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Friday, July 10, 2009

Tel Dan

First of all...this was the 4th of JULY!!!!
We had already celebrated back at Neve Shalom on the 2nd so we had a full day of touring ahead of us!!!
First we went to Tel Dan which is mentioned in both Joshua 19 and Judges 18:27-31. We also know that Abraham pursued Lot to Dan in Genesis 14. Sampson's parents are Dannites but we are not sure why people settled here...were Philistines too powerful?
Tel Dan amazes us because there are running streams and waterfalls and ponds. We have been to several Tels by now and all of them are hot and on top of a mountain. Tel Dan is located in woods and there are several water sources.
The first major thing we see is the Canaanite gate that had an ARCH!!!!! Now you may have been told that the romans invented the arch but that's wrong because the Caananites clearly did way before the Romans thought of it. Its a very impressive mudbrick gate and they are reconstructing it.
Next we go to the Isrealitie gate where in the floor an insrcription was found that mentions the House of David and dated to the mid 9th century BC. They had nothing mentioning the House of David before because the only place we could probably find evidence is on the Temple Mount and you are not allowed to dig there.
Right inside the gate there is a throne looking thing that is modeled after the throne in Jerusalem. In 2nd Samuel 19 we are told that the kings would greet people at the city gate..so this fits.
Next we go to the Cultic High Place which was framed out by metal to what they think it would have looked like.....look familiar( looks like horned altar from Beer Sheva). An inscription was found here that mentions the god of Dan...so obviously there was some pagan worship going on.
The last couple of scenic pictures are actually looking at Mt. Hermon in Israel, then the valley is no man's land and to the left we could see into Lebanon. The Lebanese have been after Mt. Hermon for years and as we leave to head to Caesarea Phillipi we see signs along the road that say " danger, mines". Our tour guide tells us that the road we are on is safe because it follows the road that was previously there...however, the fields surrounding it aren't and occasional hikers will get stranded or farmers will send thier cattle out into the fields to find the leftover mines.

Tel Dan Pictures

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