Saturday, April 9, 2011

Caesarea Philippi

After we left the Mount of the Beatitudes, we journeyed to Caesarea Philippi.  On our way there, we traveled through the Golan Heights.  This area of Israel was the site of some war activity in 1967.    The following photos are a few from the area where the fighting occurred.
The small stone things close to the ground are bunkers.

I believe this photo is of a military area.

Here is a building partially destroyed.
I believe this might be the Syrian border.

This photo is of a vineyard we passed.  Sorry it's so blurry!

We were also able to stop and take pictures of the Lebanon border.  It was foggy that day, so they are not very clear, but that is what the new few photos are.  It was amazing to put into perspective where we were in Israel in relation to the surrounding countries.

This is Nimrod Castle, a Crusader fortress at the top of the mountain.

Then, we arrived at Caesarea Philippi!

This picture is of some ruins in the area.  The stone structure to the left is an olive press weight.

Jordan River

More of the Jordan

This area is in the foothills of Mount Hermon and these were the Hermon River Springs.  One of the three sources of the Jordan is here.

This area had many temple ruins to various gods.

This sign indicates a temple area nearby that was built by Herod the Great for the Emperor Augustus.
The following pictures are more ruins from the area.

The stonework detail was amazing to me.
This sign tells even more about the various temples built around the area.  I've enlarged it to original size, so hopefully, if you click on it, the text will be large enough for you to read.
Dan gave us much information about the area.

Pastor West spoke on a major biblical event that occurred here:

"Now when Jesus came into the district of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, 'Who do people say that the Son of Man is?'  And they said, 'Some say John the Baptist, but others Elijah, and still others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.'  He said to them, 'But who do you say that I am?'  Simon Peter answered, 'You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.'  And Jesus answered him, 'Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah!  For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father in heaven.  And I tell ou, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not prevail against it.  I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.'  Then he sternly ordered the disciples not to tell anyone that he was the Messiah."  Matthew 16:13-20 (NRSV)

It is truly amazing to realize that this declaration of Jesus as the Son of God took place here and it makes the rock reference stand out so much when you recognize that the area is so rocky.

Our group gathered in this grotto to escape a brief rain shower and also to sing "On Christ the Solid Rock I Stand".  Singing that beautiful hymn in this place where Peter made his confession of faith was an incredible moment.

This gives a view of the surrounding area.

Here I am at one of three of the sources of the Jordan River.

More ruins.  This picture is of the Temple of Zeus.

I just loved the detail work of the columns.  So beautiful!

This area is ruins of The Tomb Temple of the Sacred Goats.
This area was The Temple of Pan and the Dancing Goats.
A perspective of the rocky terrain of the foothills of Mount Hermon.

More ruins from the area.

I just love the artistry here.

My first olive tree to see!

The mighty river Jordan

Here is another perspective of the foothills of Mount Hermon in Caesarea Philippi with a sweet couple from our group standing in front.  Mount Hermon is also one of the traditional sites of the Transfiguration.

It was an incredible experience to walk through this area where Jesus and his disciples were.  Our next journey was a trip across the Sea of Galilee!!  Incredible!  We'll head there next!

Thanks for journeying with me!  Hope you are having a good weekend!! 


  1. Love our vicarious journey!! Thanks again for sharing!!

  2. What an incredible experience! It looks so majestic and peaceful! xx


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