Caesarea Maritima: by the sea

Caesarea-Maritima-group

We now leave Tel Aviv behind in this photo series and move on to Caesarea Maritima, easily one of my favorite stops on the trip. Pictured here are the members of the group of which I was a part. What a great bunch of folks! “Yalla!”

Given the view and beauty of the Mediterranean, I can certainly understand why Herod the Great decided to make this the hub of Israel’s interaction with the world. He had a huge, ingeniously engineered artificial harbor constructed and had a rich palace built for himself here. For half a millennium Caesarea by the Sea was “the it place” in Israel, the hub of power and influence.

However, despite the beauty and wealth, very sobering is the fact that as the group stands here we’re facing the remains of a huge hippodrome that would easily seat 10,000+ (think horse racing stadium, a place for gladiator contests, the public martyrdom of many Christians, etc.). Just a few dozen yards away, actually.

Standing here, I – David Paul – realize I’m standing quite close to where the Apostle Paul lived as a prisoner for two years (Acts 23.12-26.32). I’ll linger a bit in this photo series here in Caesarea Maritima.

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