In the previous article, we explored the City of Nazareth. In this newsletter, we shall head North to the Zippori National Park and the unique city of Cana. While Zippori is a fascinating archaeological site one must visit, Cana is the location of Jesus’ first miracle.
Before leaving Nazareth- make sure you visit Nazareth Village.
Around a 10-15 min walk from Nazareth city center, you can have an opportunity to step back in time. Nazareth Village is an open-air museum, where visitors can see and experience how life in Nazareth was at the time of Jesus. The guides in the museum wear the same clothes that were used at that time. Visitors can see how farming and craftwork were performed two thousand years ago.
As you start heading north, you will leave the old city of Nazareth through its 406 steps. At that point, you will start to experience the unique landscape of the Galilea region.
Zippori- The first point of interest after leaving Nazareth
“He is like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid the foundation on the rock. And when the flood arose, the stream beat vehemently against that house, and could not shake it, for it was founded on the rock. But he who heard and did nothing is like a man who built a house on the earth without a foundation, against which the stream beat vehemently; and immediately it fell. And the ruin of that house was great.”
The national park of Zippori is in the lower Galilee around 6.5km from Nazareth. Josephus, the famous Romano-Jewish historian described Zippori as “the ornament of all Galilee”. The city was the administrative capital of Galilee in the 1st century.
Zippori was also a center of Jewish life in the 2nd century. The Sanhedrin convened there for a time, and it was the birthplace of the Mishnah, the first written codification of Jewish oral law.
In the site, one can find historical sites from the 2nd century BC and much later periods such as the Byzantine, Arab, and Crusaders.
Zippori is considered an international mosaic city. The famous mosaics are mainly from the Roman and Byzantine periods. The most famous mosaic is Byzantine mosaics, including a woman’s face known as the ‘Mona Lisa of the Galilee.
According to oral tradition, Zippori is the birthplace of Jesus’ parents, Anna, and Joachim. Where Jesus’ parents resided, one today can find a 5th- century basilica which is excavated at the site honoring the birth of Mary.
It is also believed that tradesman Joseph of Nazareth and his wife Mary settle in Nazareth when they returned with Jesus from Egypt. Zippori, which is around one hour’s walk from Nazareth was a great employment opportunity for Joseph. It may also be where Jesus gained insights into the building trade — such as the need to build with foundations on the rock rather than on sand (Luke 6:48-49).
The Mona Lisa of Galilee, antique mosaic, national park Zippori, Galilee, Israel
Cana- Jesus’s First Miracle
“What Jesus did here in Cana of Galilee was the first of the signs through which he revealed his glory, and his disciples believed in him.”
Cana is best known as the place where Jesus performed “the first of his signs”. This was the first public miracle, the turning of a large quantity of water into wine at a wedding feast (John 2:1-11) when the wine provided by the bridegroom had run out. Although none of the synoptic gospels record the event, mainstream Christian tradition holds that this is the first public miracle of Jesus.
The Jesus Trail passes through the modern town of Kfar Kana, which is located on the traditional site of the wedding feast.
Church Of The First Miracle in Cana of Galilee, Israel
Miracle of Cana, Water into Wine