Bethlehem to a cave to Jericho to the Sea of Galilee

Today we left Palestine to go to the Sea of Galilee. On the way we stopped at a typical cave where shepherds would be able to bring their sheep in at night. John (who has written his master’s thesis on how Jesus’ birth would have gone down) gave his “sorry to ruin Christmas for you, but pretty much everything you think about it is wrong” teaching. I had heard it before and it is very interesting. I can share it with you if you ever want to hear it. The punchline is basically Jesus was born into a filthy place for you.

Shepard Cave
Shepherd Cave

sheep pen with settlement in backgroundSheep pen with settlement in background

After walking back to the car past an illegal Israeli settlement, we drove to another strenuous hike – the Jericho road at 1PM with over 100 degree heat. It was quite a sweet walk. This is a road that Jesus would have definitely been on and where the parable of the good Samaritan took place. It was very interesting to see how narrow the road was (couple of feet wide in some places with steep 100 foot drops), so that the folks who passed the wounded man by would have really had to step around him.

jericho road
Jericho road – it’s that little path down there

We made our way north to Jericho. The original city (founded c. 9000 BC – oldest city on earth) the Israelites marched around is there as an archaeological dig. We of course marched around it. No trumpets, though. We also were able to see the spring that Elisha threw salt in to make clean. The spring is still pumping out nice cool water – we got to dip our feet into it after the over 100 degree day.

After that, north to Tiberius on the Sea of Galilee. We’re in a nice hotel run by German Arabs. That sounds kind of funny.

Sea of Galilee

Tomorrow we should be able to go for a swim and who knows what else. John doesn’t tell us till we get there.