National Geographic : 1956 Dec
Armed with this authority, Saul set out from Jerusalem, probably accompanied by guards placed at his service by Caiaphas. Which road he took to Damascus, nobody knows. He could have avoided the desert heat by following the hills north toward Naza reth, then traveling up the River Jordan from the Sea of Galilee and past snow-crowned Mount Hermon.* Jordanian border guards would bar me from following this route, so I flew to Damascus instead. After my plane took off from the wavy runway of Jerusalem's airport, it headed eastward above Jordan, giving Israel a wide berth. I tried to follow from the air the way Saul and his cohort of persecutors would have taken. A springtime haze defeated my straining eyes. The hills blurred in the vapor. The Sea of Galilee emerged, a smear of dull alu minum, from the purple mass of Galilean hills. Down there Israel fishermen would be mend- 713 ing nets for another night of work on the lake they call Kinneret; I knew, for once I had gone fishing with them. Perhaps Saul stopped at Lake Kinneret to buy fish for his men. Ironically, he and his band may have dined on the same fish that would later be called St. Peter fish, after Christ's first disciple. From Jerusalem to Damascus is but three inches on the Bible Lands map-yet the con version of Saul in the course of this journey was destined to change the world. Saul had now only a little time and a short distance to go before the light would strike. What was he thinking, I wondered, during those last few hours? Was he impatient to hear the screams of those he would drag away to prison from Damascus? Or was he haunted by the faces * See "The Geography of the Jordan," by Nelson Glueck, NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC MAGAZINE, December, 1944.