To Galilee by way of Armageddon

I was excited when I saw that the route to Tiberias, and to Afula where I would be meeting Eldad Keynan who kindly agreed to show me around the Galilee, was by way of Megiddo, even though not all services stop there. The bus took me straight through the plain of Megiddo. It seems more agricultural than apocalyptic, and while one can understand how this would have seemed an idea spot for a battle of the ancient sort, involving rows of troops lined up to do battle using arrows or swords, it should also be immediately clear that no one ought to imagine such a battle actually taking place in the future. The image belongs to the past, not the future.

As with each day up until now, a lot was squeezed in to a relatively brief amount of time. The first stop was Beth Shean National Park, the impressive remains of a remarkable city.


The theater was already impressive even before I learned that the top half had collapsed and so I was only seeing about half of its original seating capacity.


The next stop was Degania Alef, the first Kibbutz.


From there we went to Yardenit, one of the places that some claim Jesus was baptized. I put my feet in the water, and had them nibbled by fish that might be descendants of fish that nibbled at the feet of Jesus and his disciples! :-)


Differing views on the location of key sites is not uncommon, as I learned from a sign that mentioned “Capernaum (Orthodox).”

We stopped at Bethsaida as well, which was a much plainer town by far in comparison to the city of Beth Shean, as well as a couple of other sites, such as the place where the Gadarene swine incident is supposed to have occurred.


Finally, here is one shot of the view from my hotel room. I am staying at the Prima Galil, and it is thanks to one thing that makes them far superior to the Jerusalem Ramada – their providing of free Wi-Fi in the bar area, if not in rooms – that I am able to post this without delay, difficulty or expense.


I look forward to more touring and discussion with Eldad, since today’s conversation ranged from the Talpiot tomb to mythicism to Jesus as mamzer to peace in the Middle East and much else beside. And so in addition to getting to see all the sites I needed to, I also had delightful stimulating conversation along the way as well.

  • Geoff Hudson

    Eldad seems to be an expert on Galilee.  Ask him to give archaelogical proof that Vespasian was in Galililee.  We have it for Hadrian.

  • Beau Quilter

    Your picture of the theatre at Beth Shean looks just like the theatres I’ve seen dotted all around Italy. Amazing, the influence of the ancient Greeks and Romans!


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