Sea of Galilee, Metula, Caesarea Phillipi, Tel Dan, Hula Basin, Upper Jordan River, Banias River, Mt. Hermon, Mount of Beatitudes, Capernaum, Galilee Boat Ride
Our driver takes us up to Tel Aviv and then north along the beach to the modern city of Netanya. In 1929, five settlers put shovels in the sand, and now over 200,000 call this home. At Caesarea Maritima, Governor Felix shut Paul in prison.
On Mt. Carmel we watch those miserable prophets of Baal: No fire. No answer. No god. Then Elijah: “Lord, let people know ….” And the fire fell. The fire of the Lord. We look out over the sea and yell, “A cloud! The size of a man’s hand!”
Elijah’s cave? It’s a fun ride up the cable car and then a great view of the sea. Inside the Stella Maris Church we find a cave tucked under the altar. At Megiddo we see how this strategic pass cuts into the Jezreel Valley, and we start to understand why so many armies fought here.
In Tiberias we settle into our comfy rooms in the Club Leonardo Hotel, sneaking looks across the Sea of Galilee at the bluffs of the Golan. On the eastern shore of the Sea of Galilee, we find Elijah’s tracks coming from the Brook Kerith. We glance up at the bluffs of the Golan and then follow the North Jordan River up through the Hula Basin to the tiny Banias River and Dan (of “Dan to Beersheba”).
Where Elijah’s trail to Zarephath crosses into Lebanon, we turn aside to Caesarea Philippi. Here Peter told Jesus, “You’re the Messiah!” We climb beautiful Mt. Hermon. Is this the Mount of Transfiguration, where Peter, James, and John saw Jesus talking with Moses and Elijah?
We enter Capernaum — where Jesus healed Peter’s mother-in-law — and we pause to touch the stones of a Third Century synagogue built over one from the First Century.
On the nearby Mount of Beatitudes, we recite: “Blessed are the meek…blessed are the poor in spirit…Blessed are the pure in heart…” Before dinner we take a boat ride out into the Sea of Galilee.
On our second night at the Sea of Galilee, we continue to recite: “Blessed are those who mourn…Blessed are those who hunger and thirst after righteousness….”