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A Far Country Decapolis

The Decapolis is mentioned by name only three times in the New Testament. In addition to these three instances, on at least two other occasions, Jesus visited specific locations in the largely pagan league of cities to the east of the Sea of Galil...


Herod's Family

Herod's FamilyHerod 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 tumors, ...



Beth Shemesh

Beth Shemesh, meaning "house of the sun," 'was a small town on the border between Judah and the Philistines. This is the place where the ark of the covenant came when it was returned by the Philistines (1 Sam. 6).Beth Shemesh stands in ...


Caesarea: Why was Caesarea built?

Herod built the Seaport at Caesarea for a number of different reasons.- He needed a port on the Mediterranean because existing ones were outside his kingdom or hostile to him.- He recognized Caesarea's strategic location along the Via Maris, the t...


Confronting Evil

The CityAncient Beth Shemesh guarded the Sorek Valley of Israel's Shephelah; a place where the pagans and the Israelites often interacted.Beth Shemesh stands in Israel's Shephelah;foothills lying between the coastal plain and Judea Mountains. Seve...


Cultural Images in Jesus Teaching

Jesus used various word pictures and ideas that were familiar to the people of his time in order to communicate effectively with both religious Jews and pagans.The Bridegroom ImageFor example, Jesus described his deep love for his followers in ter...


Dionysus Temple and Cult Center

Originally built in the third century before Christ, this small, beautiful temple was remodeled by the Romans. It was approached by a twenty-five-step stairway at the end of a 770-foot terrace. Here, people worshiped Dionysus, the fertility god of...



Gamla is often called the "Masada" of the north because of the siege and fall of the town to the Romans during the Jewish Revolts. The city was originally settled by a group of Jews returning from captivity around 150 BC.The city is loca...


Gamla Area

The Zealots were part of a movement completely devoted to serving God. They believed it was impossible to serve the pagan Romans while also being faithful to the law of God. They resisted Rome and anyone who sided with the Roman rulers, often with...


Herod the Builder

The Works of a Master BuilderHerod the Great's visionary building programs, ingenious development of trade with other countries, and advancement of his nation's interests were remarkable. He used his magnificent building projects to strengthen his...



Bar Kochba Revolt Definition

Another name for the Second Jewish Revolt against Rome (AD 132-135). The leader of the revolt was a man named Bar Kochba.


First Jewish Revolt Definition

Revolt against Rome by the Jewish people that resulted in the destruction of the temple and Jerusalem in AD 70.