Tag Archive | Travel-Israel

Day 5: Bible Lands Exploration 2016

Your patience in waiting for this next update on our Bible Lands Exploration 2016 is highly appreciated!

As Day 5 came, we realize that our days in Israel were getting shorter and shorter but at the same time, they were getting more and more exciting!

Our tour guides had arranged to take us to the following places on that day:

  • Mt. Arbel
  • Mt. Precipice
  • Nazareth Village
  • Beit She’an National Park

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Facing a cool weather each morning in Israel, we would normally put our jackets and mufflers on. That was the same on Day 5.

First Stop: Mount Arbel

What is significance of this place in Israel’s history? Where was this place mentioned in the Bible? Those are the usual questions an explorer has in mind when visiting a place in the Holy Land.

According to our tour guide, this mountain was never mentioned in the Bible but climbing up this mountain enables a Bible Lands explorer to catch a view of Sea of Galilee.

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This shot was taken on top of Mt. Arbel. (Photo Credit: Bro. Jerry Teng)

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View from the top of Mt. Arbel (Photo Credit: Bro. Kenneth Cheong)

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The way we were seated here reminds me of the Sermon on the Mount. (Photo Credit: Bro. Kenneth Cheong)

Next Stop: Mt. Precipice

We climbed up to this mountain and we were given an opportunity to view Jezreel plain and the whole Nazareth village.

Below is a borrowed photo from Bro. Kenneth Cheong, which describes Mt. Precipice.

I didn’t have enough camera charge so I was not able to take a lot of photos there.

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Photo Credit: Bro. Kenneth Cheong

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View of Nazareth Village from top of Mt. Precipice (Photo Credit: Bro. Kenneth Cheong)

Next Stop: Nazareth Village

Our stop here was one of my favorites as we were given a chance to experience what it must have felt like to live in the times of Jesus. We were shown a shepherd and his flock of sheep, locals dressed up in ancient clothes, a wine press, a replica of the grave of Jesus, a few fossils related to Jesus’ life, an oil press, and a synagogue.

The highlight of our visit there was the Passover meal we shared with other Bible Land explorers from other groups.

Take note, this was the place where we met Biyahe ni Andrew’s Team who were also exploring the holy land in order to feature it in their program.

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Passover Meal (Photo Credit: Bro. Kenneth Cheong)

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Photo Credit: Bro. Kenneth Cheong

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A winepress (Photo Credit: Bro. Kenneth Cheong)

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Two men in our group with an actor shepherd. (Photo Credit: Bro. Kenneth Cheong)

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A farmer with his donkey. (Photo Credit: Bro. Kenneth Cheong)

Last Stop: Beth Shean

Beth Shean is a city in Israel which reflects Roman influence. We learned that this area belonged to the tribe of Manasseh.  It is known to have been the place where King Saul’s body was hung by the Philistines based on 1 Samuel 13:10.

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Beth Shean (Photo Credit: Bro. Jerry Teng)

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Distant View of Beit Shean (Photo Credit: Bro. Kenneth Cheong)

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Photo Credit: Bro. Kenneth Cheong

Reflection: 

I will always be humbled to have been to these places. The areas I have seen personally will always aid me as I read God’s word as I now have a vivid picture of them in my mind.

I would like to acknowledge the many photographers in our group who shared high quality photos of the sites we visited so we can always look back at how our memorable, fun and edifying our tour went!

Leaning on Jesus, (1)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Day 4: Bible Lands Exploration 2016

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I know. This post may seem outdated but I still want to complete my post on my once-in-a-lifetime-trip to the Holy Land. I want to keep my word and continue sharing with you our memorable trip in the land of the heroes of faith. I so appreciate your patience in waiting for this to finally go live.

On Day 4 of our Bible Lands exploration, a cloudy and yet cozy morning greeted us. All of us were excited to see that our itinerary included Chorazin, Bethsaida, Capernaum, Jesus’ Boat Museum, a boat ride in the Sea of Galilee and a quick stop at a farmer’s market.

Oh yes, we had St. Peter’s fish for lunch that day. It was a bit funny for some of us. I personally thought St. Peter’s Fish is something I haven’t tried out before. To my surprise, it was a Tilapia–a kind of fish I usually had back in the Philippines. (lol!) 🙂

First Stop: Chorazin

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A city cursed by Jesus–that’s what Chorazin is known for. It was cursed because people there did not accept Jesus’ teachings (Matthew 11:20-24, Luke 10:13-14).

The very first thing Bro. Yoni, our tour guide, showed us in Korazim National Park was a tree with thorns (i.e. Zizyphus spina-Christi)–the type of tree from which the crown Jesus wore on the cross was made.

Dr. Berrey took his turn to orient us about a few things in the said park. He showed us an ancient synagogue allowing us to imagine what it was like to be sitting and listening to Jesus’ sermon. We also found the replica of the Seat of Moses from which Torah used to be read.

Significant ruins shown to us by Bro. Yoni in the park included houses made with black basalt stones, carved pillars, ritual baths (mikveh) and olive oil press among others.

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Chorazin

 

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Just sharing a beautiful shot by a kind brother in Christ. I was trying to jot down notes so I can remember a few of the many pieces of information from our trip, which I hope to relay to you. 🙂

Bonus Stop

Bro. Yoni Simmons graciously showed us a sycamore tree before we headed to Bethsaida. We all had fun there as Pastor Matthew Yong tried to portray Zacchaeus. Pastor Gilbert Castillo was asked by Dr. Berrey to read a passage that mentions a sycamore tree.

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Pastor Matthew Yong on his way to the top. (Photo Credit: Bro. Kenneth Cheong)

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Photo credit: Bro. Kenneth Cheong

Next Stop: Bethsaida

Along with Chorazin, Bethsaida was cursed by Christ for the same reason–the people there failed to repent after hearing His preaching.

