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In Herod's Footsteps

In Herod's FootstepsHerod lay dying in his opulent palace in Jericho. He had been seriously ill for a long time. From the description in Josephus' writings, Herod had gangrene, severe itching, convulsions, and ulcers. His feet were covered with tu...

In the Shadow of Herod

Herod s Magnificent PalaceThe Herodion, third largest palace of its day, stood as a magnificent monument to Herod's wealth and power.The Herodion, third largest palace of its day, was built in the wilderness near Bethlehem. The huge structure was ...

Innocent Blood

The Greatest CityLocated at the most critical mountain pass on the Via Maris, Megiddo was the greatest city in the ancient world.In ancient times, Megiddo towered above the Plain of Jezreel. It was located along the Via Maris, the primary trade ro...

Iron of Culture

AzekahAzekah overlooks the Valley of Elah, a strategic passageway from Israel's coastal plain, through the foothills, and into the Judean Mountains beyond.Tel Azekah is a five-acre site overlooking the Valley of Elah%u2014the place where David kil...

Joy of Living Water

THE JOY OF LIVING WATER: JESUS AND THE FEAST OF SUKKOT'With joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation. (Isa. 12:3)Water was of great importance to the people of the Bible. They lived in a dry country, completely dependent on the seasona...

Language of Culture

A City Fit for the HerodsThere is no biblical record of Jesus teaching in Sepphoris, but we know that he grew up in the nearby village of Nazareth. From his hometown, Jesus could probably see the impressive city, which covered nearly five hundred ...

Light to the World

Light To The WorldIsrael was called "an olive tree, leafy and fair," because they shed light on all. Ancient Jewish Commentary on Jer. 11:16Olive trees and the abundance of oil they produce were significant in the lives of the people of ...

Living Water (En Gedi)

Water in the WildernessThe waters of En Gedi provide a cool and refreshing refuge amidst the barren Judean Wilderness.Barely one hundred feet from the desolate wilderness, the oasis of En Gedi supports lush green growth. Nearby, a spring of water ...

Lord of Lords

"...the Lamb will overcome them because he is Lord of lords and King of kings - and with him will be his called, chosen and faithful followers." (Rev. 17:14)The Christian faith began with antagonism between the Jewish Temple authorities ...

Mezuzah

MezuzahAttached to the doorpost of every religious Jewish home is a small container called a mezuzah. Inside the mezuzah is a rolled parchment inscribed with verses from the Bible. A Jewish person entering the house touches the mezuzah and then ki...

My God is Yahweh

My God is YahwehNames are important in Western culture. Parents choose names for their children after much thought and discussion. For the rest of a person's life, he is identified by the name he was given before birth. But the significance of nam...

My Rock and My Fortress

MasadaHerod the Great built and impressive fortress at Masada to showcase his own power, but it is remembered today as a symbol of the Jewish desire for freedom.'The mountain of Masada stands tall in Israel's Judea Wilderness. On top of this spec...

No Greater Love

Korazin - The CityStudying the ruins of Korazin and other Galilean towns, scholars have pieced together a picture of family life in the first century. Korazin stood in the northwestern corner of the Galilee region, about three miles from the sea. ...

Not on Bread Alone

Not on Bread AloneIsrael is mostly rugged desert. The variety of Hebrew words for desert or wilderness indicates the significant role the landscape played in biblical history and imagery. For the Hebrews, the desert was far more formative than the...

Palace of a Great King

Palace of a Great KingTHE ASSYRIAN EMPIREAssyria, located in Mesopotamia near the Euphrates River, was one of the great empires of the ancient world. Its history parallels much of the Old Testament. Known for their ruthlessness in battle and horri...

Primary Sources

What type of history do the four Evangelists tell, and what does it reveal about Jesus?No modern biographer would ignore all of Jesus' early life, as Mark does, or skip over his formative experiences as a young adult, as all Gospels but Luke do (L...

Province of Asia Minor

The Province of Asia MinorThe remains of the towns and villages of Galilee give evidence to the simple lifestyle of the Jewish people of the first century. Few were wealthy but most were hardworking people living comfortable lives as extended fami...

Rabbi and Talmidim

Rabbi and TalmidimThe people of Galilee were the most religious Jews in the world in the time of Jesus. This is quite contrary to the common view that the Galileans were simple, uneducated peasants from an isolated area. This perspective is probab...

Religious Movements of Jesus Time

Four views of JudaismIn Jesus' day, there were varying philosophies within the Jewish faith. While some Jews embraced the Roman rulers, others resisted with violence. And whereas some Jewish believers lived a simple, isolated lifestyle, others enj...

Shephelah

ShephelahThe Hebrew Bible mentions the Shephelah several times. This word, meaning "low," is usually translated "lowlands" or "foothills." The term refers to a 12- to 15-mile-wide region in Judea. Though the Israelite...