History of Belvoir
Built by the Knights of the Order of the Hospitallers in the twelfth century, this isolated fortress protected the eastern side of the Crusaders’ kingdom.
Perched on a hill of the Issachar Plateau 1,700 feet above the Jordan Valley, this fortress enabled the Crusaders to control the road below and “protected” its inhabitants from the local population. From their isolated position, the Crusaders were unable to exert any daily influence on the people in the valet below.
Muslims attacked this fortress from AD 1180-1184, and then besieged it again in 1187. After resisting sieges for a total of seven years, the 50 knights and 450 soldiers surrendered and left for Europe. The Muslims then destroyed the fortress so it could never be used again.
Today, the ruins of Belvoir stand as a grim monument to the tragedies that occur when people misunderstand Jesus’ message and do not live by the truths he taught. Only by living in our culture and confronting evil as it presents itself in daily life are we able to influence it positively for Jesus.
Jesus called his people to be community builders, not fortress builders. He called his people to confront evil with the “weapons” of love, forgiveness, and sacrifice, not the swords and spears used by Crusaders.
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