After being in Bethsaida, we crossed over to Chorazin. We did, in fact, cross over.
We crossed over the Jordan River into the Promised Land and over to the Jewish city of Chorazin. When the Israelites crossed over the Jordan under the com and of Joshua, they received a new name. They were no longer children of Israel, but were now “Hebrews”, or quite literally “crossed ones”. They got this name from being the ones who crossed the river.
Chorazin is west of the Jordan River and quite a bit inland. It was a neat place to visit with quite a bit of interesting archeology uncovered.
While we were there our group leader played an interesting trick on us. He hid a Shekel (Israeli currency) coin on the floor of the common place. The floors were made of many stones, so the coin was really hard to find. He reminded us of the story from Luke 15:
“… what woman, having ten silver coins, if she loses one coin, does not light a lamp and sweep the house and seek diligently until she finds it? And when she has found it, she calls together her friends and neighbors, saying, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found the coin that I had lost.’” - Luke 15:8-9, ESV
He asked us to find the missing coin. With 40 of us altogether, and with a little “you’re getting hotter” coaxing, we found it within a couple of minutes, but I was amazed at how hard that task was. I guess I never really thought much about that story because I always imagine it in my Western, good lighting, flat carpeted floors setting. Not anymore.
One of the most fascinating things that we heard about today was in response to one of our questions to the tour guide. Someone asked about whether or not there are Pharisees and Sadducees and such in modern Judaism. The answer really surprised me.
He said that there were actually 24 different streams of Judaism in the first century. Those streams include Zealots, Herodians, Pharisees, Sadducees, Essenes, and more. However, after the destruction of the temple, most the different streams were also destroyed.
The Sadducees, for example, collected their income from the Temple. With the Temple gone, they had no income, and they were no more. The Zealots, who were zealous against Rome, were all killed off in the revolt. The Essenes were massacred because they didn’t believe in using weapons or violence against the Romans.
The Pharisees were the only group to remain, and since they were the only ones left, there was no reason to call themselves Pharisees. They resorted to simple calling themselves “Jews”. Therefore, today’s Judaism is really the Pharisee stream of thought with 2,000 years of modernization.