Israel: Up the Jordan Valley and on to Galilee

April 10, 2016

Yesterday we made our way from Jerusalem down to the Jordan Valley and on up to Galilee. Visibility was not the best due to winds from the east and south bringing dust and haze.

We stopped a couple of times along the way to photograph shepherds with their sheep. That is a scene I never tire of. This location was just north of Jericho. We are looking west.

Sheep in Jordan Valley. Photo by Leon Mauldin.

Sheep in Jordan Valley. Photo by Leon Mauldin.

Sunrise at the Sea of Galilee this morning consisted of the sun barely peaking through some clouds and dust.

Sunrise at Sea of Galilee April 10, 2016. Photo by Leon Mauldin.

Sunrise at Sea of Galilee April 10, 2016. Photo by Leon Mauldin.

There is no doubt that during His ministry on earth Jesus and His disciples saw mornings like this on occasion also.

After worship this morning in Nazareth, Ferrell Jenkins and I went on to the Hecht Museum at Haifa University, where we both took several hundred photos. It is a very nice museum of artifacts that covered biblical/historical periods from Chalcolithic on down through Roman. Neither of us had been there before.

So our travels today took us from Tiberias to Nazareth, up the Plain of Jezreel, to the Carmel range and on to Haifa (biblical Acco). We had a good view of the Plain of Acco down to the Mediterranean; then back to Tiberias. It’s been a good day. Our hotel is the Ron Beach Hotel, right on the Sea. My favorite place to stay in the Galilee.

Just for good measure I wanted to share a sunrise photo from Sept, 2011.

Sunrise at Sea of Galilee, Sept. 2011. Photo by Leon Mauldin.

Sunrise at Sea of Galilee, Sept. 2011. Photo by Leon Mauldin.

Shepherd with His Sheep

December 22, 2014

When visiting biblical sites I never tire of seeing sheep and their shepherds. I’m sure that is due in large measure to the frequent references in the Bible, not only to literal shepherds and sheep, but also the metaphorical usage.

Shepherd with sheep in biblical Pamphilia. Photo by Leon Mauldin.

Shepherd with sheep in biblical Pamphylia. Photo by Leon Mauldin.

Isaiah 53:6 All we like sheep have gone astray; We have turned, every one, to his own way; And the LORD has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.

Psalm 23:1 The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.

John 1:29 The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, “Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!

John 10:27 My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me.

1 Peter 2:25 For you were like sheep going astray, but have now returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls.

Elders of local churches are told: 1 Peter 5:2 Shepherd the flock of God which is among you, serving as overseers, not by compulsion but willingly, not for dishonest gain but eagerly.

Revelation 7:17 for the Lamb who is in the midst of the throne will shepherd them and lead them to living fountains of waters. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.

“I Am the Door of the Sheep” (John 10:7)

May 17, 2013

One of Jesus “I Am” statements in the gospel of John is found in John 10:7: “Then Jesus said to them again, ‘Most assuredly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep'” and again in v.9: “I am the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture.” Because of verses such as these I am intrigued to see sheepfolds in biblical lands.

Sheepfold near Yodfat in Israel. Photo by Leon Mauldin.

Sheepfold near Yodfat in Israel. Photo by Leon Mauldin.

Of course a door provides access. Inside is safety. Jesus is our access to the Father (John 14:6). In Him are all spiritual blessings (Eph. 1:3). The reference to going “in and out” is suggestive of going out for pasturage, and at the end of the day going in for rest. All of our spiritual needs are met in Christ.

With this in mind note John 10:1-9:

‘Most assuredly, I say to you, he who does not enter the sheepfold by the door, but climbs up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber. 2 But he who enters by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. 3 To him the doorkeeper opens, and the sheep hear his voice; and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. 4 And when he brings out his own sheep, he goes before them; and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice. 5 Yet they will by no means follow a stranger, but will flee from him, for they do not know the voice of strangers.’ 6 Jesus used this illustration, but they did not understand the things which He spoke to them. 7 Then Jesus said to them again, ‘Most assuredly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep. 8 All who ever came before Me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not hear them. 9 I am the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture. 10 The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly’ (NKJV).

Sheep within the sheepfold. Photo by Leon Mauldin.

Sheep within the sheepfold. Photo by Leon Mauldin.

These sheep within the sheepfold were photographed near Yodfat in Galilee. From this site one can see Cana in the distance.

Wikipedia has this info regarding 1st century Yodfat, a city referenced by the Jewish historian Josephus:

By the first century CE Yodfat had expanded to encompass an area of 50 dunams (13 acres). Its siege and subsequent destruction in 67 CE are described in Josephus Flavius’ The Wars of the Jews, his chronicle of the Great Jewish Revolt against the Romans. Led by future emperor Vespasian, three Roman legions — Legio V Macedonica, X Fretensis, and XV Apollinaris — besieged Yodfat, meeting strong Jewish resistance. After 47 days the city fell by treachery, and Josephus describes the death of 40,000 Jews and the enslavement of 1,200 women and children. Yodfat was razed and burnt on the first of the Hebrew month of Tammuz. While a few dozen remaining fighters committed suicide, Josephus managed to survive this pact and was captured by the Romans.

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Ararat Traffic Jam

August 10, 2012

A lot of sheep and cattle are raised in Turkey. They take priority when the shepherd needs them to cross the road. Traffic just has to wait.

Ararat Traffic Jam. Photo by Leon Mauldin.

You can see Mt. Ararat in background. I love moments like this.

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Ararat (cont’d.)

August 9, 2012

When traveling in the lands where biblical events occurred, I never tire of scenes of sheep with their shepherd. This is certainly true down from the slopes of Mt. Ararat, known as Greater Ararat, located in the mountain range where the ark came to rest.

Shepherds with sheep at Mt. Ararat. Photo by Leon Mauldin.

Mt. Ararat reaches 16,945 feet in altitude, and is snow-capped year round.

Mt. Ararat is situated near Dogubeyazit, Turkey. This peak is only 10 miles west of the border of Iran, seen in this photo:

Turkey/Iran border. Mt. Ararat is 10 miles west (to our back) from this point. Photo by Leon Mauldin.

This kind of trip makes for some wonderful memories. Four of us, Ferrell Jenkins, David Padfield, Gene Taylor and myself, made this trip to eastern Turkey in 2007.

Check yesterday’s post for biblical references to the mountains (and kingdom) of Ararat. Ferrell Jenkin’s has made numerous posts on Ararat, including here.

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Shepherds in a Dry and Thirsty Land

August 11, 2011

In our last post we mentioned the obvious fact that sheep need shepherds. When you consider the terrain and climate of the wilderness of Judea, it becomes even more clear that shepherds were/are needed to lead sheep to pasturage and water.

Judean Desert. Shepherds are needed to lead sheep to grazing and water. Photo ©Leon Mauldin.

Over the years the sheep as well as goats carve out paths in the rugged terrain.

Trails worn by sheep & goat in Judean Desert. Photo ©Leon Mauldin.

Scenes such as this below are basically unchanged from the days of the patriarchs thousands of years ago.

Such scenes illustrate life in biblical times. Photo ©Leon Mauldin.

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