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January 21    Scripture

Sites - Israel: Tourist Attractions
Travel to Israel

Cave of Elijah in Wikipedia The Cave of Elijah is a cave in which the biblical Elijah sought shelter on his journey in the wilderness. Elijah the Prophet of Yahweh traveled, for 40 days and 40 nights into the Wilderness of Sin, to Mount Horeb, the original mountain where Moses saw the burning bush and where the Israelites made a covenant with God. Upon reaching the Mountain, he sought shelter in a cave. God again spoke to Elijah (1 Kings 19:9 ): "What doest thou here, Elijah?". Elijah did not give a direct answer to the LORD's question but evades and equivocates, implying that the work the LORD had begun centuries earlier had now come to nothing, and that his own work was fruitless. Unlike Moses, who tried to defend Israel when they sinned with the golden calf, Elijah bitterly complains over the Israelites' unfaithfulness and says he is the "only one left". Up until this time Elijah has only the word of God to guide him, but now he is told to go outside the cave and "stand before the Lord." A terrible wind passes, but God was not in the wind. A great earthquake shook the mountain, but God was not in the earthquake. Then a fire passes the mountain, but God was not in the fire. Then a "still small voice" comes to Elijah and asks again, "What doest thou here, Elijah?" Elijah again evades the question and his lament is unrevised, showing that he did not understand the importance of the divine revelation he had just witnesed. God then sends him out again, this time to Damascus to anoint Hazael as king of Syria, Jehu as king of Israel, and Elisha as his replacement. Mount Horeb is thought to be located in the land of Midian.

Cave of John the Baptist Travel Information Most Christians imagine John the Baptist preaching and baptizing on the banks of the Jordan River. Now, thanks to archaeological detective work, Christian visitors are able to fill out this picture to include John`s youth. Archaeologist Dr. Shimon Gibson believes that a cave uncovered in 1999 bears evidence of Christian presence from John`s time until the eleventh century. Among many fascinating finds at the cave, which groups can arrange to visit, is a 2.5-foot-high wall carving of a man with an upraised arm, holding a shepherd`s crook and wearing a rough garment - possibly depicting John. One tantalizing theory is that this is the cave where, according to legend, Elizabeth sheltered John from Herod`s murderous soldiers (Matt. 2:16). A cave with an uncanny resemblance to this one appears on a Byzantine-era Holy Land souvenir found in Italy, a disk bearing the words “Blessings of the Lord from the refuge of St. Elizabeth.” (Israel Minister of Tourism)

Chagall Windows These magnificent, world-famous stained-glass windows, designed by Marc Chagall, represent the twelve sons of Jacob, and, to a lesser extent, the twelve tribes of Israel. The windows were installed in the synagogue of the new Hadassah-Hebrew University Medical Center in Jerusalem in 1962 and are approximately eleven feet high and eight feet wide. (Israel Minister of Tourism)

Domus Galilaeae Visitors who enter the Domus Galilaeae center, atop the Mount of Beatitudes overlooking the Sea of Galilee, can immediately feel the power of the inscription in the bright and airy lobby: “The Lord was waiting for you on this mountain.” Domus Galilaeae was founded by the Neo-Catechumenal Way, a movement established in the 1960s to lead people to understand Christianity the way the first Christians did, as adults. The new center, where the movement`s members stay on a week-long Holy Land tour following study and spiritual preparation, is rich in symbolism. The chapel has a magnificent painting by the movement`s founder, Kiko Argüello, combining Eastern and Western Christian symbols and paying homage to the Church`s Jewish roots. The uniquely designed library, specializing in books about the Sermon on the Mount, has a Torah scroll as its centerpiece. Domus Galilaeae invites visitors of all denominations to tour the center and learn more about the movement. (Israel Minister of Tourism)

Domus Galilaeae in Wikipedia Domus Galilaeae or House of Galilee (Hebrew: בית הגליל‎), located on the peak of Mount of Beatitudes, above and north of Capernaum and the Sea of Galilee, is a modern Christian meeting place, primarily used for Christian seminars and conventions. Run by the Neocatechumenal Way, Domus Galilaeae employs about 150 persons full time, including laborers, technicians, and volunteers. There are 37 Arab Christian workers, 32 Arab Muslims, 20 Druzes, 10 Maronites, and 21 Hebrew technicians. [1] It has a number of meeting rooms, prayer halls, gardens and a library. Its architectural design, its arts, and the spirit of the place makes it a unique site and a recommended stop for travelers in the area. History -- The building was constructed in a short period of time with the first stone being laid in January 1999 and the opening of the site taking place in 2000. It was inaugurated by the Pope John Paul II in his Millennium visit to the Holy Land. The library was constructed in 2005.

