1. Lesson One of the Book of Daniel, Introduction to the Book of Daniel

Lesson 10: Geography Study Concerning the Scriptures:  Geography of Israel in Jesus' Day, Special Easter Lesson


Special Lesson because today is Easter: 


Jesus Christ’s final trip to Jerusalem 


It was the custom of the Galileans in the time of Jesus, states the historian Josephus, when they came to the holy city at the festivals to take their journey through the country of the Samaritan; at this time there lay, in the road they took, a village that was called Ginae, which was situated in the limits of Samaria and the great plain. 


The name Ginae is reflected in the modern city of Jenin, also located where the Esdraelon valley gives way to the mountains of Samaria. 


This means that the Jewish pilgrims of Galilee would have a direct route to Jerusalem, passing the cities of Sebaste, Lebonah, and Bethel on the way. 


One might surmise that Jesus also used the direct route when routinely journeying to the holy city.   


He certainly returned northward along that route on one occasion; for it was at the well of Sychar that Jesus met with the woman of Samaria and discussed with her the nature of true religion.   


John 4:3-6, He left Judaea, and departed again into Galilee.  And he must needs go through Samaria.  Then cometh he to a city of Samaria, which is called Sychar, near to the parcel of ground that Jacob gave to his son Joseph. Now Jacob’s well was there. Jesus therefore, being wearied with his journey, sat thus on the well: and it was about the sixth hour.


On what would be his final trip from Galilee to Jerusalem, it appears that Jesus again intended to take the direct route. 


But he and his disciples were refused passage at a certain Samaritan village.


Luke 9:51-56,  And it came to pass, when the time was come that he should be received up, he stedfastly set his face to go to Jerusalem,  And sent messengers before his face: and they went, and entered into a village of the Samaritans, to make ready for him. And they did not receive him, because his face was as though he would go to Jerusalem.  And when his disciples James and John saw this, they said, Lord, wilt thou that we command fire to come down from heaven, and consume them, even as Elias did?  But he turned, and rebuked them, and said, Ye know not what manner of spirit ye are of. For the Son of man is not come to destroy men’s lives, but to save them. And they went to another village.


We are not informed of the identity of the village, but only a few years later a bloody incident took place at Ginae between Samaritans and Jewish pilgrims going to Jerusalem. 


This later episode at least indicates the hostilities and prejudice that existed between Jews and Samaritans, and it suggests for us why pilgrims normally traveled in caravan style.


Luke 2:41-45, Now his parents went to Jerusalem every year at the feast of the passover.  And when he was twelve years old, they went up to Jerusalem after the custom of the feast.  And when they had fulfilled the days, as they returned, the child Jesus tarried behind in Jerusalem; and Joseph and his mother knew not of it.  But they, supposing him to have been in the company, went a day’s journey; and they sought him among their kinsfolk and acquaintance.  And when they found him not, they turned back again to Jerusalem, seeking him.


In any event, Jesus and His disciples were required to take another road and bypass Samaritan territory on the final trip to Jerusalem. 


That route eventually brought them past the cities of Jericho (Matt 19:1, 20:29, Mark 10:1, 46) and Bethany (John 11:1). 


Matt 19:1, And it came to pass, that when Jesus had finished these sayings, he departed from Galilee, and came into the coasts of Judaea beyond Jordan;


Mark 10:1, And he arose from thence, and cometh into the coasts of Judaea by the farther side of Jordan:


Matt 20:29,  And as they departed from Jericho, a great multitude followed him.  It was on this occasion that Jesus gave sight to the two blind men sitting by the way side.


Bethany: John 11:1,  Now a certain man was sick, named Lazarus, of Bethany, the town of Mary and her sister Martha. (It was that Mary which anointed the Lord with ointment, and wiped his feet with her hair, whose brother Lazarus was sick.)


At the later location, Jesus raised His friend Lazarus from the dead. 


This miracle engendered such opposition from the religious establishment that Jesus went into temporary seclusion with some disciples at the town of Ephraim (John 11:54) until his time had fully come.


John 11:54, Jesus therefore walked no more openly among the Jews; but went thence unto a country near to the wilderness, into a city called Ephraim, and there continued with his disciples.


Chronology of Events leading to the Crucifixion


·         Place of the last Supper - Matt 26:20

·         Garden of Gethsemane on the mount of Olives - Matt 26:30

·         Brought to the former High Priest’s (Annas) house first        – John 18:13

·         Then brought to the High Priest’s (Caiaphas) House - John 18:24

·         Brought before the Sanhedrin – Matt 26:59

·         Then to the Hall of Judgement before Pilate – Matt 27:2

·         Then to Herod Antipas who was in Jerusalem for the Passover – Luke 23:7

·         Then back to Pilate – Luke 23:11

·         Then to Calvary also known as Golgatha – Luke 23:33 

Place of the Last Supper


The Place of the Last Supper was in a borrowed upper room in Jerusalem where Jesus shared the Last Supper with his disciples the night before his crucifixion. Such a room was traditionally set aside in the homes of well-to-do individuals to entertain guests. Many take this to be the same room in which Christ’s disciples met after Jesus’ ascension, and where they were gathered when the Spirit came upon the church at Pentecost (Acts 2). Early Christian writers report that the upper room still stood a century after Jesus’ crucifixion, despite the Roman destruction of Jerusalem in a.d. 70. The “upper room” in Jerusalem that Christian pilgrims are shown today dates from the Middle Ages.


The events of this last meal are described in Matthew 26:17-30; Mark 14:12-25; Luke 22:7-20; and John 13-17. Jerusalem’s population expanded during Passover week and most homes were opened to accommodate guests who needed rooms in which to celebrate the Passover meal. Jesus sent John and Peter into Jerusalem to find “a certain man” and make arrangements with him to use his guest room. The two disciples made the preparations, which would have included going to the Temple to have a lamb slaughtered, and the disciples gathered in the upper room with Jesus. Against this vivid picture of sacrifice and redemption, Jesus spends these final private hours with his disciples, worshipping God and remembering his faithfulness. John’s Gospel focuses on the conversations held during this meal, filled with grief and sadness, and notes particularly the Comforter Jesus promised to send (John 13-16).



Gethsemane  [geth-seM-uh-nee; “oil press”] The garden where Jesus was betrayed, on the night before his crucifixion. Gethsemane was an olive grove on the slopes of the Mount of Olives, located just e of Jerusalem, across the Kidron Valley.

Matthew 26:36; Mark 14:32; John 18:1