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Tel Jezreel- Israel Pilgrimage


                       The fortress that King Ahab built at Tel Jezebel
 played vital economic, military and defensive roles 
for the Northen Kingdom that he ruled.  
Here we see played out the story of 
Ahab, Jezebel and their worship of Baal.


Maps will spell this site as Yizre'el.
 The day we were there was overcast and openings 
in the clouds played with the landscape below-
lighting up pockets of rich farm land.
 Somewhere in this area is the adjacent vineyard
 of Naboth the Jezreelite that becomes 
the central focus for the Old Testament connections.
We know that it is the location of the water
 that meshes with the geography 
to help us find the locations for the Biblical sites.
Where the water is--
 helps us to see where the vineyard might have been.
This site is not a National Park -
so no signs of explanation.
This route was important to Ahab
 because of his marriage
 to the Phoenician princess Jezebel.
This cemented his plan to redirect 
the trade off the King's Highway 
that was east of the Jordan River valley
 so that it moved through his territory
 on the way to world markets 
via Phoenicia to the north.
This didn't sit well with Aram,
 who collected the taxes moving 
through his territory in Damascus.
A battle ensued and Ahab died
 in the battle with Aram
 at Ramoth Gilead in 853 BC.
1 Kings 1:29-38
The bottle neck that was here 
created the perfect tax collection site.
The remains are still pretty primitive
 as far as an archeological dig here.
So far they have found a 20 foot deep dry moat
 that surrounds a walled fortress 
with 4 defensive tours.
(not sure that we even found that) 
The site is about 10 acres in size.
 The readings for this site include :
Royal Arrogance and the Abuse of Power
1 Kings 21:1-18
Joram and Jehu
2 Kings 9:1-10
Death of Joram
2 Kings 9:14-26
Death of Jezebel
2 Kings 9:30-36

Reflection:
God's divine justice may seem so slow
 in our arrangement of time.
Both Joram (Ahab's son) and Jezebel
met up with Naboth's vineyard at the end of their life.
Joram's body was thrown there
  and the dogs dragged Jezebel's body there. 
Elijah was the prophet that foretold 
the doom to Ahab and his family
 for the treatment of Naboth.
(He had already met up with the wrath
 of Jezebel with the killing 
of the prophets of Baal at Mount Carmel.)
A significant teaching
 is the evaluation of a king's life.
Did they "do right in the Lord's eye"? 
God demands our loyalty and still condemns
unfaithfulness. 
"Doing right in the Lord's eye" is still a 
measure of how we live out our own lives today.
One last look across the valley-
 and we decided that maybe a city set on a hill-
 is not just for the way the lights shine at night-
 but also for the way the sunlight hits the buildings.
(This is Afula)

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