Elijah`s Cave Elijah`s Cave in Haifa brings visitors both the sanctity of a Jewish holy place and the sharing of traditions for which Haifa is famous. The stairway to the cave, located off Allenby Street in lower Haifa, reveals spectacular vistas of the city. The site was first mentioned in a letter written from the land of Israel in 1626 by a Jewish visitor telling about the holy places, which described “Elijah`s large and magnificent cave” on Mount Carmel. Here, according to legend, Elijah came to pray before challenging the prophets of Baal and calling down fire from heaven (I Kings 18). The cave has a Torah Ark and a space in the ceiling where visitors insert prayer notes. You may find a few people quietly praying here, or a lively celebration in honor of a circumcision or a three- year-old boy`s first hair cut. The right-hand wall of the cave, which in various periods has been sacred to Christians and Muslims as well, is covered with ancient Greek inscriptions, and one in Hebrew, along with two seven-branched candelabra. (Israel Minister of Tourism)

House of Simon the Tanner The best-known rooftop in Jaffa – thanks to Peter`s famous vision – belongs to the House of Simon the Tanner (Acts 10:9-47). It is recognizable by the lighthouse, installed in 1875 to guide ships and fishing vessels past Jaffa`s rocky shoals. Members of the Armenian Christian Zakarian family, who still live in the house, were in charge of operating the lighthouse for generations. After many years of darkness, it once again illuminates Jaffa`s nights as part of the house`s restoration. In the old days, Mrs. Zakarian would welcome an endless stream of Christian visitor seeking to stand where Peter was praying when he saw his vision of the great sheet filled with unclean animals, which led him to convert the Roman centurion Cornelius in Caesarea. The house and roof are now closed for renovation; however the Old Jaffa Tourism Association looks forward to its reopening. (Israel Minister of Tourism)

