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Tel Gezer, Israel: On the Crossroads of the World! Joshua, David, Solomon, Via Maris, Canaanites.

Tel Gezer, Israel: On the Crossroads of the World! Joshua, David, Solomon, Via Maris, Canaanites.

Gezer: On the Crossroads of the World

Location
1. Gezer is in the eastern foothills of the coastal plain (Shaphelah) of western Israel. It is about 14 miles (22.5 km.) east of the Mediterranean Sea and about 19 miles (30.5 km.) west of Jerusalem. Tel Aviv sits about 17 miles (27 km.) to the northwest of Gezer.
2. Gezer was on the main north-south travel route called the Via Maris. It was also on a major east-west route that linked the coastal plain to Jerusalem and beyond.
The Via Maris connected three continents, Africa, Asia, and Europe.
This location is significant because Israel forms a narrow land bridge to connect these three continents.
To the east is a desert and to the west is the Mediterranean Sea. This forced trade and travelers to use the Via Maris.
Whatever happened in Israel was taken to the known world at that time.
3. Whoever controlled Gezer, controlled trade and influence in the ancient world in biblical times.
4. God, in His sovereignty, placed Israel on the crossroads of the known world so they could be a light to the world and communicate His message to them.
5. Gezer was in the territory of Ephraim.

Historical Background
1. Gezer is one of the largest tels in Israel.
2. Whoever controlled Gezer had significant control over the ancient world.
3. Gezer began to be inhabited some 5,000 years ago.
4. It has around 21 layers of civilizations.
5. A tel is a mound of earth that develops as one civilization builds upon another.
6. The Canaanites first lived here from around 3000 BC to around 2000 BC.
7. When the Israelites arrived in 1406 BC, they failed to drive out the Philistines and occupy Gezer.
8. As a result, the Philistines lived here from around 2000 BC until King David subdued them in around 1000 BC.
9. Gezer existed during the time of Christ.
10. Gezer is mentioned 14 times in the Bible.
11. During the Hasmonean revolt (167 BC) the Jews lived close-by to Gezer and used it for battle purposes.
12. The Ottomans (15th and 16th centuries) lived here as well.

Places of Interest
1. Parking
2. Canaanite Tower
3. Canaanite Gate
4. Water System
5. Sheikh’s Tomb
6. Israelite City
7. Solomon’s Gate
8. Standing Stones
9. Lookout Point

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