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Biblical village where Jesus fed the 5,000 is UNDERWATER as floods force experts to leave excavation site

The place “where Jesus miraculously fed the 5000” is completely submerged by floods, forcing archaeologists to leave the excavation site.

Bethsaida – birthplace of disciples Andrew, Peter and Philip – was reportedly the place where Christ performed the miracles to feed the crowd and help see a blind man.

Archaeologists have worked to prove that the lost ancient city once stood at El-Araj, an excavation site on the north coast of the Sea of ​​Galilee.

However, their efforts stalled after heavy rains caused the Sea of ​​Galilee – also known as Lake Kinneret – to flood the site.

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The place “where Jesus miraculously fed the 5000” is completely submerged by floods, forcing archaeologists to leave the excavation site. Pictured, the flooded site of El-Araj

The place “where Jesus miraculously fed the 5000” is completely submerged by floods, forcing archaeologists to leave the excavation site. Pictured, the flooded site of El-Araj

Bethsaida - the biblical birthplace of disciples Andrew, Peter and Philip - was reportedly the place where Christ performed miracles to feed the crowd and help see a blind man. Pictured, floods have halted efforts to prove that El-Araj is Bethsaida's true place

Bethsaida - the Biblical birthplace of disciples Andrew, Peter and Philip - was reportedly the place where Christ performed miracles to feed the crowd and help see a blind man. Pictured, floods have halted efforts to prove that El-Araj is Bethsaida's true place

Bethsaida – the biblical birthplace of disciples Andrew, Peter and Philip – was reportedly the place where Christ performed miracles to feed the crowd and help see a blind man. Pictured, floods have halted efforts to prove that El-Araj is Bethsaida’s true place

THE BIBLICAL WONDERS OF BETHSAIDA

Bethsaida – the biblical birthplace of disciples Andrew, Peter and Philip – was reportedly where Jesus performed some miracles.

These included feeding the 5,000, with Christ – after the death of John the Baptist – using five loaves and two fish used by a boy to feed a multitude of his followers.

The Gospel of Mark, meanwhile, tells of a blind man from Bethsaida whose eyesight was restored after two blessings from Jesus.

Depicted, the power of the crowd

Depicted, the power of the crowd

Depicted, the power of the crowd

Kinneret College chief archaeologist Moti Aviam said there was no way to dig this year.

“In the past 30 years, the amount of rain in Israel has not been enough to bring the lake to its fullest advantage,” he said.

“It happened this year. All our excavated squares, even the highest – the mosaic floor of the Byzantine church – were covered. ‘

“The entire site is covered today with a large lagoon in which catfish swim.”

“We think nothing will happen to the antiquities underwater and the water level will drop slowly, but we won’t be able to dig this year.”

“Even if the water level drops 80 centimeters [31.4 inches]we will still have to walk and work in the mud. It’s impossible.’

After the rain, Professor Aviam said he expected some flooding, but was surprised by its size.

“I thought it was going to be flooded, but when I came to see it with my own eyes, I was amazed!” he said.

“Especially when I got the pictures from the drone.”

In the Bible, Bethsaida – a name that translates as ‘house of fishing / hunting’ – is described as a ‘village’ of ‘green grass’ that can be reached by boat.

El-Araj is one of two sites commonly identified by archaeologists as the ancient settlement – the other being Et-Tell.

But for Professor Aviam, the first is clearly the better contender.

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

Professor Aviam believes that the case for El-Araj is further supported by the writings of the Roman historian Titus Flavius ​​Josephus.

Josephus described the village as close to where the Jordan River enters the Sea of ​​Galilee.

He also wrote about how the village under Herod Philip II “was developed into the dignity of a city, both by the number of inhabitants it contained and by its other greatness.”

Archaeologists' efforts at El-Araj have stalled after torrential rainfall flooded the Sea of ​​Galilee - also known as Lake Kinneret -

Archaeologists' efforts at El-Araj have stalled after torrential rainfall flooded the Sea of ​​Galilee - also known as Lake Kinneret -

Archaeologists’ efforts at El-Araj have stalled after torrential rainfall flooded the Sea of ​​Galilee – also known as Lake Kinneret –

Bethsaida - birthplace of disciples Andrew, Peter and Philip - was reportedly the place where Christ performed the miracles to feed the crowd and help see a blind man. This last miracle is depicted here in this painting by Gioacchino Assereto

Bethsaida - birthplace of disciples Andrew, Peter and Philip - was reportedly the place where Christ performed the miracles to feed the crowd and help see a blind man. This last miracle is depicted here in this painting by Gioacchino Assereto

