Love the Lord your God, listen to His voice and hold fast to Him, for the Lord is your life! Deut. 30:20

Thursday, April 11, 2013


We went to Beth Shan, a city in the Decapolis.  It's importance was due to its strategic location; the hub of the trade route between the nations.

It used to be under Egypts control. 
 Under Solomon, Israel used this city as an administrative city.

Under the Greek period, it received the name Scythopolis.  Alexander the Great entertained here.  They were Hellenistic - if it feels good, do it.  Feed the lust.  They were also polytheistic, worshiping many gods.  They felt they had to appease the gods by sacrificing animals and humans.  I am so glad our God does not take His vengeance out on us if He isn't pleased with my "works".  He is a Restorer and Rescuer!

Hippodromes (Greek stadiums for horse and chariot racing), theatres, forums and Roman temples characterized this city and the other cities in the Decapolis.  Life was saturated with Gentile presence and Greco-Roman culture.  It was really foreign territory for Jesus and His disciples.

Would you believe that 21 years ago, much of this was underground?  It has only recently been excavated!

Byzantine bath houses.  The 4th - 6th century AD bathhouses covers almost 2 acres.
 These are the public toilets.  You straddle between the posts.  Lots of people can go at the same time! To wipe, they put material on a stick and they would pass it down the line.  (gross!!!)
 King Saul committed suicide on Mt.Gilboa while fleeing the Philistines. (1 Samuel 31).  They cut off his head and displayed his body on the wall at Beth-shan at the top of the hill.
 Almost everyone decided to climb the mountain or hill.  I had been struggling with not feeling well, so I opted not to do that and took an adventure looking at all the ruins.
An earthquake demolished these towers.  We were surprised to find much volcanic activity and lava rock in the area.

Al could see this McDonalds as he climbed Mt. Gilboa.

 There were ruins of a fortress at the top of the hill.

Dated pictures shared by Marcia P., also on our trip

1 comment:

Amy said...

Such an awesome trip this must have been for you and Al! I'm loving all the pictures and history!