I’m not sure what this is a picture of. We were told that this is an area where the rich and famous of Israel have homes. I guess that is why I took the picture. Who knows? Ha!
Caesarea was significant in the time of Christ and during the early church, especially to the Gentiles. In Acts 10 Cornelius became the first Gentile convert. Peter said in verses 34-35, “I most certainly understand now that God is not one to show partiality, but in every nation the man who fears Him and does what is right is welcome to Him.” Philip, the evangelist, lived in Caesarea (Acts 8:40). Herod Agrippa I was struck down by an angel of the Lord in Acts 12:23. Some say that Paul was imprisoned in Caesarea. We know that he made three defenses of Christianity here: first, before Felix, the governor of Judea (Acts 24: 1-22); two years later before Festus, who succeeded Felix (Acts 25:1-12); and finally before King Agrippa (Acts 26).
Herod built Caesarea, his summer palace, during the twelve years from 25 to 13 BC as a Roman styled city in honor of Caesar Augustus. It had a theater, amphitheater, hippodrome, palace, Roman temple and an extensive network of aqueducts. Both Herodian kings and Roman procurators had official residences there and its population of Jews and Greeks grew to 200,000.
Built on a section of unprotected coastline that once served as a Phoenician ship landing, Herod even created a really magnificent harbor. It was built using materials that would allow the concrete to harden underwater. The harbor could accommodate 30 ships, much more than today.
In order to have fresh water for his city, Herod had an aqueduct built to deliver water from the springs at the base of Mt. Carmel over 10 miles away. It was built using arches and the gradient was carefully measured. It is an amazing architectural feat. We arrived at Herod’s famous aqueduct in a blustery wind. We had hoped to stick our toes in the Mediterranean, but that was not happening.
Can you tell that I was freezing. The sunglasses were to keep the sand out of my contacts.
These were some of our braver trip-mates.
When we got to the national park the weather started to clear and turn hot.
The model of Herod’s city…
We saw these flowers all over the Galilee.
Statuary recovered from the ruins and displayed outside the amphitheater.
Kenny, where are you when I need you??? I need help deciphering my pictures.
A shepherd boy with a lamb…
This was Herod’s harbor.
This is a copy of the Pontius Pilate stone that was found in Caesarea. The original is in the Israel Museum. It is historical proof of the existence of Pontius Pilate. He governed from Caesarea during the time of Christ.
Mosaic at the edge of Herod’s freshwater swimming pool.
This was part of the crusader fortress built by Louis XIV of France in AD 1251.
This is the side of the amphitheater. They were setting up a stage for some kind of performance. How would you like to hear your favorite band in a venue that is over 2,000 years old?
This is one of the sides of the crusader fortress.
The entrance to the crusader fortress…We were having lunch here and we were beyond hungry. Each bus (there were four with about 40-45 people on each) ate at a different time. We drew the short straw so we were last. We did manage to have some gelato for dessert that was delicious. There are several restaurants in the fortress along with a shopping arcade.
Kay never misses an opportunity to teach us something about the land that is so dear to her. We were always ready to learn. You would never believe her age!
One of the towers…
It was about 1:00 and we were looking longingly at the restaurant where we were to eat.
This was another restaurant on the ancient harbor.
We were told that the edges of the bricks were worn by the horses rubbing against them as they made the turn to enter the fortress.
Ancient ruins transposed against the power plant in the distance…
We ended the afternoon with Kay’s teaching on Romans 11 in Herod’s amphitheater. It was here that Paul gave his testimony before Agrippa. Agrippa replied to Paul, “In a short time you will persuade me to become a Christian. Acts 26:28
Paul warns believing Gentiles not to boast in their standing before God. He reminds us of our dependency upon the promises given to Israel which are ours through God’s grace and our faith and compares our relationship to that which sustains Israel as that of branches of a wild olive tree which has been grafted into an olive tree cultivated by God.
For I do not want you, brethren, to be uninformed of this mystery – so that you will not be wise in your own estimation – that a partial hardening has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in; and so all Israel will be saved; just as it is written, “The Deliverer will come from Zion, He will remove ungodliness from Jacob. This is My covenant with them, when I take away their sins.” Romans 11:25-27
Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and unfathomable His ways! For who has known the mind of the Lord, or who became His counselor? Or who has first given to Him that it might be paid back to him again? For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things,. To Him be the glory forever. Romans 11:33-36
Let me just say that by this time it was hot. Although I had on a hat and long sleeves, my legs below the capri pants got sunburned and I got a rash that someone said was sun poisoning. I noticed that several others also had the rash around their ankles and calves, as well. The gentleman you see in front of me brought his wife, son, daughter, and son-in-law with him. They were such a sweet family.
After the teaching was over, Judy and I climbed to the top of the amphitheater to take pictures. Did I mention that I’m scared of heights? Also, I was having knee problems so it was slow-going coming down those stairs that were constructed of uneven stones back in 13 BC.
After a long day we are on our way back to Tiberius.
The flat-topped mound to the right of the pole is a tell which has not been uncovered yet.
We’re back in Tiberius and it looks like rain for tomorrow. The streets are deserted because it is Shabbat. Shalom...