• Written by LaRay Dueck •

It’s crazy to think, but we passed the midway point of our trip today … feels like weeks ago that we began but this was only day 5! :)

Waking up in our hotel on the southeast side of the Sea of Galilee, we started the day pondering a couple of events in Jesus’ life that happened on the nearby mountains. Jesus crossing the sea to cast a legion of demons out of one man before heading back was an incredible picture of the length He was willing to go to for one person—not to mention a person that would have been looked down upon by both religious people and pagans.

Wouldn’t you know it—Jesus returned later on in His ministry to find a multitude of people eager to hear His message as they had seen and heard of the change in this one man. It’s amazing what God can do!

We got a taste of ancient Hebrew life at Kartzin—a recreated Jewish village where we stomped on some grapes (and drank the juice, of course) and made our own bread with some classic toppings like olives, hyssop, jam, and goat cheese.

After the ancient village, we moved on to a modern expression of Jewish life in the form of a local olive oil manufacturer who creates all sorts of products from olives. It was a great look into the ingenuity and creativity of the Jewish people in an industry that is nearly as old as they are.

After a peek into the land of Syria (from afar), it was off to Caesarea Philippi where a crucial moment in Jesus ministry occurred … during and before Jesus’ time, this city was pagan to the highest degree. With this backdrop, Jesus asks the famous question, “Who do men say that I am?” As we’re learning, Jesus frequently used the scenery to make His point.

Turns out the day was only beginning as we had some delicious lunch prepped for us by our incredible bus driver, Eli, before heading off toward the northern town of what was Dan. In this lush part of Israel, we found the clearest water, incredible vegetation, and even a few bamboo trees. It was here in Dan that we saw an altar that was erected in disobedience to God’s clear command. Eventually, a stage was built where a golden calf was erected and worshiped. It was a sobering reminder that compromise in our lives can lead to some disastrous results.

As always, our Hebrew guide had an incredible amount of insight on the gravity of archaeological finds as well as the history scattered throughout the area. He showed us where an incredible stone was found. The stone—engraved by a foreign king boasted a great victory over “the people of David.” It was the first time David’s name had been found in a site and ended all debated on not only David’s existence but his presence as a powerful leader of a great kingdom.

Being an expert in archaeology, Dan (our Hebrew guide) was especially excited about our last stop of the day—it was definitely the oldest and one of the most prized finds in Israel … “Abraham’s gate.” Though we don’t know if Abraham definitely walked through it, the gate is dated to his time and is right on the road that he would have taken. It’s a strange feeling looking at something like that but, as is the case with most of these stops, makes me excited to dig deeper into the Bible.

The hour-long drive south through the trees, mountains, and along the sea found us back to our hotel where we were all ready for a relaxing, if not short, evening by the Sea of Galilee to get us rested up for what’s sure to be another great day tomorrow as we begin our transition to Jerusalem!


Interested in learning about future Deeper Christian Israel Study Tours? Our next trip is scheduled for April 2020 and details/registration will be announced early September. Go to to sign up for details/updates and to be notified first when the trip officially opens up.

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