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A Pilgrim's Guide To The Land of the Bible Israel

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A holy land pilgrimage is a spiritual journey, and remembrance of the Scriptures, the following article will guide you through the holy land sites you'll witness during a Christian trip to Israel, and their correlation to the Scriptures and the life to Jesus and His Apostils.

Acre (Acre-Ptolemais)
Main city port of the coastal plain north of Mount Carmel, Acre was of strategic importance during ancient times. Paul spent a day here on his third missionary journey (Acts 21:7). Today it is a city of domes and minarets, cradled in a beautiful bay, and the site of impressive Crusader remains.

Bethlehem (in the Palestinian Authority)
Best known as the site of the Nativity (Matthew 2:1-20; Luke 2:1-12). A few miles south of Jerusalem, Bethlehem is the site of Rachel's Tomb (Genesis 35:19); where David was anointed king by Samuel (1 Samuel 26:1) and where, Ruth met Boaz at Beit Sahour, or "Shepherd's Fields" (Ruth 1:19-22).

Bethpage
On His way into Jerusalem, Jesus sent two disciples from Bethpage to a nearby village for the donkey on which He rode into the Jerusalem Palm Procession (Matthew 21:1-11; Mark 11:1-10; Luke 19:29-40; John 12:12-19).

Bethsaida
Close to the point where the Jordan River enters the Sea of Galilee, Bethsaida was the city of Philip, Andrew and Peter (John 1:44, 12:21). Here, too, Jesus cured a blind man (Mark 8:22-26) and performed the Feeding of the Five thousand (Luke 9:10-17). Jesus took the ship to Bethsaida (Mark 6:45).

Caesarea Maritime
Conquered and renamed Caesarea, this maritime city dates back to the Phoenicians and today, see beautiful Crusader and Byzantine ruins an spectacular, restored Roman theater. Caesarea is where Cornelius calls for Peter (Acts 10). Paul frequently visited and set out from here to Rome (Acts 9:30, Acts 18:22) and here Agabus predicted Paul's imprisonment (Acts 21:8-15).

Caesarea Philippi
Located at the foot of the Hermon region, town was built by Herod's son Philip. Jesus visited here, and the site is said to be the scene of Peters confession (Matthew 16:13-28, Mark 8:27 Luke 9:18-20).

Cana
In this small village close to Nazareth, church mosaics testify to Jesus' first miracle (John 2:1-11).

Capernaum
One of the most important cities in Jesus' Galilean ministry that features prominently in the Gospels. Jesus made His home here after leaving Nazareth (Matthew 4:13-16, Mark 2:1) and retreated following His temptation in the desert (Matt 4:1-11). This beautiful spot overlooking the Sea of Galilee was the home of disciples James and John, and here, Jesus cured Peter's mother-in-law (Matthew 8:14,15).

Douburiyah (Dobrath)
Today an Arab village near Mount Tabor, the biblical Dobrath was a town of Zevulun, believed to be the place where Jesus cured the epileptic boy (Luke 9:37-43).

Ein Karem
This picturesque village of Jerusalem, is where Mary visited Elizabeth; here, too, John the Baptist was born (Luke 1:39-80).

Emmaus (EI-Qubeibeh)
Ancient town seven and a half miles from Jerusalem, where, after His resurrection, Jesus met Cleopas and a companion. (Luke 24:13-35).

Galilee
Sea of The Lake or Sea of Galilee is referred to in the Scripture under four names: the Sea of Chinnereth (Numbers 34:11), the Lake of Gennesareth (Luke 5:1), the Sea of Tiberias (John 6:1, John 21:1) and the Sea of Galilee (Matthew 4:18, Matthew 15:29). A popular Israeli resort area, the Sea of Galilee played an important role in Jesus' ministry and features often in the Scriptures. Jesus taught from Peter's boat, and walked upon the waters and rebuked the storm (Mark 4:35-41; Matthew 14:13-29).

Jaffa (Joppa)
A strategic seaport in biblical times, Jaffa was where Jonah embarked for Tarshish (Jonah 1). An early Christian community lived here, and while visiting, Peter raised Dorcas from the dead (Acts 9:36-42) and prayed from the rooftop of Simon the Tanner's house. Today, Jaffa is part of the modern city of Tel Aviv.

