King Herod, Caesarea, and Jaffa

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Today we had a chance to travel from the Old City of Jaffa to see King Herod’s palatial seaside town of Caesarea.  As with most brutal empires, there’s something about building big buildings, big theaters, and big communities where people could come an establish new civilizations.  With a dream of building Caesarea into a world-class harbor town uniting Rome with Israel, Herod actually created a deep water port where ships could come and drop off their goods.

While in port, the sailors had opportunities to enjoy theater, hippodrome, chariot races, and gladiator matches.

Of course, Herod took the prime real estate by the sea fully quipped with a salt water ocean pool off the front balcony.  Tradition says he spent 4 hours a day in the baths.  Can you imagine?

After our quick tour of Caesarea, we drove over to the Roman ruins of the aqueducts supplying the city with fresh water.  We had a little lunch, and went on down the road to Nazareth, the place where Mary heard from the Angel she would be given a child.  More on that to come.

The KIVU Gap Year kids are loving the sites, the down time of tourism, and excited to meet some of my friends in the region.  They’re already talking about the economic issues they see, the religious differences they can identify by the different traditional dress, and the enormous ethnic differences all living in the same place.  It’s amazing when they say things like, “Look at this.  They’re all living together in peace and friendship.”  I guess they’re vision was total separation, or something?  Nonetheless, we’re beginning our survey of how Jesus actually worked in and around some of the same issues we deal with today.

Stay tuned…More cool stuff to come.

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