2019 Israel Trip – Day 2

Example of a Tomb

Our guide commented that most old cave tombs in Israel (like the one Jesus was buried in) have their round sealing stones stolen (to be used as building materials).  We drove past an intact example, but were unable to stop.  That’s why this picture is taken from inside the bus.


Tel Megiddo (Armageddon in the Bible)

At the base of the tel (hill/mound) starting our walk up to the ruins of the city.P1030818 P1030819 P1030820 P1030821

City gate from the Canaanite periodP1030822 P1030823

Inside the Canaanite gate.  The city date from the Solomonic period is up and to the right of this photoP1030825

City gate from the Solomonic period (center passage is sealed with stones)P1030826 P1030827

Ruins of a Canaanite worship space / templeP1030829 P1030830

The oldest example in Israel of a Canaanite altar (round)P1030833

Looking out over the Jezreel Battle where the final battle of Armageddon (Har Megiddo) will be fought


This looks like a well or cistern, but it is actually a grain silo.  Megiddo was a military city where many horses and chariots were kept.P1030837

Ruins of stablesP1030840

Feeding and watering troughs for horsesP1030843

These stairs lead down to a tunnel that provided water from a source outside the city.P1030846 P1030848 P1030849 P1030851

Walking through the tunnel (you can’t see it but there is water under the “bridge” where we are walking.P1030853

Mt. Arbel (northern Galilee)

This is the beginning of our ascent to the peak of Mt. ArbelP1030856

Looking out on the sheer cliffs of Mt. Arbel (and the cities and villages of northern Galilee below)P1030857 P1030859 P1030861

A Bible study at the top of Mt. ArbelP1030865

Capernaum – Jesus’s “home base”

The entrance to the site of Capernaum (a fishing village during the 1st century mentioned several times in the Gospels)P1030868

Ruins of a 4th century Byzantine synagougeP1030869

A modern catholic church literally built “over” the traditional site of Peter’s house in Capernaum.P1030870

Multiple churches were built on the traditional site of Peter’s house.  The actual house is the square walls at the center.P1030872

Ruins of other houses (walls) in CapernaumP1030876

The “white” synagogue dates from the 4th century AD, but is thought to be built on the foundation of an earlier (possibly 1st century) synagogue.  Jesus activity at the Capernaum synagogue is documented multiple times in the Gospel accounts.P1030877

Here you can clearly see how the “white” synagogue sits on the foundation (black stone) of an earlier structure.P1030878

Inside the ruins of the 4th century synagogueP1030882 P1030883

Additional ornamental pieces excavated from the white synagogue.P1030884 P1030885 P1030886

More ruins in CapernaumP1030887

Magdala – The Home of Mary Magdalene

This was probably the most interesting site we’ve visited so far.  So many first century ruins no longer exist in situ (or have other structures – usually churches – built on top of them).  In 2009, archeologists unearthed the ruins of this first century synagogue in Magdala.  While not mentioned in the New Testament, because of it’s proximity to Capernaum (Jesus’ home base in Galiee) and the fact that one of his closest followers was from this village (Mary Magdalene) it is VERY LIKELY that Jesus taught in this synagogue.


Central stone in the 1st century synagogue, likely used as a table to roll out the Torah scroll when it was read.P1030892 P1030893

Tile mosaic floor of the 1st century synagogueP1030894

Entrance to the 1st century synagogueP1030895

Site of the market in MagdalaP1030898

A modern church built in Magdala by the Roman Catholic church, but available for use by all denominations.  It specifically honors women from the New Testament.P1030899

Prayer chapels, each with a mosaic depicting events from Jesus ministryP1030900 P1030901 P1030903 P1030904

Main Sanctuary


This prayer chapel (on the basement level) has been repaved with 1st century stones excavated from the streets of Magdala.  It is set up like a synagogue (stone benches along the walls, six pillars, and a space in the front for the Torah scroll.  The painting depicts the healing of a woman afflicted with a hemorrhage when she touched Jesus’ robe.P1030905

The lobby area outside the main sanctuary.P1030906

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