The Hike the Bible series is currently covering points of interest along two hiking trails through Galilee, the 40-mile Jesus Trail and the 39-mile Gospel Trail. These two trails re-create possible routes Jesus likely traversed during His sojourns in Galilee.
After discussing the Galilean points of interest, this Hike the Bible series will continue with reviews of other major hiking trails in the Lands of the Bible.
Horns of Hattin
The mountain named the “Horns of Hattin” is an extinct volcano with several peaks. It rises 1,816 feet above the Sea of Galilee and 1,135 feet above sea level.
This site is not mentioned by name in the New Testament, and it’s not on the Gospel Trail. But it is on the Jesus Trail.
On a clear day, spectacular views of the Sea of Galilee and the entire Jesus Trail can be enjoyed from the mountain.
Battle of Hattin
A turning-point battle occurred at the Horns of Hattin in July 1187 AD. Muslim forces defeated French forces to wrest control of Israel from the Franks. It’s often described as a Crusader loss, but it was not really a Crusader battle as there were few Crusaders there. Most were Franks living in the land.
The Muslim forces were commanded by Saladin, Sultan of Egypt and Syria. The Christian forces were led by Guy of Lusignan, King of Jerusalem.
Saladin besieged a Crusader fortress in Tiberias on the Sea of Galilee. He hoped to lure Guy’s army out of its fortified position several days march to the west in Sepphoris (Zippori) into an open-field battle. The stratagem worked. Guy marched his army out of Sepphoris to relieve the siege at Tiberias. Saladin met and defeated him on the plains at the base of the Horns of Hattin mountain.
The Battle of Hattin by Brian Steed is an enthralling account of the battle discussing personalities, strategy and tactics, and the influence of geography and water resources on the battle.
The Frankish loss led to Saladin’s conquering of most of Israel including the capture of Jerusalem by the Muslims in October 1187. The Pope launched the Third Crusade two years later in an attempt to recapture Jerusalem. This crusade, led primarily by Richard the Lion-hearted of England, was mostly successful is recapturing the Holy Land from Saladin except for Jerusalem. Muslims continued to control Jerusalem until the British recaptured it 730 years later under General Allenby in the 1917 Battle of Jerusalem.
Father-in-law of Moses
Nabi Shu’ayb (Prophet Jethro) is a complex at the base of the Horns of Hattin on the north side commemorating the traditional site for the burial places of Moses’ father-in-law Jethro (aka Reuel), the Midianite priest, (Exodus 3:1; 4:18) and Moses’ wife Zipporah (Exodus 2:16-22; 18:1-12).
Jethro is the man who suggested that Moses delegate the job of judging Israel. He advised Moses to teach the people the way to live before Yahweh and to choose capable men to help judge the people. Jethro told Moses,
“The thing that you are doing is not good. You will surely wear out, both yourself and these people who are with you, for the task is too heavy for you; you cannot do it alone. Now listen to me: I will give you counsel, and God be with you. You be the people’s representative before God, and you bring the disputes to God, then teach them the statutes and the laws, and make known to them the way in which they are to walk and the work they are to do. Furthermore, you shall select out of all the people able men who fear God, men of truth, those who hate dishonest gain; and you shall place these over them as leaders of thousands, of hundreds, of fifties and of tens. Let them judge the people at all times; and let it be that every major dispute they will bring to you, but every minor dispute they themselves will judge. So it will be easier for you, and they will bear the burden with you.” (Exodus 18:17-22)
Soli Deo Gloria.
This is the tenth installment in the Hike the Bible series reviewing major hiking trails in the Lands of the Bible.
Read the prequels:
1. Hike the Bible – Jesus Trail (with video)
2. Hike the Bible – Gospel Trail (with video)
3. Hike the Bible – Jesus Trail vs. Gospel Trail
4. Hike the Bible – Nazareth
5. Hike the Bible – Zippori
6. Hike the Bible – Mash’had
7. Hike the Bible – Cana (with video)
8. Hike the Bible – Roman Road
9. Hike the Bible – Via Maris
Read the sequel:
11. Hike the Bible – Sermon on the Mount
©William T. Pelletier, Ph.D.
“contending earnestly for the faith” (Jude 1:3)
Wednesday March 28, 2012 A.D.
Read my March 2012 newspaper column:
Hike the Bible
Jesus was going throughout all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every kind of disease and every kind of sickness among the people. (Matthew 4:23)