As a group of 12---we begin our Israel tour today.
Please send us love and blessings, as we send the same to you.
Here is our itinerary for today. We leave the modern Israeli city of only about 100 years time to move northward.
Our first stop is in Cesearea build by Herod to honor Caesar.
Caesarea is believed to have been built on the ruins of Stratonospyrgos (Straton's Tower), founded by Straton I of Sidon. It was probably an agricultural storehouse in its earliest configuration. In 90 BCE, Alexander Jannaeus captured Straton's Tower as part of his policy of developing the shipbuilding industry and enlarging the Hasmonean kingdom. Straton's Tower remained a Jewish city for two generations, until the Roman conquest of 63 BCE when the Romans declared it an autonomous city.
The pagan city underwent vast changes under Herod the Great, who renamed it Caesarea in honor of the emperor. In 22 BCE he began construction of a deep sea harbor and built storerooms, markets, wide roads, baths, temples to Rome and Augustus, and imposing public buildings. Every five years the city hosted major sports competitions, gladiator games, and theatrical productions.
Caesarea also flourished during the Byzantine period. In the 3rd century the Jewish sages exempted the city from Jewish commandments as by this time the majority of the inhabitants were non-Jewish. The city was chiefly a commercial centre relying on trade. The area was only seriously farmed during the Rashidun Caliphate period, apparently until the Crusader conquest in the eleventh century. Over time, the farms were buried under the sands shifting along the shores of the Mediterranean.
In 1251, Louis IX fortified the city. The French king ordered the construction of high walls (parts of which are still standing) and a deep moat. However strong the walls were, they could not keep out the sultan Baybars, who ordered his troops to scale the walls in several places simultaneously, enabling them to penetrate the city.
Following this we go to Megiddo:
Megiddo was a site of great importance in the ancient world, as it guarded the western branch of a narrow pass and an ancient trade route which connected the lands of Egypt and Assyria. Because of its strategic location at the crossroads of several major routes, Megiddo and its environs have witnessed several major battles throughout history. The site was inhabited from approximately 7000 BC to 586 BC (the same time as the destruction of the First Israelite Temple in Jerusalem by the Babylonians, and subsequent fall of Israelite rule and exile). One of its claims to importance is the fact that since this time it has remained uninhabited, thereby preserving the ruins of its time periods pre-dating 586 BC without newer settlements disturbing them.
Megiddo is mentioned in Ancient Egyptian writings because one of Egypt's mighty kings, Thutmose III, waged war upon the city in 1478 BC. The battle is described in detail in the hieroglyphics found on the walls of his temple in Upper Egypt. Named in the Bible Derekh HaYam (Hebrew: דרך הים), or "Way of the Sea," it became an important military artery of the Roman Empire and was known as the Via Maris.
Finally---we will overnight in Haifa. My greatest interest is traveling to where Jeshua/Yeshua lived and studied in the Mt Carmel Essene community in Haifa.
Much more to come---but now the group is ready to leave.
With Luv and Light, Linda and travelers.