ISRAEL PHOTOS VI -- ISRAEL REVISITED
Archaeologists discovered the theater Herod Antipas built north of the hot springs and south of the modern city cemetery. Due to Orthodox Jewish complaints, the Israeli Antiquities Authority ceased excavation of tombs. They continued to excavate and survey ancient settlements in search of the past. As land is expensive and funds are limited, it is not likely Roman era Tiberias will be fully excavated.
The first century Roman-Jeiwsh historian Josephus described Tiberias:
Antiquities of the Jews, Book XVIII, Ch. 2:3, William Whiston, Public Domain
"And now Herod the tetrarch (Antipas), who was in great favor with Tiberius, built a city of the same name with him, and called it Tiberias. He built it in the best part of Galilee, at the lake of Gennesareth. There are warm baths at a little distance from it, in a village named Emmaus. Strangers came and inhabited this city; a great number of the inhabitants were Galileans also; and many necessitated by Herod to come thither out of the country belonging to him, and were by force compelled to be its inhabitants; some of them were persons of condition (means). He also admitted ? poor people, such as those that were collected from all parts, to dwell in it. Nay, some of them were not quite freemen; and these he was a benefactor to, and made them free in great numbers; but obliged them not to forsake the city, by building them very good houses at his own expenses, and by giving them land also; for he was sensible that to make this place a habitation was to transgress the Jewish ancient laws, because many sepulchres were to be here taken away, in order to make room for the city of Tiberias: whereas our law pronounces, that such inhabitants are unclean for seven days, (Numbers 19:11)."
Tiberias is mentioned in the Gospel of John chapter 6 as people from Tiberias got in boats and went to look for Jesus on the other side of the lake where he had fed the 5000. They arrived and learned Jesus was no longer there. They left and went to Capernaum to look for him.
The Greeks and Romans liked to watch dramatic presentations at theaters around the world. Actors and actresses memorized lines and recited them during the performance. The word for play acting in Greek is hypocrites. The word hypocrite is someone who pretends to be what he/she is not. Jesus rebuked some of the religious leaders of his day:
World English Bible (Public Domain):
Matthew 23:13 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you devour widows’ houses, and as a pretense you make long prayers. Therefore you will receive greater condemnation. 14 “But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! Because you shut up the Kingdom of Heaven against men; for you don’t enter in yourselves, neither do you allow those who are entering in to enter.15 Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you travel around by sea and land to make one proselyte; and when he becomes one, you make him twice as much of a son of Gehenna as yourselves. 16 “Woe to you, you blind guides, who say, ‘Whoever swears by the temple, it is nothing; but whoever swears by the gold of the temple, he is obligated.’ 17 You blind fools! For which is greater, the gold, or the temple that sanctifies the gold? 18 ‘Whoever swears by the altar, it is nothing; but whoever swears by the gift that is on it, he is obligated?’ 19 You blind fools! For which is greater, the gift, or the altar that sanctifies the gift? 20 He therefore who swears by the altar, swears by it, and by everything on it. 21 He who swears by the temple, swears by it, and by him who was living in it. 22 He who swears by heaven, swears by the throne of God, and by him who sits on it. 23 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you tithe mint, dill, and cumin, and have left undone the weightier matters of the law: justice, mercy, and faith. But you ought to have done these, and not to have left the other undone. 24 You blind guides, who strain out a gnat, and swallow a camel! 25 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you clean the outside of the cup and of the platter, but within they are full of extortion and unrighteousness. 26 You blind Pharisee, first clean the inside of the cup and of the platter, that its outside may become clean also. 27 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitened tombs, which outwardly appear beautiful, but inwardly are full of dead men’s bones, and of all uncleanness. 28 Even so you also outwardly appear righteous to men, but inwardly you are full of hypocrisy and iniquity. 29 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you build the tombs of the prophets, and decorate the tombs of the righteous, 30 and say, ‘If we had lived in the days of our fathers, we wouldn’t have been partakers with them in the blood of the prophets.’ 31 Therefore you testify to yourselves that you are children of those who killed the prophets. 32 Fill up, then, the measure of your fathers. 33 You serpents, you offspring of vipers, how will you escape the judgment of Gehenna ? 34 Therefore behold, I send to you prophets, wise men, and scribes. Some of them you will kill and crucify; and some of them you will scourge in your synagogues, and persecute from city to city; 35 that on you may come all the righteous blood shed on the earth, from the blood of righteous Abel to the blood of Zachariah son of Barachiah, whom you killed between the sanctuary and the altar. 36 Most certainly I tell you, all these things will come upon this generation. 37 “Jerusalem, Jerusalem, who kills the prophets, and stones those who are sent to her! How often I would have gathered your children together, even as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you would not! 38 Behold, your house is left to you desolate. 39 For I tell you, you will not see me from now on, until you say, ‘Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!’”
Hypocrites memorized Bible verses without becoming righteous. Actors could pretend to be saints without actually being saints.
Cliff Cross Section
Sea of Galilee Fishing
Egypt in Ancient Israel
Written by David Q. Hall firstname.lastname@example.org
ISRAEL PHOTOS V
ISRAEL PHOTOS IV
ISRAEL PHOTOS III
ISRAEL PHOTOS II
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