Bethsaida – birthplace of disciples Andrew, Peter and Philip – was reportedly the place where Christ performed the miracles to feed the crowd and help see a blind man. This last miracle is depicted here in this painting by Gioacchino Assereto

Chief archaeologist Moti Aviam - pictured here, checked the depth of water that flooded the El-Araj site and said digging could not be continued in any way this year

Chief archaeologist Moti Aviam - pictured here, checked the depth of water that flooded the El-Araj site and said digging could not be continued in any way this year

Chief archaeologist Moti Aviam – pictured here, checked the depth of water that flooded the El-Araj site and said digging could not be continued in any way this year

“In the past 30 years, the amount of rain in Israel has not been enough to bring the lake to its fullest advantage,” said Professor Aviam. “It happened this year. All our excavated squares, even the highest ones – the mosaic floor of the Byzantine church – were covered ‘

Professor Aviam says that El-Araj not only matches the location, but even shows signs of the enlarged Roman settlement Josephus describes.

“The location of El-Araj is more suitable according to the description of Josephus Flavius,” he said.

“We also discovered evidence of a Roman bathhouse more typical of an urban atmosphere than a village. No such thing was found at Et-Tell. ‘

There is even a Byzantine church on the property, which Professor Aviam and his team believe is the Church of the Apostles.

According to Christian tradition, this church in Bethsaida was built above the house of Jesus’ disciples Peter and Andrew.

“The entire site is covered today by a large lagoon in which catfish swim,” said Professor Aviam (pictured here on the site before the flood). “We think that nothing will happen to the antiquities underwater and that the water level will slowly drop”

“Even if the water level drops 80 centimeters [31.4 inches]we will still have to walk and work in the mud. It is impossible, “said Professor Aviam. Pictured, part of the excavation site seen here before floods made the work untenable

In the Bible, Bethsaida - a name that translates as 'house of fishing / hunting' - is described as a 'village' of 'green grass' that can be reached by boat. Pictured, the excavation of El-Araj prior to the flood

In the Bible, Bethsaida - a name that translates as 'house of fishing / hunting' - is described as a 'village' of 'green grass' that can be reached by boat. Pictured, the excavation of El-Araj prior to the flood

In the Bible, Bethsaida – a name that translates as ‘house of fishing / hunting’ – is described as a ‘village’ of ‘green grass’ that can be reached by boat. Pictured, the excavation of El-Araj prior to the flood

Portrayed here before the Flood, El-Araj is one of two sites commonly identified by archaeologists as the ancient settlement – the other being Et-Tell. But for Professor Aviam, the first is clearly the better contender. “El-Araj is on the shore of the lake, not like Et-Tell, which is two kilometers inland. This is more suitable for a fishing village, ”he explained

Professor Aviam believes that the case for El-Araj is further supported by the writings of the Roman historian Titus Flavius ​​Josephus. Josephus described the village as close to where the Jordan River enters the Sea of ​​Galilee. He also wrote about how the village under Herod Philip II “was developed into the dignity of a city, both by the number of inhabitants it contained and by its other greatness.”

Ironically, Professor Aviam believes the site was likely abandoned in the first place due to flooding.

“We can only assume that in the third century AD the level of the lake slowly rose and the land, floors and courtyards got wet, so people decided to leave,” he said.

“Floods came with the Jordan and covered Bethsaida with six feet of silt.”

“It wasn’t until the sixth century that Christians identified the site as Bethsaida, the home of the apostles, and built a church to commemorate them.”

Archaeologists have worked to prove that the lost ancient city of Bethsaida once stood in El-Araj, an excavation site on the north coast of the Sea of ​​Galilee

Archaeologists have worked to prove that the lost ancient city of Bethsaida once stood in El-Araj, an excavation site on the north coast of the Sea of ​​Galilee

Archaeologists have worked to prove that the lost ancient city of Bethsaida once stood in El-Araj, an excavation site on the north coast of the Sea of ​​Galilee

After the rain, Professor Aviam said he expected some flooding, but was surprised by its size. “I thought it was going to be flooded, but when I came to see it with my own eyes, I was amazed!” he said. ‘Especially when I got the photos from the drone’

Ironically, Professor Aviam believes the site was likely abandoned in the first place due to flooding. “We can only assume that in the third century AD the level of the lake slowly rose and the land, floors and courtyards got wet, so people decided to leave,” he said. “Floods came with the Jordan and covered Bethsaida with six feet of silt.” “Only in the sixth century did Christians identify the site as Bethsaida, the home of the apostles, and built a church to commemorate them”

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