For all you Indiana Jones fans – here is a picture of Petra that figure so prominently in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. In Jesus’ day, Petra was the capital of the Nabataean Kingdom, a rock city roughly the same size as Jerusalem (50,000). We climbed to mountain to see the “High Place” above Petra, where they sacrificed to Molech. Herod Antipas was married to the Nabatean king’s (Aretas IV- 9BC – 40AD) daughter, Phasaelis. Herod divorced her to married his brother’s wife, Herodias the mother of Salome. When Phasaelis learned that Antipas intended to divorce her, she fled to her father, King Aretas. Eventually Aretas went to war against Herod and defeated him. When John the Baptist denounced Herod for divorcing Phasaelis and marrying Herodias, this was not merely a moral statement, but worsened the political crisis Herod was facing because of his divorce and remarriage, leading to John’s imprisonment and execution.
Author and Pastor Daniel Molyneux just returned from an extensive trip to Israel, Jordan, and Egypt, visiting such places as: Herod’s Dead Sea Fortress Machaerus where John the Baptist was imprisoned and beheaded, the “rock city” Petra (for you all you Indiana Jones fans), Jerash (biblical Gerasa in the Gospels), Abu Simbel near the Egyptian border with Sudan, the ancient Jericho road to Jerusalem, Sepphoris (Galilee’s ancient capital during Jesus’ day, only 3 miles from Nazareth) Tel Hazor, and so on. Molyneux said about the trip, “It is always a transformative experience to go to the Holy Lands. It provides tremendous inspiration and data for teaching, preaching, and for my books. It was especially great to have George DeJong lead the trip.” To find out more about Daniel Molyneux’s books go to www.angelofa.com