Mary's Well in Wikipedia Mary’s Well (Arabic: عين العذراء, Ain il-'adra‎, or "The spring of the Virgin Mary") is reputed to be located at the site where the Angel Gabriel appeared to Mary and announced that she would bear the Son of God - an event known as the Annunciation. Found just below the Greek Orthodox Church of the Annunciation in modern-day Nazareth, the well was positioned over an underground spring that served for centuries as a local watering hole for the Arab villagers. Renovated twice, once in 1967 and once in 2000, the current structure is a symbolic representation of the structure that was once in use. In the New Testament -- The earliest written account that lends credence to a well or spring being the site of the Annunciation comes from the Protoevangelium of James, a non-canonical gospel dating to the second century. The author writes: "And she took the pitcher and went forth to draw water, and behold, a voice said: 'Hail Mary, full of grace, you are blessed among women.'"[1] However, neither the Gospel of Matthew, Gospel of Mark, Gospel of Luke nor the Gospel of John mention the drawing of water in their accounts of the Annunciation. Similarly, the Koran records a spirit visiting a chaste Mary to inform her that the Lord has granted her a son to bear, without referencing the drawing of water. Through history -- An underground spring in Nazareth traditionally served as the city’s main water source for several centuries, possibly millennia; however, it was not always referred to as "Mary's well" or "Mary's spring". According to the Rosicrucian Forum (1935), before the Christian era, it was known as the "spring of the guard house", so named because the few houses located by it at the time housed a number of local guards who patrolled an important highway that passed by the well.[2] In his book, The Bible as History, Werner Keller writes that "Mary's Well" or "Ain Maryam", as the locals called it, had been so named since "time immemorial" and that it provided the only water supply in the area.[3] William Rae Wilson also describes "a well of the Virgin, which supplied the inhabitants of Nazareth with water" in his book, Travels in Egypt and the Holy Land (1824). [4] James Finn, then British Consul in Jerusalem, visited Nazareth in late June 1853 and his company pitched their tents near the fountain, - the only fountain there. He writes that "the water at this spring was very deficient this summer season, yielding only a petty trickling to the anxious inhabitants. All night long the women were there with their jars, chattering, laughing, or scolding in competition for their turns. [ ] It suggested a strange current of ideas to overhear pert damsels using the name of Miriam (Mary), in jest and laughter at the fountain of Nazareth"[5] While the current structure referred to as Mary's Well is a non-functional reconstruction inaugurated as part of the Nazareth 2000 celebrations,[6] the traditional Mary's Well was a local watering hole, with an overground stone structure. Through the centuries, villagers would gather here to fill water pitchers (up until 1966) or otherwise congregate to relax and exchange news.[7] At another area not too far off, which tapped into the same water source, shepherds and others with domesticated animals would bring their herds to drink. The Greek Orthodox Church of the Annunciation, located a little further up the hill from the current site of Mary's Well, is a Byzantine era church built over the spring in 3CE, based on the belief that the Annunciation took place at the site. The Catholic Church believes the Annuciation to have take place less than 0.5km away at the Basilica of the Annunciation, a now modern structure which houses an older church inside of it that dates from 4CE. Recent Archaeological Discoveries -- Excavations by Yardenna Alexandre and Butrus Hanna of the Israel Antiquities Authority in 1997-98 - sponsored by the Nazareth Municipality and the Government Tourist Corporation - discovered a series of underground water systems and suggested that the site today known as Mary’s Well served as Nazareth's main water supply from as early as Byzantine times. Despite having found Roman era potsherds, Alexandre's report claimed hard evidence of Roman-era use of the site was lacking. [8] Bathhouse -- In the late 1990s, a local Nazareth couple, Elias and Martina Shama, were trying to discover the source of a water leak in their gift shop, Cactus, just in front of Mary’s Well. Digging through the wall, they discovered underground passages that, upon further digging revealed a vast underground complex. A North American research team conducted high-resolution ground penetrating radar (GPR) surveys at a number of locations in and around Mary’s Well in 2004-5 to determine appropriate locations for further digging to be conducted beneath the bathhouse. Samples were collected for radio-carbon dating and the initial data from GPR readings seem to confirm the presence of additional subterranean structures. [9] In 2003, archaeologist Richard Freund stated his belief that the site was clearly of Roman-era origins: ""I am sure that what we have here is a bathhouse from the time of Jesus," he says, "and the consequences of that for archaeology, and for our knowledge of the life of Jesus, are enormous."[10] Carbon 14 dating was done on 3 samples of charcoal, each was found to come from a very different time period, indicating the bath house had been used in multiple periods, and at least was used sometime between 1300-1400, although with only 3 samples dated, it is possible for the bath house to be older.[11]'s_Well

Mary`s Tomb The Tomb of Mary, the mother of Jesus, is marked by one of Jerusalem`s most venerable churches, located in the Kidron Valley, which the at the foot of the Mount of Olives near the Garden of Gethsemane. Christians built the first house of prayer here 1,500 years ago over a stone crypt visitors can still see. By Crusader times the church had been destroyed, and only a small cupola remained over the tomb. But in 1130 a new church was built, its façade with pointed Gothic arches, and most of the interior has amazingly survived frequent flooding of the Kidron Stream. The present decor, with its flickering oil lamps and icons gives the church a feel of mystery and antiquity, and attests to its present congregation of Eastern Christian denominations. Next to the church is a cave which some believe suits the description of Gethsemane in Mark 14:32 and Matthew 26:36. (Israel Minister of Tourism)

Mary`s Well St. Mary`s Well was almost the sole water source of Nazareth in ancient times so it is a fairly safe statement to say that Mary used to draw water from there. Recent excavations show that the whole complex was much larger than originally thought, and the part that the Greek Orthodox Church is built over is only a small corner of the spring area. (Israel Minister of Tourism)

