A replica of the pagan altar built at Tel Dan. Built on the foundation of the original altar . . . but they didn't use aluminum back then :).
In the city of Tel Dan itself. In fact, right at the city gates sits a place for the throne. It is here where they would take a case to the king in front of the city gates. The round things hold wooden posts to create shade over the leader.
Here is the outside of the city of Tel Dan. That pile of rocks in the middle was an altar at one point. People would make sacrifices to ask for protection on their journey and again once they arrived at their destination on these altars. Tel Dan is one of the oldest sites in Israel.
Somewhere between the big reconstructed altar and the city itself is another city gates that was made out of mud, and is being restored. It is THE oldest site in all Israel. Thousands of years before Christ, probably even before the Jews came over from Egypt. I wish I had taken a picture, but literally couldn't because of the battery. Maybe Christ took a picture of it.
Somewhere in them thar hills is the most significant archeological site in Israel, Hazor. It is the only hard evidence we have that shows a city being destroyed at the time in which Israel came over from Egypt. It has a burn layer right at the time we think Joshua was conquering the area. Plus, it is mentioned as having been burned completely to the ground in the book of Joshua. We didn't go there. We shot uzis instead.
This is a cliff face that overlooks the sea of galilee. The name escapes me, but it sure was neat.
John sitting at the headwaters of Banias. This was in the old city of Caesarea Philipi. The inhabitants used to sacrifice sheep at this giant cave where the spring originates, and has creepy shrines all around it. The transfiguration possible took place right above said cave. We didn't have nearly enough time here, and I could have spent a whole day hiking around. I didn't get any pictures of the city ruins myself, once again . . . batteries. I did learn my lesson though.
Those rocks in the background are right where the cave is in this picture.
"I think I made a wrong turn at albuquerqe". A good ole fashioned road sign at the bunker pointing out which countries are where. The bunker is a defunct one, turned tourist site. I believe it was used in all but the most recent wars, but don't remember for sure. From the bunker you can see Syria, Lebanon, and Jordan.
Syria mostly. I think you can see a little of Jordan in the distance.
Into the bunker.
I just liked the light and shadow this fixture produced.
The next series is one of a castle built during the time of the crusades. It is built on the road to damascus as a stronghold. Both crusaders and muslims controlled it for a while, but most recently muslims. That we bitty line in the middle is the ruins of the castle. The road you can barely see on the right is the road to damascus, upon which Paul met Jesus. Blurry karen (slow shutter speed) in one of the main rooms of the castle. A window through which archers arched at opposing forces. They are tiny little things, less than six inches wide, about two feet tall. Just enough space to knock, draw, and shoot a bow from. The external walls of the castle.
As i was practicing my daily prayer at the sacred space website, I had a possible profundity pop into my prefrontal lobe (nice alliteration). We sing songs about Jesus drawing near. I know I have an image of prayer in my head where Jesus comes to me and listens when I prayer. I wonder how accurate such an image is.
Maybe when we pray and feel the presence of God, we are being drawn to Him. The picture of Jesus with a lasso pulling us to him when we ask Jesus to draw near comes into my mind.
Maybe Jesus drawing near and feeling his presence is a matter of us dropping our own pretexts and allowing ourselves to experience God's omnipresence.
Maybe Jesus can't draw any more near because he dwells in us.
Maybe we are drawn to him.
Maybe heaven is closer than we think.
In the movie Constantine, Hell is a horrible shadow that reflects the realities of earth. It has the same streets and buildings and trees, only they are dead and firey. In that movie, earth is just a shell covering the reality of hell underneath. a pessimistic view of creation if ever there was one. Maybe the idea is right, but the focus is wrong. What if earth is a shell of the heavenly reality (a la Plato)? What do you think?
p.s. more israel photos pretty soon, not sure when.