This past Thursday, we traveled to the Galilee area, to visit some very interesting and meaningful sites. The Sea of Galilee figured prominently in the New Testament. It was the home of Yeshua since the age of 6, it was an important fishing community, the disciples were from that area, Yeshua walking on the sea, etc.
Kfar Nachum (Capernaum) (L), Sea of Galilee (R).
Kfar Nachum, meaning the village of Comfort, is located where the parcel of land inherited by Naftali meets the land inherited by Zebulun. We read the prophecy in Isaiah 9 that Messiah will come from there. We also read in Matthew 11 that the day of judgment will be better for Sodom than for Kfar Nachum, due to their unbelief in the midst of Messiah Yeshua.
This city is also noted for being where the Centurion who loved the Jewish people and built them a synagogue lived. There, we learned and talked about the concept of love, which should be equated with the word “give.” We read in the Scripture that G-d so loved the world that He gave…” and also here, the Centurion loved the Jewish people and he built (gave) them a synagogue. If we truly love someone, including G-d, then we should be willing to give people our time, resources, etc., and to give to G-d everything, to be a living sacrifice.
The home shown above left was a meeting place of early believers. It is traditionally referred to Peter’s house, but we do not know for sure. What we do know is that it is believed to be a location of the early believers’ meeting place because it had 8 sides, which was a sign of the early believers.
The Magdala Stone and mosaics from the synagogue in Magdala.
Our next stop was in Magdala, also along the coast of the Kinneret (Sea of Galilee). There, they have uncovered a First Century Synagogue. This is the oldest synagogue excavated in the Galilee and is certainly a synagogue Yeshua would have attended and probably taught in. On the Magdala Stone, they found a carving of a menorah, the oldest in the world that we know of.
Magdala was the home of Mary Magdalene, who was an ardent follower of Yeshua. He healed her of seven demons and she and other women traveled with Yeshua and the Disciples and supported their work. She also witnessed the crucifixion of Yeshua and was the first to witness His empty tomb.
This is a new site in Israel, where excavation began in 2009.
From the top of Mt. Tabor.
The last stop for the day was Mt. Tabor. It was the site of the Mount Tabor battle between Barak under the leadership of the Israelite judge Deborah, and the army of Jabin commanded by Sisera. (See Judges 4).