Mary’s Tomb in Wikipedia Mary's Tomb is a tomb located in the Kidron Valley, on the foothills of Mount of Olives, near the Church of All Nations and Gethsemane garden, originally just outside Jerusalem. It is regarded as the burial place of Mary, the mother of Jesus by most Eastern Christians (many of whom refer to her as Theotokos)[1][2], in contradistinction to the House of the Virgin Mary near Ephesus. Her remains are not in the tomb though as it is believed that she was assumed bodily into heaven. History -- Repairs necessitated by a flood in 1972 afforded the opportunity for archaeological investigation of the site. Bellarmino Bagatti, a franciscan friar and controversial[3] archaeologist, performed the excavation, and found evidence of an ancient cemetery, which he dated to the 1st century; his findings have not yet been subject to peer review by the wider archaeological community, and the validity of his dating has not been fully assessed. Bagatti interpreted the remains to indicate that the cemetery's initial structure consisted of three chambers (the actual tomb being the inner chamber of the whole complex), was adjudged in accordance with the customs of that period. Later, the tomb interpreted by the local Christians to be that of Mary's was isolated from the rest of the necropolis, by cutting the surrounding rock face away from it. An edicule was built on the tomb[4]. A small upper church on an octagonal footing was built by Patriarch Juvenal (during Marcian's rule) over the location in the 5th century, and was destroyed in the Persian invasion of 614. During the following centuries the church was destroyed and rebuilt many times, but the crypt was left untouched, as for the Muslims it is the burial place of the mother of prophet Isa. It was rebuilt then in 1130 by the Crusaders, who installed a walled Benedictine monastery, the Abbey of St. Mary of the Valley of Jehoshaphat. The monastic complex included early Gothic columns, red-on-green frescoes, and three towers for protection. The staircase and entrance were also part of the Crusaders' church. This church was destroyed by Saladin in 1187, but the crypt was still respected; all that was left was the south entrance and staircase, the masonry of the upper church being used to build the walls of Jerusalem. In the second half of the 14th century Franciscan friars rebuilt the church once more. Since 1757, it has been owned by the Greek Orthodox Church. The Church -- The evidently empty interior of the sarcophagus. Preceded by a walled courtyard to the south, the cruciform church shielding the tomb has been excavated in an underground rock-cut cave[5] entered by a wide descending stair dating from the 12th century. On the left side of the staircase (towards the west) there is the chapel of Saint Joseph, Mary's husband, while on the right (towards the east) there is the chapel of Mary's parents, Joachim and Anne, holding also the tomb of Queen Melisende of Jerusalem. On the eastern side of the church there is the chapel of Mary's tomb. Altars of the Greeks and Armenians also share the east apse. A niche south of the tomb is a mihrab indicating the direction of Mecca, installed when Muslims had joint rights to the church. On the western side there is a Coptic altar. The Greek Orthodox Church of Jerusalem is in possession of the shrine, sharing it with the Armenian Apostolic Church. The Syriacs, the Copts, and the Abyssinians have minor rights. Muslims also have a special place for prayer (the mihrab). Tradition -- The Sacred Tradition of Eastern Christianity teaches that the Virgin Mary died a natural death (the Dormition of the Theotokos, the falling asleep) like any human being; that her soul was received by Christ upon death; and that her body was resurrected on the third day after her repose, at which time she was taken up, soul and body, into heaven in anticipation of the general resurrection. Her tomb, according to this teaching, was found empty on the third day. Roman Catholic teaching holds that Mary was "assumed" into heaven in bodily form, the Assumption; the question of whether or not Mary actually underwent physical death remains open in the Catholic view; however, most theologians believe that she did undergo death before her Assumption. A narrative known as the Euthymiaca Historia (written probably by Cyril of Scythopolis in the 5th century) relates how the Emperor Marcian and his wife, Pulcheria, requested the relics of the Virgin Mary from Juvenal, the Patriarch of Jerusalem, while he was attending the Council of Chalcedon (451). According to the account, Juvenal replied that, on the third day after her burial, Mary's tomb was discovered to be empty, only her shroud being preserved in the church of Gethsemane. According to another tradition it was the Cincture of the Virgin Mary which was left behind in the tomb.[6] Authenticity -- The Eastern Orthodox Church acknowledges that Virgin Mary lived in the vicinity of Ephesus, in a place currently known as the House of the Virgin Mary and venerated by Christians and Muslims, but argues that she only stayed there for a few years; this teaching is based on the writings of the Holy Fathers. Although many Christians believe that no information about the end of Mary's life or her burial are provided in the New Testament accounts or early apocrypha, there are actually over 50 apocryphon about Mary's death (or other final fate). The 3rd century Book of John about the Dormition of Mary places her tomb in Gethsemene, as does the 4th century Treatise about the passing of the Blessed Virgin Mary. The Breviarius of Jerusalem, a short text written in about AD 395,[7] mentions in that valley the basilica of Holy Mary, which contains her sepulchre. Later, Epiphanius of Salamis, Gregory of Tours, Isidore of Seville, Saint Modest, Sophronius of Jerusalem, German of Constantinople, Andrew of Crete, John of Damascus talk about the tomb being in Jerusalem, and bear witness that this tradition was accepted by all the Churches of East and West.'s_Tomb

