord with some churches baptizing children and others only
baptizing after a person makes a profession of faith in Yeshua.
In the traditional Jewish mikveh, the person wasn't immersed by
someone else, but instead immersed themselves.
Several of us had been baptized in the Jordan River during our
2005 trip to Israel, but Cathy shared how she always used the
mikveh opportunity as a time of repentance and dedication before
going up to Jerusalem. Her argument was so compelling that
everyone decided to participate in the Jordan River mikveh
Yardenit - the Baptismal Site on the Jordan River
Cathy shared scripture as we prepared for the mikveh
Many of the married couples participated in the mikveh together
- including Curtis & Carolyn
As we continued our tour of the Golan
Heights, we pulled off for a scenic view toward Syria.
Notice the Security wall separating Israel for Syria and the
Golan Heights Wind Farm. The Golan Heights Wind Farm is an
Israeli wind farm located 1050 m above sea level on Mount Bnei
Rasan 5 km south of Quneitra in the Golan Heights.
Our tour on Day 3 (Friday, Oct 14, 2011) concluded with a drive
around the Kinneret (Sea of Galilee) with a wonderful panoramic
view of the lake.
The Sea of Galilee, also Kinneret, Lake of
Gennesaret, or Lake Tiberias is the largest freshwater lake in
Israel, and it is approximately 33 miles in circumference, about
13 miles long, and 8.1 miles wide. The lake has a maximum depth
of approximately 141 feet. At 702 ft below sea level, it
is the lowest freshwater lake on Earth and the second-lowest
lake in the world after the Dead Sea. The lake is fed
partly by underground springs although its main source is the
Jordan River which flows through it from north to south.
Israel's National Water Carrier, built in 1964, transports water
from the lake to the population centers of Israel, and is the
source of much of the country's drinking water. In 1964,
Syria attempted construction of a Headwater Diversion Plan that
would have blocked the flow of water into the Sea of Galilee,
sharply reducing the water flow into the lake. This
project and Israel's attempt to block these efforts in 1965 were
factors which played into regional tensions culminating in the
1967 Six-Day War. During the war, Israel captured the
Golan Heights, which contain some of the sources of water for
the Sea of Galilee. Under the terms of the Israel–Jordan
peace treaty, Israel also supplies 50 million cubic meters of
water annually from the lake to Jordan. Increasing water
demand and dry winters have resulted in stress on the lake and a
decreasing water line, at times to dangerously low levels. The
Sea of Galilee is at risk of becoming irreversibly salinized by
the salt water springs under the lake that are limited by the
weight of the freshwater on top of them.
Today, tourism is the Kinneret's most important
economic activity with the entire region being a
popular holiday destination. The many historical and
spiritual sites around the lake, especially its main
town Tiberias, are visited by millions of local and
foreign tourists annually. The Sea of Galilee
attracts many Christian pilgrims, because, according
to the New Testament, many of the miracles of Yeshua
(Jesus) occurred on its shores—including his walking
on water, calming the storm, and feeding five
Kinneret view from Sea Level Lookout
Sea Level Overlook
The Sea Squill's appearance is a sure sign that summer ends and
and is the first flower to appear with the fall rains
After dinner we left the hotel and Tiberias and looked for a
place outside where we could share, sing, dance and listen to
Dan Asher share. Several of us had known Dan from when he
had lived in Charlotte, NC, before making Aliyah to Israel.
As Gideon played the guitar and led everyone in praise and
worship, the dancers danced.