Saturday, May 18, 2013

holy land tour, day two : caesarea, mt. carmel, zippori, and nazareth


Today saw us bid farewell to the Mediterranean Sea at Caesarea Maratima, attempt to keep up with our ever-racing Pastor Randy at several archaeological sites, get drenched in good dry sunlight, try out falafel for lunch, change to yet another waterfront hotel, and even witness one place that I know I’ll see again one day. Needless to say, we were never bored!

Caesarea Maratima—a Roman theater, chariot racing stadium, world-class harbor, etc. I started off the day here trying to take notes and pictures…and consequently decided that my notes are my pictures. ;)


Mt. Carmel—where God sent lightning on His altar, built by Elijah before the prophets of Baal in 1 Kings 18; it overlooks the Valley of Jezreel—also called the Valley of Megiddo, or Armageddon. You know what really excites me about this place? The next time I see it (unless, of course, I travel here again) I will be beside my King!

Mt. Carmel5Mt. Carmel6

Zippori—a partially-excavated Roman villa a hill away from Nazareth. I walked on a stone road that was laid around the time that Jesus was a teenager. I explored the site of a large, upper-class Roman house with an incredible mosaic floor designed with over 1.5 million tiny, smooth, colored pieces. I think the most impactful part of seeing all this was that the next place we saw was Nazareth, so we could directly contrast the wealth and prosperity of high-class Roman culture with the humble three-room cave house in which Messiah was born.


Nazareth—while not the exact site of Jesus’ birth, this tiny cave underneath a magnificent Catholic church in modern Nazareth is the type of place where, 2,000 years ago, the King of kings was born in the flesh. I think this hit me harder than anything else we studied today. My King was born a pauper. There were no spacious rooms, no Roman slaves, no mosaic floors for Him. My King let go of His rightful place at the right hand of God’s heavenly throne and entered the world so helpless that He couldn’t even feed Himself—all to carry out the will of His Father, to tell His Father’s story, and to thereby save my soul eternally.


We have changed our headquarters from Tel Aviv to Tiberius on the shore of the Sea of Galilee for the next few nights. The air here is more humid and smells less salty—it feels, in fact, remarkably like Florida air feels this time of year. I’m looking forward to settling in for a couple of days before we move on to a new area. :)



  1. wow, these are beautiful, Hallie. And I am officially extremely jealous!!! :)

    Can't wait to see the rest of your trip.

  2. Loving these photos! Would love to visit all these places so I'm living through your beautiful photos instead!

  3. I can't wait until I'm standing there with you looking at the Valley of Megiddo :) Pastor Greg showed that picture to the whole Sunday School class today.



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