August 28, 2014
In studying the book of Judges, brief mention is made of Ibzan of Bethlehem. The text notes that he had 30 sons and 30 daughters, and states that he judged Israel for seven years (Jud. 12:8-10). Very likely this is the Bethlehem of Galilee, not the Bethlehem of Judah, the latter being remembered of course as the birthplace of Jesus (Micah 5:2; Matt. 2:1). There were two biblical cities named Bethlehem. This is why the Bible is very specific in clarifying that Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judah in these texts.
Joshua 19 describes the inheritance of Zebulun (of Galilee) and Bethlehem is included in the list: “Included also were Kattah and Nahalal and Shimron and Idalah and Bethlehem; twelve cities with their villages” (v.15). Note the location of the map here:
Bethlehem of Galilee. Map by BibleAtlas.org.
Here is a shot of the city sign upon entering from the south.
Bethlehem of the Galilee sign. Photo by Leon Mauldin.
The earlier presence of the Templars may still be seen.
Bethlehem Templar Folk House. Photo by Leon Mauldin.
Today Bethlehem of the Galilee is a moshav, a cooperative agricultural community of individual farms.
Pasture in Bethlehem. Photo by Leon Mauldin.
Cattle at Bethlehem. Photo by Leon Mauldin.
3 Comments | Bible History and Geography, Bible Study, Biblical Interpretation, Israel, Joshua, New Testament, Old Testament, photography, Travel | Tagged: Bethlehem, Galilee | Permalink
Posted by Leon Mauldin
March 13, 2011
Last evening we arrived in Jerusalem, but I did not post last night as I was having internet problems.
Before leaving Galilee yesterday morning we visited Capernaum. Capernaum means “town of Nahum” (New Unger’s Bible Dictionary, p.209), and is called “the most important city on the northern shore of the Sea of Galilee (Nelson’s New Illustrated Bible Dictionary, p. 245). Though Jesus’ home town was Nazareth, Capernaum was where He lived during the Galilean ministry. Note the wording of the NET in Matt. 4:13, “While in Galilee, he moved from Nazareth to make his home in Capernaum by the sea, in the region of Zebulun and Naphtali.” To that compare Mark 2:1: “Now after some days, when he returned to Capernaum, the news spread that he was at home,” with its parallel in Matt. 9:1, which says Jesus came “to His own city.”
The impressive remains of a beautiful white limestone synagogue can be seen at Capernaum. While these ruins are post 1st century, excavations below these remains show evidence of an earlier synagogue, built of black basalt stones, which hasbeen determined to be of AD 1st century usage.
Synagogue at Capernaum. Photo by Leon Mauldin.
Capernaum was among three cities Jesus publicly rebuked for their unbelief manifested in their refusal to repent at the preaching of Jesus. The inhabitants of Capernaum had received much, but believed litt.e There is a biblical principle here: “For everyone to whom much is given, from him much will be required; and to whom much has been committed, of him they will ask the more” (Lk. 12:48).
While at Capernaum I took a group shot as our guide Elie was giving info re: the site.
Group shot at Capernaum. Photo by Leon Mauldin.
Thanks for following our travels. It is a joy to do biblical studies on location.
Click on images for higher resolution.
1 Comment | Bible History and Geography, Bible Study | Tagged: Capernaum, Galilee, Synagogue | Permalink
Posted by Leon Mauldin