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Flood submerges Biblical miracle site in Israel

Archeologists forced to abandon excavation of the village believed to be where Jesus fed the 5,000

UCA News reporter

UCA News reporter

Updated: June 03, 2020 03:04 AM GMT
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Mission in Asia | Make a Contribution
Flood submerges Biblical miracle site in Israel
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An excavation of the site of the Biblical miracle where Jesus Christ fed the 5,000 has been stopped by a huge flood.

The village of Bethsaida in Israel has been submerged by Lake Kinneret, forcing archeologists to abandon the site.

Bethsaida is said to be the fishing village where Jesus fed the masses with just five loaves and two fish and where Jesus helped a blind man see. It was also the home of disciples Peter, Andrew and Philip.

Prof. Moti Aviam of Kinneret College, who is leading the excavation, said digging had been abandoned for the rest of this year.

“The entire site is covered today with a large lagoon in which catfish are swimming,” he told media.

“We think that nothing will happen to the antiquities below the water and the water level will reduce slowly, but we will not be able to dig this year."

The excavation site at El-Araj is one of two sites — the other is Et-Tell — identified by archeologists as the ancient settlement, but Aviam believes the former is the better contender.

“El-Araj is on the lake shore, not like Et-Tell, which is two kilometers inland. This is more appropriate for a fishing village,” he said.

Roman historian Titus Flavius Josephus described the village as being close to where the River Jordan enters the Sea of Galilee.

Aviam said El-Araj not only matches the location but also shows signs of the enlarged Roman settlement Josephus described.

“We also discovered evidence of a Roman-type bathhouse, which is more typical of an urban sphere. Nothing like that was found at Et-Tell,” he said.

He believes that a Byzantine church at the site is the Church of the Apostles.

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