Today we were finally able to take our boat ride on the Sea of Galilee.
Of course, the day started off with another sunrise over the Sea of Galilee.
After a good breakfast we went out and watched for the boat to arrive.
We all boarded the boat and sailed across the sea and eventually came to a stop near the Cove of the Sower. This is where Jesus taught the crowd from a boat.
Again he began to teach beside the sea. And a very large crowd gathered about him, so that he got into a boat and sat in it on the sea, and the whole crowd was beside the sea on the land. And he was teaching them many things in parables, and in his teaching he said to them: “Listen! A sower went out to sow. And as he sowed, some seed fell along the path, and the birds came and devoured it. Other seed fell on rocky ground, where it did not have much soil, and immediately it sprang up, since it had no depth of soil. And when the sun rose, it was scorched, and since it had no root, it withered away. Other seed fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked it, and it yielded no grain. And other seeds fell into good soil and produced grain, growing up and increasing and yielding thirtyfold and sixtyfold and a hundredfold.” And he said, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear.” (Mark 4:1-9 ESV)
We were able to see a demonstration of how a fishing net was thrown.
We then headed to shore and docked at Kibbutz Ginossar so that we could visit the Yigal Allon Museum.
The highlight of the museum was a boat from the Roman Period that had been found in 1986. We watched a film about the preservation of the boat and also heard a little more about the way boats were constructed and utilized on the Sea of Galilee at that time. This boat is smaller than the one that Jesus and the Disciples would normally use, but is a great example of a boat from the time period.
We then resumed our tour on the bus and went to visit Magdala. We were fortunate to be able to visit the site of the recently discovered synagogue, but were not permitted to take pictures.
Later in the day we also came back to Magdala for lunch.
We then visited one of the traditional sites of the sermon of the mount.
While there we read the first section of the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 5.
On the way back to Magdala for lunch we drove by Korazim or Chorazin.
Most of us will recognize the name of this city because of the following verses.
Then he began to denounce the cities where most of his mighty works had been done, because they did not repent. “Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the mighty works done in you had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes. But I tell you, it will be more bearable on the day of judgment for Tyre and Sidon than for you. And you, Capernaum, will you be exalted to heaven? You will be brought down to Hades. For if the mighty works done in you had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until this day. But I tell you that it will be more tolerable on the day of judgment for the land of Sodom than for you.” (Matthew 11:20-24 ESV)
After lunch we proceeded on to some of the other cities mentioned in the verses. First we made a stop in Capernaum.
After leaving Capernaum, we visited the traditional site of Bethsaida.
We do know that this site is known as et-Tell, what scholars disagree on is whether this is Bethsaida, or whether it is in a different location. There is also a possibility that in Old Testament times this city may have been known as Geshur. The gates shown in the picture above are from the Old Testament time period.
We then drove along the east shore of the Sea of Galilee. We went by the traditional site of where the pigs ran into the sea. We also saw another site that is the more likely location of the event.
We also stopped to take a picture of Hippos, which is set on top of a large hill.
We then continued our circuit of the sea and made it back to our hotel after getting a glimpse of the ruins of old Tiberias.
For more information about the trip you can also read the following blogs by other tour members.
Tomorrow we will continue on to Jerusalem visiting a few sites along the way.