Bethsaida is in the north shore of the Sea of Galilee. It was rocky and has beds of wild flowers.

Some claim that the god Moloch was discovered there.

Different areas of the park are labeled using big slabs of stones. Below are a few of them.

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Next Stop: Boat Museum

Our next stop was in a stellar boat museum where the “boat of Jesus” is preserved. Thanks again to Bro. Kenneth Cheong for allowing me to borrow his photos to show you how Jesus’ boat looked like. We were shown a video clip on how this boat was preserved.

Also, we took a few minutes to see a couple of model boats, fossils and remains related to fishing during the time of Jesus.

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Jesus’ Boat

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A few notes: We met a Filipina who has been living in Israel and of course, as a typical Filipino would do after finding a “kababayan” in another country, we took a photo with her. The rest of the photos are some of the displays in the museum. The one on the lower left has a label that says: “‘Judea Capta’ Coin (Enlarged Replica) Minted by the Romans to celebrate their victory over the Jews in a maritime battle, possibly in memory of the battle of Migdal. The coin shows Titus in a triumph pose, his foot resting on the prow of a ship. “

Next Stop: Boat Ride in the Sea of Galilee

Memories of joy flow in my mind as I remember sailing through a calm Sea of Galilee on that windy day. It’s been their custom there to make pilgrims sing their respective national anthem as flags of represented countries were raised and so we did. We also sang hymns and just observed the places around this significant sea.

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Photo credit: Bro. Kenneth Cheong

Next Stop: Capernaum

Capernaum is just another city in Galilee where Jesus used to preach (Matt. 4:13; Luke 4:31; Mark 1:21, etc.) It is also known as His hometown. Sadly though, it was cursed by Jesus since the people there, just like those in Bethsaida and Chorazin, did not heed to his message (Matthew 11:23-24).

There, we were shown ruins of an ancient synagogue made of limestone. Just like in Chorazin, we saw an olive oil press, carved pillars and ritual baths (mikveh).

St. Peter’s synagogue is also situated there which is believed to have been the place where a paralytic man was lowered in Mark 2:1-12.

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Last Stop: Farmer’s Market

I don’t have any photo of the place but it was where pilgrims get some souvenirs for their loved ones. I remember getting a $7-worth of a piece of chocolate bar for Joanna. Yes, things in Israel are bit pricey. Souvenirs you can find there were dried apricots, figs and other fruits, tea, candies and others.

Reflection:

Remembering the places we have visited always humbles my heart. These places are evidences that my Jesus is real. My faith is not in vain.

Have you believed Jesus to be your own Savior and Lord? Have you heard the gospel preached? Have you accepted it?

I am ending this post with these verses.

16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. 18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.” John 3:16-19

If you are a believer of Jesus like me, let us remember to thank Him for the eternal life we have through Him. If you haven’t believed on Jesus as your Savior and Lord, may this be the day of your salvation and start journey with God.

Leaning on Jesus, (1)

Day 3: Bible Lands Exploration 2016 Part 2

I know. I would like to sincerely apologize for making you wait this loooong for the sequel of our group’s Bible Lands Exploration 2016-Day 3. I hope it’s still fine if I share with you this long overdue post. I so appreciate your patience! 🙂

Now, let’s have a quick recap before I continue sharing photos of our Bible Lands Exploration 2016. specifically Day 3, Part 2.

Feel free to click on the links below to review my album. 🙂

General Review of Bible Lands Exploration 2016
Day 1
Day 2
Day 3 Part 1

So let’s resume our virtual tour around Israel! You must have read that we visited King Herod’s Aqueduct and Caesarea Maritima National Park on Day 3. Then our…

Next Stop: Tel Megiddo National Park.
Description: This is an archaeological mound of great historical significance. Many battles were fought here and this is said to be the site where the Battle of Armageddon between Jesus and Satan will take place in the future. Walking through the site, we were shown and told of the many layers of history evidenced by the ruins all around. We also saw how an ancient chariot and stables looked like. Today, you can still see many palm trees and rock flowers all around the area. Across from Megiddo Park is the beautiful view of the Jezreel Valley,  the valley where Gideon led the Israelite’s victory against the Midianites, Amalekites and children of the east. In addition, we were privileged to walk through a water tunnel inside the park, which is said to be the main source of water in Megiddo.
Biblical References: A few passages in the Bible that mention this prominent place are Joshua 12:21; 17:11; Judges 1:27-28; 5:19-21 and so on.
Photos:
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A beautiful shot of Megiddo Water Tunnel by Bro. Kenneth Cheong.

Next Stop: Ein Harod
Description:
Do you remember when Gideon was tasked by God to conquer the Midianites and he had to choose warriors from thousands of men in Israel? This was the site where Gideon brought those men and eventually, chose 300 men out of those many courageous fighters. The ones who lapped water as dogs were chosen to fight with Gideon.
Biblical References:  Judges 7
Photos:

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There used to be water spring here but time has caused this place to dry up. Thanks to Bro. Jerry Teng for capturing this beautiful view of Gideon’s Spring.

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Reflection:

These places are testaments of how Gideon trusted God’s wisdom. We can remember that God is not concerned about our skills when we are facing our battles. He is concerned about our faith. Are we willing to surrender our earthly battle plans to win against our spiritual foes? Let’s trust God’s word in fighting our spiritual warfare.

Last Stop: We capped off our day’s exploration with a sumptuous dinner in Leonardo Hotel in Tiberias and went to bed early so we could have enough rest for our next day’s journey.

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I hope you enjoyed looking at the photos and may God bless you in whatever you are doing! Please watch out for my next post on how our DAY 4 of Bible Lands Exploration fared last year! 😉 Thank you so much for your time. 🙂