Israel Tour~Day 4

Ruins of the synagogue at Korazin.

We began our day in the Galilee with a stop at the ruins of Korazin. We read what Yeshua says to the three cities of Bethsaida, Korazin, and Capernaum which are located on the northern shore of the Sea of Galilee. According to the gospel of Matthew 11:20-25, all three cities were cursed by Yeshua.

Korazin’s ancient synagogue was first excavated in 1905-1907 and then in the 1920s and 1939 by the Department of Antiquities and Hebrew University. The synagogue was built in the center of the town, on an elevated platform, in close proximity to the ritual bath (mikveh) and amidst residential buildings. This ancient Jewish town was built at the edge of a basalt hill.

Our next stop was at Beit Tzaida, another of the cursed cities. There was a lovely setting where Baruch taught about the feeding of the five thousand. ( See Luke 9:10-17). We could look across and see the Sea of Galilee in the background.

Thirdly, we headed to Kefar Nachum (Capernaum), the home of Yeshua during His years of ministry. There we were able to see the foundation of a synagogue from the time of Yeshua, which was built by the Roman Centurion (see Luke 7:4-5).

Our next stop was Magdala, which was the hometown of Mary Magdalene. This is a relatively new site, where they have found a very old synagogue. It is an very well run, interesting site.

Here is a quote from the Magdala website in regard to the Magdala stone which is very interesting.

“The Magdala Stone is likely the earliest known artistic depiction of the Second Temple.

The front of the stone depicts the oldest carved image of the Second Temple’s seven-branched menorah ever found, and it is this discovery that has produced intense excitement among the archaeologists at Magdala.

The long side of the stone depicts the side of a building with pillared archways, with three dimensional design to create the illusion of appearing inside the temple.

The back of the stone depicts a pillared structure with two wheels above a geometric shape, illustrating fire. Presumably, the front and sides of the stone carvings represent the Second Temple in Jerusalem, and the back side depicting wheels and fire represents the Holy of Holies.

Also of great interest to scholars examining the stone is the large rosette on the top side of the stone, consisting of six petals surrounded by six identical petals. The symbolic meaning of this rosette has not yet been established, but the number twelve could relate to a number of biblical traditions and its prominence on the stone indicates it is certainly of great significance.

The stone is covered in decorative symbols relating to the structure of the Temple and ceremonial Jewish objects that may unlock many unsolved mysteries which have long baffled archaeologists.”

Our last stop of the day was a peaceful boat ride on the Sea of Galilee. There had been hit and miss bouts of rain, yet the rains did not interfere with the day and we were blessed with lovely weather for the ride.

View from our hotel in Tzfat, looking down toward the Sea of Galilee.

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