Caesarea Philippi (Banias) is on the southwestern slope of Mount Hermon and the northernmost extent of Jesus’ ministry. Here, Jesus would be alone with his disciples – outside the domain of Herod Antipas – ruler of the Galilee. The population was not Jewish, so Jesus could teach them in peace. Here, on the road outside the city Jesus asked one of the most profound questions that could ever be posed “Who do people say I am?” They replied: “Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah and still others, one of the prophets.” “But what about you?” he asked. Peter answered “You are the Messiah”
A cave near Caesarea Philippi is said to be the birthplace of the Greek God Pan, god of nature, fields, forests, mountains, flocks and shepherds. The original name of this site was “Panias” the modern name is Banias.The abundant water supply has made the area very fertile and attractive.