After a good night of rest along the beautiful Mediterranean we left Netanya and headed a few miles north to Caesarea Maritima. Caesarea was a first century Roman capital and seaport. The gospel was first preached to the Gentiles here when Peter came from Joppa to Caesarea to tell Cornelius words by which he could be saved (Acts 10, 11).
Herod the Great built a city on the site of Strato’s Tower and named it Caesarea in honor of Caesar Augustus. It became a certer of Roman provincial government in Judea. The city had a harbor and was located on the main caravan route between Tyre and Egypt. This city is called Caesarea Maritima (on the sea) to distinguish it from Caesarea Philippi.
Paul used the harbor at Caesarea several times. He was imprisoned here for two years before departing for Rome (Acts 24:27; 27:1). This photo shows the area of Herod’s Palace with the replica of the Pilate inscription. This inscription was found in the theater in 1961. Pilate was the Roman procurator of Judea from A.D. 26-36.
After visiting other sites of the city we continued north to Mount Carmel to visit the site associated with Elijah and the prophets of Baal (1 Kings 18). We crossed the Valley of Jezreel (the Armageddon of Rev. 16:16), and came to Nazareth, the boyhood home of Jesus. One of the highlights of the day was a visit to the Nazareth Village. This is a wonderful place to see authentic illustrations of life in the time of Jesus.
Nazareth Village is built on the site of a first century farm. We saw a wine press cut into rock, a watchtower, a carpenter at work a woman spinning wool, a reconstructed synagogue, etc. I would encourage anyone coming to this area to visit Nazareth Village. I keep a link to their web site at Biblical Studies Info Page. Here is a direct link to Nazareth Village. This beautiful photo shows the shepherd with his sheep.
Tonight we are at Tiberias on the shores of the Sea of Galilee.