Saturday, July 11, 2009

Baniass/Caeserea Phillipi and Tel Hazor

After we left Tel Dan we headed to Ceaeserea Phillipi or modern day Baniass. This spot was a cultic site dedicated to Pan- who is the spirit of caves and is connected to water. Herod built this pagan city on the edge of Israel and made a shrine to pan and a temple beside it dedicated to Caeser. Herod Phillipa, his son, made it his capital city. It is within this region that in Matthew 16, Peter recognizes Jesus as the Messiah.
When Agrippa II comes he builds an even bigger palace here and Josephus tells us that jewish slaves were brought here to be sold after the great revolt. They were also forced into playing gladiator games against one another for sport.
It had been called Paniass ( for pan ) but since the arabs dont have a p sound they called it Baniass.
In the pictures I will point out the ruins of the city of Paniass, the Palace of Agrippa II with Mt. Hermon behind it and the Vaults of the Crusaders.
The very last ruin is the church where the women who was healed from ongoing bleeding ( mark 5) made a statue of Jesus and gave it to them....this is only tradition.

Next we headed to Tel Hazor which was the acropolis during the Caananite period. It is the largest Tel in Israel and some of it has been taken over by agriculture fields. Tel Hazor is mentioned in the Armana letters as part of a trade route . We also know that there were letters between Tel Hazor and King Akhenaton ( spelling?) asking for help from invaders but none arrived.
In Joshua 11, Hazor is captured by Joshua and everyone is killed and its burned to the ground. Another destruction of Hazor found in history is that on the Merneptah stella where the Egyptian pharoah talks of conquering Israel and they assumed Hazor is part of that. After doing some archeaological digs there they have found a destruction layer but aren't sure as to which story it fits.
After being mentioned in 2 Kings 15 Hazor becomes a minor city until the Hellenistic period, and finally the last big mention of Hazor is found in the Book of McAbees.
Just as Gezer, Hazor was fortified by Solomon in 1 Kings 9.
As we walked around the site we notice a very familiar 4 room Israelite house, like the one we have at Gezer and also a stable and storage room.

The internet is being WAY slow tonight so I will let you know when pictures are uploaded!!!!
By the way.... even though I am writing about events that happened on the 4th of July, today is July 11th and its my Grandparents 50TH WEDDING ANNIVERSARY!!!!!
HOW AMAZING IS THAT? I am truely blessed to have so many great examples of marriage to look up to amongst my family and my in-laws. Nana and Papa, I wish you the best day ever and I hope you have fun at the party/reunion. I wish I could be there to celebrate with you!!! BIG HUG AND KISS!!!!

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