Saturday, February 2, 2019

Matthew 4: Luke 4-5

The traditional site of the Mt, of Temptation with Jericho in the foreground. The Monastery of temptation is half way up the mountain side and the remains of a Hellenistic era fortress is atop the hill.

Mark 1: 13 And he was there in the wilderness forty days, tempted of Satan; and was with the wild beasts; and the angels ministered unto him.

A tram now carries tourist from the tel of Ancient Jericho up to the mount.

Jerusalem Branch (April 2010) gathering at the top of the tram ride near the trail leading into the Monastery. Because of Israel's security wall it was difficult for members of the church living in the West Bank to cross into Jerusalem for Sabbath meetings. I twas also difficult for BYU and US embassy personnel to get permission to travel in the West Bank to visit members in their homes. Jericho was the one city that everyone in the branch could travel freely to.

The Greek Orthodox monastery of the temptation is half way up the mountain. A Byzantine monastery was first established here in the 6th century.

The stone upon which Jesus sat during his fasting and praying and perhaps that stone he was tempted to tunr into bread.

The monastery is built around caves--the tradition being that it was in these caves where Jesus fasted fro forty days. 

It is a long drop from this balcony.

View from the balcony. The tel (hill) of ancient Jericho where the walls came tumbling down extene across the lower third of the photo with the red roof base of the gondola at its right (south) terminus.

The modern day city of Jericho. 

The caves across from the monastery probably haven't change much in the past 2,000 years.

As a BYU student in 1982 a few of us students on a non-study day rode a bus to Jericho and climbed up to the monastery. The nice monk let us go out the far end of the monastery (left) which allowed us to climb over to the caves, from where this photo was taken, and then up to the hill top fortress.

Luke 4: 9 And he brought him to Jerusalem, and set him on a pinnacle of the temple, and said unto him, If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down from hence:

The traditional site of the pinnacle of the temple in the southeast corner (lower left) of the temple mount that drops down to the Kidron Valley. 

An alternative site is the southwest corner (left side) of the mount that dropped down to a main thoroughfare and market passing along the west side of the mount.

Were Jesus to throw himself down from this corner many more people would have been able to witness the angles bearing Him up.

Southwest corner/pinnacle.

Southeast pinnacle and the Kidron Valley

Southwest pinnacle just below left ot the minnaret between the two mosques.

Southwest corner with Roman street below.

Luke 4:16 And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up: and, as his custom was, he went into the synagogue on the sabbath day, and stood up for to read.

The site of the ancient synagogue is now contained within part of Nazareth's Greek Catholic Church (left center).

BYU Professor Kent Brown preaching in the synagogue

A Nazareth Village, a reconstructed synagogue showing how it may have looked at the time of Jesus.

A side room of the synagogue with pottery containers to hold the torah scrolls.

The hills to the south of Nazareth that drop down in the Jezreel Valley are thought to be the precipice from where offended Nazarenes sought to throw Jesus. (1989 photo)

2008 photo

The Maronite church (marked by the steeple) on the western hillside of Nazareth is also a proposed site of the precipice. In the time of Jesus this part of Nazareth was not inhabited and did have steep slopes.

Luke 4:31 And came down to Capernaum, a city of the Galilee.

Map Source:

Luke knew his geography. Elevation of Nazareth 1,138 feet. Elevation of Capernauam -682 feet (below sea level)

South end of the sea of Galilee from the west and from Nazareth.

Northern tip of the Sea of Galilee as see from another route leading from Nazareth to the lake.

 The modern town of Tiberius. There is no record of Jesus visiting this city during his day. He spent most of his recorded time on the northern end of the lake.

 Looking to the northeast across the lake from the southern Golan Heights.

Sunset from the Golan.

The main road from Nazareth to Capernaum would have passed to the right and below the cliff of Arbel (left side)

The view from atop Arbel looking to the northeast across the plains of Magdala. Capernum sits center left along the northern shore.

Capernaum (center right) from the Mt of the Beatitudes.

Looking south, the trees mark the site of the ancient city of Capernaum.

Luke 4:
38 And he arose out of the synagogue, and entered into Simon’s house. And Simon’s wife’s mother was taken with a great fever; and they besought him for her.
39 And he stood over her, and rebuked the fever; and it left her: and immediately she arose and ministered unto them.

Remains of the limestone synagogue and basalt houses of Capernaum.

Roman Catholic Church built over the traditional site of the home wither Peter's mother-in-
law was healed.

Capernaum homes

Remains of an octagonal church surrounding the site of Peter's mother-in-law's home.

The view of the home from above in the church.

Image of the man with palsy being lowered into a Capernaum home to be healed.

Matthew 4: 18  And Jesus, walking by the sea of Galilee, saw two brethren, Simon called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea: for they were fishers.
19 And he saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.

20 And they straightway left their nets, and followed him.

Sea of Galilee from the north.

Preserved remains of a 2,000 year old fishing boast discovered a few decades ago when the Sea of Galilee was very low and locals from Kibbutz Ginnosar discovered nails and then boards of the mud encased boat.

Interesting article about the discovery and preservation of the "Jesus Boat":

Images in the Jesus Boat museum of the fisherman called of Jesus.

 Modern day fisherman on the Sea of Galilee (1982)


Boats at Kibbutz En Gev

Mark 1:
32 And at even, when the sun did set, they brought unto him all that were diseased, and them that were possessed with devils.
33 And all the city was gathered together at the door.
34 And he healed many that were sick of divers diseases, and cast out many devils; and suffered not the devils to speak, because they knew him.

Sunset at the Sea of Galilee (2010) from En Gev.

The excerpt below from the Bronze Bow (one of my favorite books) gives a great description of what it might have been like in the evening when throngs of people sought out Jesus to be healed.

Everyone should read this book. It is a very realistic depiction of what it might have been like to be a Galilean who follows Jesus.

Mark 1: 35 And in the morning, rising up a great while before day, he went out, and departed into a solitary place, and there prayed.

Sunrise at the Sea of Galilee (1982) on a morning when I climbed up and away from our hostel near Poria to do as Jesus did in Mark 1:35.

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