Our first stop on this beautiful Jewish Sabbath day was at Mt. Arbel.
Mt. Arbel is possibly the highest point in Galilee. I’m not positive about that, but it sure seems like it would be. It is located to the east of the Sea of Galilee and and it has a very distinguishable shape -especially the cave-filled rock faced cliff pointing northeast.
From just about any point around the Sea of Galilee you can locate Mt. Arbel, and from the top of Mt. Arbel you can locate just about every point around the Sea of Galilee. It is a breathtaking view from the top!
Arbel is not an overly biblical location, though it is possible that there are many generic references to it in the gospels. Certainly Jesus walked by it thousands of times, and possibly took his disciples there, or used it as a quiet place to meet with God, as well. Many people believe that it was on Mt. Arbel that Jesus gave the Great Commission.
Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them. – Matthew 28:16, ESV
Perhaps Arbel is the mountain which Jesus had directed them, but there is no way to know for sure.
The one place where Arbel is mentioned in scripture is in Hosea.
therefore the tumult of war shall arise among your people, and all your fortresses shall be destroyed, as Shalman destroyed Beth-arbel on the day of battle; mothers were dashed in pieces with their children. – Hosea 10:14, ESV
Yikes! Certainly this mountain has seen its fair share of war and bloodshed! If mountains could speak, this mountain would have no shortage of stories to tell.
On our way back down from Arbel, those of us who were willing took the path that required a bit of climbing. That was fun!