Jericho (in the Palestinian Authority)
A flourishing oasis in the Judean Desert on the northern edge of the Dead Sea, Jericho is the oldest inhabited city in the world. This was the first city conquered by the people of Israel (Joshua 6:1-21). Here, Jesus restored the sight to the blind Bartimeus, and visited the home of Zaccheus (Matthew 20:29-34; Mark 10:46-52; Luke 18:35-43, 19:1-27). The Jericho road was notorious for its robber bands in biblical times, and it was here that the story of the Good Samaritan took place (Luke 10:30-37). Suspended from a cliff high above Jericho, a Greek Orthodox monastery marks Jesus' Temptation by the Devil (Matthew 4 : 1-11 , Mark 1:12).

Jerusalem
Since the days when King David made the city his royal capital some 3000 years ago (2 Samuel 5:6-10), Jerusalem has maintained a central place in the history of the world. When Solomon built the Temple here, the supremacy of the Holy City was sealed for all time (1 Kings 6). Situated high in the Judean hills, the strategic importance of the city has made it an oft-conquered and relinquished fortress: Babylonians, Persians, Greeks, Romans, Muslims, Crusaders and Turks have taken turns ruling the city and have left their mark in the form of churches, minarets and various edifices and shrines. Jerusalem was the site of Jesus' Last Supper, Gethsemane arrest, trial and crucifixion. Within the walls of the Old City and in the surrounding areas, one can visit the Tomb of Mary, the Temple Mount, the Pool of Bethesda, the Stations of the Cross, the Garden Tomb, the Mount of Olives, Mount Zion, the Kidron Valley - the list is endless. Biblical references to Jerusalem similarly defy enumeration, and today no Israel tour would be complete with out visiting the holy city of Jerusalem.

Jordan River
This body of water figures prominently in the Scriptures as a frontier and border, and many of the most remarkable figures and events are associated with the Jordan. Here John the Baptist preached and baptized Jesus (Matthew 3:13-17, Mark 1:9, Luke 3:21).

Korazin
Jesus upbraided this city for denying His miracles (Matthew 11:21, Luke 10:13).

Kursi (Gergesenes;Gadarenes)
On the easter shores of the Sea of Galilee, this site is marked by the remains of a church and monastery. Here, Jesus cured the possessed man (Matthew 8:28-34;Mark V;Luke 8:26-40).

Lod (Lydda)
Now the home of Israel's international airport, ancient Lydda was once an early Christian community. The paralytic Aenaeas was healed by Peter during a visit that led to the conversion of the agricultural population (Acts 9:32-35).

Magdala (Migdal)
Mary Magdalene was born in this wealthy trading and fishing center, set on the shores of the Sea of Galilee, also called Dalmanutha (Mark 8:10; Matthew 15:39, Luke 8:2).

Megiddo
A mighty Canaanite city-state located in the most strategic site in ancient Palestine. It features prominently in the scriptures as site of battles. According to the Book of Revelations 16, the war of Armageddon will take place there.

Mensa Christi
This was the site of the enormous catch of fish by Simon Peter (Luke 5:1-11).

Mount of Beatitudes
Overlooking Tabgha and the Sea of Galilee, this picturesque spot marked by a Franciscan hospice is the site where Jesus delivered the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7, Luke 6:20-49).

Mount Tabor
Traditionally the site of the Transfiguration (Mark 9:2-8; Luke 9:28-36; Matthew 17: 1-19), the Basilica of the Transfiguration stands on the summit.

Na'in (Na'im)
A small Franciscan church commemorates Jesus miracle here (Luke 7:11-16).

Nazareth
The boyhood home of Jesus (Matthew 2:19-23) from where he was expelled from the synagogue (Luke 4:16-30). The first biblical reference Nazareth is the Annunciation (Luke 1:26-28, Luke 2:39).

Qumeran
The town of John the Baptist, where Jesus visit him. Home of an early Christian community.

Sepphoris
Capital of the Galilee in Herod's time, and national park with many lovely mosaics, Sepphoris was the home of Mary's parents (Luke 23, Luke 32). According to St. Theodosius, the three magi reside here en route to Bethlehem.

Tabgha
Near Capernaum, it is traditionally considered to the site where Jesus performed the miracle of Multiplication of the Loaves and Fishes (Mark 6:44).

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