Historically Nazareth was never a large settlement due to the unavailabity of a natural water source so it is not surprising that Nathanel says “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?” when Philip tells him of Jesus (John 1:46).

But it was to Nazareth that the angel Gabriel came to tell Mary “Hail, O favored one, the Lord is with you.” (Luke 1:28) . An early tradition tells that Gabriel first appeared to Mary while she was drawing water at the well, where the Greek Orthodox Church, built in 1769, now stands.

The present Church of the Annunciation rests on earlier Byzantine and Crusader churches. Adjoining it is the Church of St. Joseph built over a cave which may have served as the Joseph’s carpentry.

Close by is the Greek Catholic Church which may be built on the remains of the synagogue in which Jesus preached. Overlooking the fertile Jezre’el valley is the Precipice of the Leap, the brow of the hill to which Jesus was led, “but passing through the midst of them he went away” (Luke 4:30).

Text content copyrights: Bein Harim Ltd., Beryl Ratzer (www.ratzer.com)

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