Mount of Beatitudes As the name suggests, this is the hill upon which Jesus was said to have preached the "Sermon on the Mount". The lie of the land next to the church forms a natural amphitheatre sloping down to the lake side, so it is more likely that Jesus stood at the bottom of the hill, but this does not detract from the beauty of the church on its crest. Matthew 5:1-13 1 Seeing the crowds, he went up on the mountain, and when he sat down his disciples came to him. 2 And he opened his mouth and taught them, saying: 3 “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 4 “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted. 5 “Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth. 6 “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied. 7 “Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy. 8 “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God. 9 “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God. 10 “Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 11 “Blessed are you when men revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. 12 Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so men persecuted the prophets who were before you. 13 “You are the salt of the earth; but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trodden under foot by men. (Israel Minister of Tourism)

Mount of Beatitudes in Wikipedia The Mount of Beatitudes refers to the hill in northern Israel where Jesus delivered the Sermon on the Mount. Location -- The traditional location for the Mount of Beatitudes is on the northwestern shore of the Sea of Galilee, between Capernaum and Gennesaret (Ginosar). The actual location of the Sermon on the Mount is not certain, but the present site (also known as Mount Eremos) has been commemorated for more than 1600 years. The site is very near Tabgha. Other suggested locations have included the nearby Mount Arbel, or even the Horns of Hattin. Churches at the site -- A Byzantine church was erected near the current site in the 4th century, and it was used until the 7th century. Remains of a cistern and a monastery are still visible. The current Roman Catholic Franciscan chapel was built in 1938. Other -- Pope John Paul II celebrated a Mass at this site in March 2000. The Jesus Trail pilgrimage route connects the Mount to other sites from the life of Jesus. Vasco Nasorri is the italian artist who realised the mosaic installed in the floor in front of the Church in 1984

Mount of the Anointing or Mount of Corruption This hill on the south slope of the Mount of Olives has two names – the first pleasing, and the other, rather disturbing. The “Mount of Anointing” recalls that olive oil from the local trees was used to anoint the kings of Judah in biblical times, but the ancients also believed that this was the “hill east of Jerusalem” where Solomon built altars for the idols of his foreign wives (I Kings 11:7; 2 Kings 23:13). Thus they made a bitter pun on the Hebrew word for anointing – mishkha, turning it into the similar-sounding mashkhit – corruption! In a more optimistic vein, legend also has it that the olive branch the dove brought Noah came from a tree that grew here. The roof of the mount`s Catholic guesthouse, the House of Abraham, affords an unusual perspective of the Temple Mount, the Kidron Valley and Mount Zion. (Israel Minister of Tourism)

