Banyas, Syria

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.

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About Emily

I am a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints since 2009. I serve as a Chaplain, and work as a counselor. I got bilateral cochlear implants in 2010, but will always love sign language. I choose books over television, and organics over processed. Nothing is as close to flying as ballroom dancing - except maybe running, when in the solo mood. I would rather be outside than anywhere else, especially at the river riding my bike or kayaking. PhD in Marriage and Family Therapy, and currently doing a post-doc in Jewish Studies and an MDiv in Pastoral Counseling. The best thing about Emily World is that it's always an adventure, even if (not so) grammatically precise. The only thing better than writing is being married to a writer. Nathan Christensen and I were married in the Oklahoma City temple on 13 October 2012, and have since fostered more than eighty-five children. We have adopted the six who stayed, and are totally and completely and helplessly in love with our family. Nathan writes musical theater, including "Broadcast" (a musical history of the radio) and an adaption of Lois Lowry's "The Giver". He served his mission in South Korea, has taught song-writing in New York City public schools, and worked as a theater critic for a Tucson newspaper. This is not an official Web site of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

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