Tuesday, May 07, 2013

ISRAEL - Part 5 Mount Arbel

Sometimes the best discoveries come totally by surprise. That's what happened to Hunter, Scott and I on our last day in Galilee. Near our outpost in Nos Ginosar there is a mountain called Arbel. The cliffs there were mouthwateringly close not to give them a shot.

We left before breakfast. Little did we know that there was far more to these cliffs than met the eye. Turns out, and we discovered this en route while we dodged horses and cows with horns, that the cliffs were riddled with caves.

We learned later that these caves go back as far as the Maccabean Rebellion which pre-dates Jesus by over 150 years!

I read this online: Josephus relates that Marc Antony had sent Herod to suppress a rebellion by the Jews (this is 37 B.C.) from Arbel "lurking in caves...opening up onto mountain precipices [that] were inaccessible from any quarter, except by some tortuous and extremely narrow paths leading up to them; the cliff in front of them dropped sheer down..." (Josephus, War 1:305, 310).

It was easy to imagine Jesus and his disciples sheltering out here. Heck, I wanted to shelter out there. Had I known they were there I would have kissed my bed at Nos Ginosar good-bye.

The only bummer was Lia wasn't there. Fortunately, we ended up with an extra 90 minutes in our morning schedule, and I twisted the tour group's arms into going back.

It was a quick, hot, strenuous hike. But it made the Coke at the end all the better.

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