We completed our second full day of study in Israel today. The photo below shows our guide explaining the geographical/topographical features of the area around a site northeast of the Sea of Galilee. The site is known as et-Tell, and is identified by some as the New Testament site of Bethsaida, and perhaps the Old Testament site of Geshur.
Bethsaida is listed in the New Testament as the home of Andrew, Peter, and Philip (John 1:44; 12:21).
The land of Geshur was located in this same area. David married Maacah, the daughter of Talmai, king of Geshur (2 Samuel 3:3). Absalom, the son of David and Maacah, spent three years in Geshur after he killed his half-brother Amnon (2 Samuel 13:30-38; cf. 14:23, 32).
While traveling I do not have time to elaborate on the arguments about the identity of this site with Bethsaida.
Tom, thanks. I heard Dr. Strickert at a professional meeting present the evidence, and I have been to the site with Prof. Rami Arav two times.
I was up there showing some folks around the week before last and it was great seeing the lake at normal levels — and it’s still raining a bit!
I was skeptical about et-Tell being Bethsaida, but found the book by Dr. Fred Strickert helpful, “Philip’s City: From Bethsaida to Julias”. (disclosure: Strickert was my pastor at Jerusalem’s Lutheran Redeemer Church). A key point: The wide plain now separating et-Tell from the lake represents a massive deposit of debris and silt around the mouth of the Upper Jordan river, the result of a 363 AD earthquake. Such things are known elsewhere, like the ancient harbor of Ephesus, now miles from the sea.
TOM POWERS / Bethlehem
For those of you discussing whether the guide is Elie, I suggest you heed the words of the parents of the blind man, “Ask him; he is of age. He will speak for himself” (John 9:21 ESV).
Lori, Josh had a good birthday today with a nice group of people, in a wonderful place.
Wayne, thanks. One of the persons on my tour mentioned reading your tips about preparing for a trip — a link I had sent them earlier.
How wonderful, Ferrell! Hope you have a great time. Wish I was with you!
Yes, that is Elie, no doubt—he is wearing his Kentucky hat.
Pingback: et-Tell | Braman's Wanderings
Luke, you have me thinking whether it is Elie or not :-). My first impression was that it was him, but something doesn’t look right. Maybe he has a shorter haircut :-).
Hi Ferrell – My son, Josh Lewis is with your tour group – one of the people there from the Jordan Park congregation. 🙂 I am so glad he is there seeing all of this, with an expert!
Is Elie your guide this time? It doesn’t look like him from behind, at least from this angle.