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Caves of Arbel
by Galyn Wiemers, Generation Word

Arbel

Elevation 594 feet above sea level and 1283 feet above the Sea of Galilee. The cliff of Arbel overlooks the Sea of Galilee and provides an excellent panorama of the Sea and the plain of Gennesaret. Below the villages on the shore of the Sea of Galilee can be seen.

The Syrian General Baccies attacked Jews hiding in these caves in 161 BC during the Maccabean revolt. Herod the Great burned out criminals from these caves around 38 BC when he was first given jurisdiction over Galilee as a young man serving under his father.

At the top on the SW side of the cliff are ruins of a Byzantine village with a synagogue excavated by H. Kohl and C. Watzinger in 1905. These ruins are located in the center of the modern Moshav Arbel and must be entered by foot from a street inside the Moshav. A Moshav is a cooperative agricultural community of individual farms settled by Zionists.