Israel Study Trip

Around the Sea of Galilee

The back of our hotel in Tiberias, beside the Sea of Galilee,
whose modern name is Lake Kinneret

The highest peak in the photo above is Mt. Arbel. The other side of the mountain is full of caves, with a bloody history. These caves were used by Jews as hideouts during a rebellion in 37 BC. Herod the Great (before he was great) crushed the rebellion by lowering soldiers over the cliff in cages to drag the rebels and their families out of the caves and drop them down the cliffs.

A view from the top of Mt. Arbel
The excavated ruins of Kfar Nahum (village of Nahum) now known as Capernaum.
This is the village where Jesus lived during most of His ministry

This is a grindstone of black basalt, a rock which is very common in this area. Jesus said, “It were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he cast into the sea, than that he should offend one of these little ones.” Quite possibly a millstone and the sea were in sight of the people when He said it.

The Sea of Galilee from Capernaum

The picture above is a recently excavated synagogue at Magdala from the time of Jesus. Notice the pillars, the seating around the inner square, and more seating around the outer edge, with a beautiful mosaic floor in the aisle between. The Bible tells us Jesus taught in all the synagogues in Galilee, so He very likely walked these very stones. In the center is a beautifully carved stone that was likely part of the lectern where the scriptures were read.

A closer look at the mosaic floor
Above is a modern chapel which we also toured. We had a time of singing in the rotunda under the dome, and a prayer service in a chapel in which there is a famous picture of the woman touching Jesus’ hem.