Beit She’an was the third day of our trip, and I was starting to get overwhelmed with all of the history we were seeing. The Bible was coming alive. One of the Pastors in our group said, “It’s kind of like trying to drink from a fire hose, just try to take it in.”
Several things impressed me about Beit She’an.
First, this is were the Philistines took King Saul and his sons bodies and hung them on the city wall after they had routed the Israelites on Mt Gilboa in 1 Samuel 31.
Second, there is a large Tell (hill) here and our guide explained that as they dig down they hit different layers of history. Someone had said, “if you scratch the ground with your foot you will uncover history”. The guide explained that Beit She’an had been inhabited since the Egyptian period and sat on a trade route between Egypt and Damascus.
Third, there is an amazing early Roman city that is very well preserved. The size of the stone blocks and columns and the ornate carvings just blew me away. There is a very large theater and amphitheater and extensive Byzantine bathhouse complex with well preserved mosaics. The Roman road even had a “street sign” in one of the intersections written in Greek.
~ Mike Bradley