Israel: Tel Dan

Today we had another hiking tour to Tel Dan National Park, a lush nature reserve where you can see 40 century city gate and an altar structure where ancient offerings are made for religious purposes. Clear water coming from the snow melt of Mount Hermon flows through Dan River, providing water resource inside the reserve.

Dan River
Wading pool

Behind these stone walls is a shrine built during the time of King Jeroboam, a ruler of the northern kingdom of Israel. The Old Testament recorded numerous disgraceful actions during his reign as King. Jeroboam corrupted Jewish worship by building altar for golden calves, he replaced the place of worship from Jerusalem to Bethel and Dan. Jeroboam appointed priests who are not from the tribe of Levi.

"So the king[Jeroboam] took counsel and made two calves of gold. And he said to the people, “You have gone up to Jerusalem long enough. Behold your gods, O Israel, who brought you up out of the land of Egypt.” And he set one in Bethel, and the other he put in Dan" 
-- 1 Kings 12:28-30

Entrance to the shrine
Golden Calf Altar
View on top
Below photo is the city's main gate, a triple-arched entrance made of sun-baked bricks reconstructed by the archaeologists. The gate was called "Abraham's gate" since the gate was built since the time of Abraham (15th C BC) or about 4,000 year old now. 

"And when Abram heard that his brother was taken captive, he armed his trained servants, born in his own house, three hundred and eighteen, and pursued them unto Dan" -- Genesis 14:14

Gate of the Three Arches aka Abraham's Gate


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