Google Maps Street View serves us well with directions, helping us to see what the turns in our journey actually look like. But the Web site also allows a virtual peek at some key biblical sites.
There’s nothing like traveling to Israel to see the land of the Bible firsthand. Experiencing the Bible with all your senses is an unforgettable way to learn it. You’ll never be the same.
But until your first (or next) trip, you might enjoy a virtual walk through a few biblical sites via Google Street View.
I have chosen 6 biblical sites that allow you to do a little exploring.
Herod named the new port city, Caesarea, in honor of Caesar Augustus. After the death of Herod the Great in 4 BC, Caesarea became the Roman seat of power in Israel for 500 years.
Just click around in the picture to explore!
Roman governors, or procurators, resided in Herod’s opulent palace in Caesarea. The Apostle Paul was imprisoned on the grounds of the palace (or “Praetorium”) for two full years (Acts 23:35; 24:37). A sign today marks the likely spot.
Rising from the valley floor 1,843 feet, Mount Tabor’s smooth contours honor it with a distinguishing outline recognizable from any vantage point.
Mount Tabor played a noteworthy role in history. It offered a geographical landmark for travelers, a military advantage as the high ground, and it provided an illusory spiritual benefit as a high place.
- It’s easy to imagine Barak and Deborah and ten thousand troops standing on Tabor’s green slopes, silent and waiting with weapons in hand (Judges 4).
- Suddenly, Barak and his army rush as one man down the slope into the waiting army of Canaanite charioteers.
You can read more about Mount Tabor and its beauty and significance.
Mount Arbel is one of those places never mentioned in the Bible. Its presence was so obvious, it was assumed.
Certainly, anyone traveling around the Sea of Galilee or along the International Highway would have used Mount Arbel as a landmark, identifiable from most any spot on the lake.
Because the majority of the events in the Gospels occurred within the scene you can see from atop Mount Arbel. It’s possible that “the mountain” to which Jesus brought His disciples when He issued the Great Commission was Mount Arbel (Matthew 28:16-20). It really could have been.
You can read more about Mount Arbel and its history.
Sea of Galilee
Most of Jesus’ ministry centered around the Sea of Galilee.
One of the best places to see the Sea of Galilee is from the Mount of Beatitudes.
The Western Wall in Jerusalem
Solomon built the original temple, and the Babylonians destroyed it in 586 BC. After the Jews’ return from exile, Zerubbabel helped rebuild the temple. Herod the Great greatly expanded it in the first century BC—though the construction continued into the first century—decades after Herod’s death.
The stones of the Western Wall today date from Herod’s time and represent the western section of the massive retaining wall that supported the base of the Second Temple. An underground tour is available that allows one to walk the entire length of the Western Wall.
Panorama from the Mount of Olives
This view from the Seven Arches Hotel allows visitors to see the Temple Mount, the Old City, and the City of David as Jesus saw them in His day.
The Mount of Olives served as the place of a number of key events in Jesus’ life, namely His Triumphal Entry, His arrest and betrayal at the Garden of Gethsemane, the Olivet Discourse, and His Ascension.
Certainly, there are many more biblical sites to explore, but these are 7 I found worth sharing.
Even though it’s not a biblical “site,” the Israel Museum holds artifacts from many biblical sites. You can read about some of them here.
Spend a few minutes (or a few hours) wandering the halls of the Israel museum. I have started you at the best part of the museum—the Archaeological Wing.
Tell me what you think: What biblical site would you like to walk through? To leave a comment, just click here.