10-12-18 From the Galilee to Jerusalem
After a sunrise service with dawn breaking over the Golan Heights across the sea of Galilee, we prepare to leave our hotel at the Kibbutz Nof Ginosar to view more sites closer to the Mediterranean coast before moving on to the Holy City of Jerusalem.
First stop is Megiddo. The first mention of this strategic fortification (so far as we know today) in from about 1400 BC during the reign of Egyptian Pharaoh Thutmose where it was an outpost of the Egyptian Empire. In the pic, Doron explains to us why Megiddo is so critically placed astride the Jezreel valley along the Way of the Sea between Damascus and Egypt.
The plaque gives a brief description of the City of Megiddo as it relates to the Bible. For etymology nerds like myself, Har Meggido is the same place that is called Armageddon in the book of the Revelation. In Hebrew Har means mountain, so Har Megiddo is mountain of Megiddo. There is no letter H in Greek (the one that looks like H is actually the vowel Eta and the H sound is represented by a breath mark over the first vowel or diphthong in Greek), so words starting in H often drop the H. As a neuter noun, it has to end in the letter N because otherwise the O ending would look like a masculine noun in the dative/instrumental/locative case of highly inflected Koine Greek. Therefore Har Megiddo becomes Armageddon in Greek. Of course the word Armageddon has picked up all kinds of not necessarily biblical meanings in our world today.
Excavations has uncovered the stairway leading up to the main gate of the fortress in Solomon’s day.
Megiddo’s commanding view over the surrounding countryside can been seen from these pics. Pastor Brad, a retired ELCA pastor, now part time chaplain is in the third shot next to the flags. He was a GREAT addition to the trip, and was able to play #1 support for Pastor Dave’s exhausting duties.
Pastor Dave’s 14-year-old son Josiah was our group’s resident prankster as he was continually looking for ways to burn off excess energy, if not by climbing on things, then by annoying Pastor Brad or attaching snap-links to our baggage.
he Kishon brook is just visible in the valley below Mount Carmel where the prophets of Ba’al were slaughtered after their god failed to send down fire and consume the sacrifice the way the true God did. The brook is in the foreground where it emerges next to a road under the highway overpass. In the second pic the Mediterranean is just visible in the distance where a cloud arose from the sea announcing the end of the drought in Elijah’s day.