In Galilee and Environs

November 3, 2016

I never tire of seeing sunrise on the Sea of Galilee.

Via Maris at Arbel Pass. Photo by Leon Mauldin.

Sunrise, Sea of Galilee. Photo by Leon Mauldin.

From the Sea we had a view of Mt. Arbel, where the international highway, the Via Maris, passed.

Via Maris at Mt. Arbel. Photo by Leon Mauldin.

Via Maris at Mt. Arbel. Photo by Leon Mauldin.

Boats such as these take passengers across the Sea of Galilee.

Photo by Leon Mauldin.

Photo by Leon Mauldin.

We visited Capernaum (“town of Nahum,” New Unger’s Bible Dictionary, p.209),  called “the most important city on the northern shore of the Sea of Galilee (Nelson’s New Illustrated Bible Dictionary, p. 245). Jesus’ home town was Nazareth, but Capernaum was where He lived during the Galilean ministry. Note the wording of the NET in Matt. 4:13: “While in Galilee, he moved from Nazareth to make his home in Capernaum by the sea, in the region of Zebulun and Naphtali.” To that compare Mark 2:1: “Now after some days, when he returned to Capernaum, the news spread that he was at home,” with its parallel in Mt. 9:1, which says Jesus came “to His own city.”

Here is a view of some of the excavations there.

Excavations at Capernaum, Jesus hometown. Photo by Leon Mauldin.

Excavations at Capernaum, Jesus hometown. Photo by Leon Mauldin.

Moving north, we saw the Senir, one of the sources of the Jordan River. Some girls were rafting. Tomorrow we are to begin our journey south to Jerusalem. Thanks for following our travels.

Rafting in the Senir River. Photo by Leon Mauldin.

Rafting in the Senir River. Photo by Leon Mauldin. 

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Sea of Galilee, at Capernaum

June 9, 2016

This past week was a busy week in our local congregation — our annual Vacation Bible School. The theme was “Soaring to Bible Places” and included lessons from three Old Testament and two New Testament texts. Our studies took us to Capernaum, where Jesus healed a Centurion’s servant, and commended the Centurion for his great faith (Jesus marveled!, Matt. 8:5-13). From Capernaum you have a beautiful view of the Sea of Galilee.

Sea of Galilee, looking east from Capernaum. Photo by Leon Mauldin.

Sea of Galilee, looking east from Capernaum. Photo by Leon Mauldin.

I enjoy showing photos such as this to children and adults alike, to help us visualize the setting of the biblical world. It was in this very area that Jesus did so much of His earthly ministry.


Jesus’ Galilean Ministry

May 4, 2016

Frequently the Bible will have “summary statements,” such as is found regarding Jesus’ Galilean Ministry: ” Jesus withdrew to the sea with His disciples; and a great multitude from Galilee followed; and also from Judea, and from Jerusalem, and from Idumea, and beyond the Jordan, and the vicinity of Tyre and Sidon, a great number of people heard of all that He was doing and came to Him” (Mark 3:7-8, NASB).

Note Jesus “withdrew to the sea,” meaning the Sea of Galilee, which is really a fresh water lake fed by the Upper Jordan. Its surface is currently 696 feet below sea level. Here see a sunrise view I photographed last month:

Sunrise at the Sea of Galilee. Photo ©Leon Mauldin.

Sunrise at the Sea of Galilee. Photo ©Leon Mauldin.

I labeled this blank map to show all the sites mentioned in these two verses.

Map, areas mentioned in Mark 3:7-8. Blank map by Bob Waldron & Scott Richardson.

Map, areas mentioned in Mark 3:7-8. Blank map by Bob Waldron & Scott Richardson.

The text is saying that people from all of these areas came to hear and see Jesus when He “withdrew to the sea.” Mark records the above portion of Jesus’ ministry immediately before he narrates Jesus’ selection and appointment of the twelve apostles.


Israel: Up the Jordan Valley and on to Galilee

April 10, 2016

Yesterday we made our way from Jerusalem down to the Jordan Valley and on up to Galilee. Visibility was not the best due to winds from the east and south bringing dust and haze.

We stopped a couple of times along the way to photograph shepherds with their sheep. That is a scene I never tire of. This location was just north of Jericho. We are looking west.

Sheep in Jordan Valley. Photo by Leon Mauldin.

Sheep in Jordan Valley. Photo by Leon Mauldin.

Sunrise at the Sea of Galilee this morning consisted of the sun barely peaking through some clouds and dust.

Sunrise at Sea of Galilee April 10, 2016. Photo by Leon Mauldin.

Sunrise at Sea of Galilee April 10, 2016. Photo by Leon Mauldin.

There is no doubt that during His ministry on earth Jesus and His disciples saw mornings like this on occasion also.

After worship this morning in Nazareth, Ferrell Jenkins and I went on to the Hecht Museum at Haifa University, where we both took several hundred photos. It is a very nice museum of artifacts that covered biblical/historical periods from Chalcolithic on down through Roman. Neither of us had been there before.

So our travels today took us from Tiberias to Nazareth, up the Plain of Jezreel, to the Carmel range and on to Haifa (biblical Acco). We had a good view of the Plain of Acco down to the Mediterranean; then back to Tiberias. It’s been a good day. Our hotel is the Ron Beach Hotel, right on the Sea. My favorite place to stay in the Galilee.

Just for good measure I wanted to share a sunrise photo from Sept, 2011.

Sunrise at Sea of Galilee, Sept. 2011. Photo by Leon Mauldin.

Sunrise at Sea of Galilee, Sept. 2011. Photo by Leon Mauldin.


A View of the Sea of Galilee from Sea Level

November 2, 2013

I never tire of seeing the Sea of Galilee, as it was so intertwined with the ministry of Jesus. On the approach to Tiberius from the west, there is a nice pull-off area where a bus or other vehicle can safely get off the road and have a good view of the Sea. One is at sea level at this point at the pull-off.

Sea of Galilee from Sea Level. Photo by Leon Mauldin.

Sea of Galilee from Sea Level. Photo by Leon Mauldin.

The Sea of Galilee is about 700 feet below sea level. It was considerably higher than on my last visit. In the distance you see what would have been the Decapolis during the ministry of Jesus.

I’ll never forget my first view of the Sea. All of my life I had read about it in the Bible, but to have the opportunity to see it was almost surreal. I wonder if on a much higher level, that’s the sort of thing God’s people will experience in heaven. We read about heaven, we believe the promises of God, but one day all the saved will be in heaven and see Him face to face. The precious things we read about will some day be seen and personally experienced. How I want to be among that number!

Recent posts on the Sea of Galilee may be seen here and here.

Click on image for larger view.