Glimpses of Israel - Caesarea Philippi

Situated 40kms (25miles) north of Lake Kinneret and 377m (1150ft) above sea level is the ancient site of Caesarea Philippi (Banias).

In the days of Joshua, the region was part of the inheritance of the tribe of Dan. In Greek times, it was a worship centre to the Greek god, Pan, hence the name Panias. Banias being the Arabic form. During the Roman era the region was annexed to Herod. Following Herod's death, his son, Philip, established the capital of his kingdom near the springs, and named the city Caesarea Philippi, in honour of Caesar.

The Banias spring begins at the foot of Mount Hermon and falls rapidly over the next 12 kms (10miles) to form the picturesque Banias waterfall. The spring also flows into the Jordan River after joining the Dan River.

It was in the region of Caesarea Philippi that Yeshua asked His disciples, "'Who do men say that I, the Son of Man, am?' . . . Shimon Peter answered and said, 'You are the Messiah, the son of the living God.' Yeshua answered and said to him, 'Blessed are you, Shimon bar Yonah, for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven.'" (Matthew 16:13, 16-17)

Today, the ancient site and the surrounding environs are a popular attraction for locals and visitors alike, with fresh water pools, lush landscape, and scenic vistas.