Mukhraka - The Place of Elijah’s Contest on Carmel They say once you`ve read the Bible where its events actually happened, you`ll never be the same. Nowhere is this truer than on Mount Carmel, at Mukhraka, which means “burned place,” where Elijah faced off against the prophets of Baal and God sent down fire from Heaven. (I Kings 18:17-46). From the Carmeli​te Monastery roof or along Carmel`s hiking routes, the story is revealed: surrounding limestone outcroppings are overgrown with lichen, black as the soot from the fire that consumed Elijah`s burnt offering; to the west is the Mediterranean, where Elijah`s servant saw the cloud signaling God`s renewed blessing (I Kings 18:44); to the northeast is more Scripture scenery on the palm of your hand: the Kishon Brook, where Baal`s prophets met their end (I Kings 18:40), winding through the fertile fields of the Jezreel Valley, also known as the Valley of Armageddon. 1 Kings 17:2-7 2 And the word of the Lord came to him, 3 “Depart from here and turn eastward, and hide yourself by the brook Cherith, that is east of the Jordan. 4 You shall drink from the brook, and I have commanded the ravens to feed you there.” 5 So he went and did according to the word of the Lord; he went and dwelt by the brook Cherith that is east of the Jordan. 6 And the ravens brought him bread and meat in the morning, and bread and meat in the evening; and he drank from the brook. 7 And after a while the brook dried up, because there was no rain in the land. (Israel Minister of Tourism)

Multiplication of the loaves and fishes The church on this site is an exact replica of the fourth century basilica built to commemorate the miracle of the feeding of the five thousand. The mosaic floor features one of the most famous motifs in the country - the basket of bread flanked by two fish, as well as a design of wildlife next to the Nile and its water level. The church is built around a black rock underneath the Altar, reverenced as the rock upon which Jesus blessed and broke the bread. Matthew 14:15-21 15 When it was evening, the disciples came to him and said, “This is a lonely place, and the day is now over; send the crowds away to go into the villages and buy food for themselves.” 16 Jesus said, “They need not go away; you give them something to eat.” 17 They said to him, “We have only five loaves here and two fish.” 18 And he said, “Bring them here to me.” 19 Then he ordered the crowds to sit down on the grass; and taking the five loaves and the two fish he looked up to heaven, and blessed, and broke and gave the loaves to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the crowds. 20 And they all ate and were satisfied. And they took up twelve baskets full of the broken pieces left over. 21 And those who ate were about five thousand men, besides women and children. (Israel Minister of Tourism)

Neot Kedumim - The Biblical Landscape Reserve The answers to many biblical questions await at Neot Kedumim, among them: Why was Solomon`s botanical wisdom described as extending “from the cedar to the hyssop” (1 Kings 4:33)? Why did Jeremiah describe Israel as “a thriving olive tree” (Jer. 11:16)? What did the Samaritan woman hear when Jesus spoke to her of “living waters” (John 4:11)? Ancient agricultural terraces have been restored here, creating the perfect backdrop for a walk through the Garden of Wisdom Literature, Isaiah`s Vineyard and other biblical scenery. Any time of year is a good time to visit Neot Kedumim, located on 600 acres of Judean mountain slopes, for a self-guided or guided tour. In spring, for example, see a threshing sledge at work (Isa. 41:15); in autumn try your hand at making olive oil. Neot Kedumim also serves biblical meals and conducts fascinating workshops on scriptural themes. (Israel Minister of Tourism)

Peter’s House Christians have been visiting the house of Peter at Capernaum in Galilee since the dawn of pilgrimage journeys. Thanks to the testimonies they left behind, we know just which dwelling became Capernaum`s first Christian house of worship. Peter`s house, where Jesus healed his mother-in-law (Matt. 8:14; Mark 1:29-31), was built in the first century BC, and was a simple dwelling, like many others archaeologists have unearthed in this small fishing and farming village. In the coming generations the faithful left no less than 131 inscriptions on its walls. Jesus` name appears frequently, as does Peter`s, along with crosses, pilgrims` names and blessings. Eventually, in the mid-fourth century, a large church was built here, with Peter`s house as its centerpiece, and some years ago a modern church also went up. These walls, old and new, attest to continuing Christian reverence for the site of one of the best-loved healing stories of Jesus` Galilee ministry. From St. Peter`s house, visitors can see another landmark, to the north beyond the modern boundary wall of Capernaum: the red-domed Greek Orthodox church of Capernaum. Excavations here by the Israel Antiquities Authority from 1978 to 1982 shed new light on Capernaum`s history, showing that it was not finally abandoned at the end of the Byzantine Christian period as was previously believed, but continued to flourish up to early Medieval times. The monks who live there are contemplative and therefore there are no visits to the site. (Israel Minister of Tourism)

