In the mountains, or Golan Heights, right where the borders of Lebanon, Syria, and Israel meet, lays the ruins of Panias.
Panias was ancient temple site where melting snow from Mount Hermon comes down the mountain into cold springs that turn into the Jordan River.
But when the Greeks came, they turned it into Panias, a pagan temple site for the god Pan. Pan was their god of animals and forests, and when he played his pipes the animals all went crazy. This is where we get our word “panic”.
When the Romans came, and the land was split into the sons, it was Herod Antipas who ruled Tiberius area and pursued the arrest of Jesus, but it was Phillip who ruled the north and east of Galilee and who didn’t care what the Jews did. This is when it was renamed Caesarea Phillipi.
At Caesarea Phillipi, Jesus and the disciples talked about the response of the people to the Savior’s ministry, and Jesus looked at Peter and said, “Who do you say I am?” The transfiguration was six days later, significant like the brother of Jared in that first there was the test and demonstration of faith before seeing through the veil and brought into his presence. This is a significant pattern.
When the Persians came with the Ottoman Empire, they renamed it Panias since they didn’t care about Caesars, but there is no “P” in Arabic. So it became Banias, which due to pronunciation became Banyas.
The pictures are of the ruins that are left, and also my pink raincoat in the way (sorry!), as well as the springs that become the Jordan River.