Precipice Mountain Nazareth, where Jesus spent most of his life, has over the centuries held fast to the most famous story to come out of those years – Jesus` synagogue sermon and its aftermath, when admiration for him turned to rage (Luke 4:16-39). The site of the synagogue where Jesus preached has been marked for centuries, and so has the hilltop – Precipice Mountain –where tradition says the people of the city pursued Jesus. Mary, tradition says, was also here, frightened at the thought of what might happen to Jesus, until she saw he had emerged unharmed. A road leads to the top of Precipice Mountain; on the way you`ll see a church marking the site where Mary is said to have watched fearfully. At the top of the mountain, where the cliff plunges to the Jezreel Valley below, enjoy the magnificent panorama as you contemplate this dramatic story. (Israel Minister of Tourism)

Qasr el Yahud Located near Jericho and the Dead Sea on the Jordan River, Qasr Al Yahud is a baptism site for Christian pilgrims. Here you will find facilities that are friendly to many visitors for a baptism experience. It includes inviting marble steps that descend into the Jordan River and ruins of Byzantine and Crusader churches that also hosted pilgrims wanting to experience baptism in the Jordan river. ​ Matthew 3:13-17 13 Then Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to John, to be baptized by him. 14 John would have prevented him, saying, “I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?” 15 But Jesus answered him, “Let it be so now; for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.” Then he consented. 16 And when Jesus was baptized, he went up immediately from the water, and behold, the heavens were opened and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and alighting on him; 17 and lo, a voice from heaven, saying, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.” (Israel Minister of Tourism)

Shrine of the Book Home of the Dead Sea Scrolls discovered at Qumran, the Shrine of the Book is considered a landmark of twentieth- century museum architecture. Thus, it seemed natural to reinstall the Second Temple model – depicting Jerusalem at the height of its architectural glory – next to the Shrine at the Israel Museum. A corridor links the two sites, emphasizing that together they have much to teach visitors about the period that witnessed both the building and destruction of the Second Temple, and the ministry of Jesus. The 1:50 model`s new setting gives visitors excellent new perspectives that grant a true idea of the city`s ancient grandeur. A short film, screened in the new 80-seat Dorot Center auditorium, follows an acolyte at Qumran and a young priest in Jerusalem. Like the shrine and the model, it is a valuable tool in helping Christians ponder the ministry of Jesus against the backdrop of this tumultuous period. (Israel Minister of Tourism)

Stella Maris The nineteenth-century Carmelite church and monastery of Stella Maris is perched at the western edge of Mount Carmel, atop the bayside city of Haifa, high over the Mediterranean. Its name, which means “star of the sea,” comes not from the beautiful view, but from an ancient epithet for Mary, the mother of Jesus. The Carmelites have lived in the area since medieval times, and are known for their warm welcome to people of all faiths. Their church has a beautifully painted dome and a magnificent altar over a cave Elijah is said to have inhabited. The European atmosphere here is augmented by a monument in the garden to Napoleon`s soldiers, who took shelter here after the battle for nearby Acre in 1799. A small museum on the premises displays interesting antiquities. And just across the street is one of Haifa`s major attractions – a cable-car that takes visitors on a fascinating ride down and up the mountain. (Israel Minister of Tourism)

The Hill of Evil Counsel The biblical scenes revealed from the shady walkways and spacious outlooks of this southern Jerusalem hilltop have turned it into a prime open-air Scripture “classroom.” The hill`s harsh name harks back to a Byzantine tradition identifying it as the place where the High Priest Caiphas and his colleagues decided to arrest Jesus (John 11:47-50). From here you can see everything that makes Jerusalem a goal of Christian travelers: Mount Moriah is the centerpiece. To the west, Mount Zion rises from the Hinnom Valley (Josh. 15:8; Jer. 7:32). On the east is the Kidron Valley (2 Sam. 15:23; John 18:1), and the Mount of Olives (Zech. 14:3), with the Garden of Gethsemane at the foot and the Tower of the Ascension (Acts 1:11) at the top. The City of David is before you, where Kidron and Hinnom meet. Rounding out this incomparable view is the Judean Desert, peeking out over Bethany. (Israel Minister of Tourism)

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