January 8, 2016
Day 1: Depart for Israel
- Depart on your overnight flight to Israel, arriving in Tel Aviv the following day.
Day 2: Arrival: Arrive at Ben Gurion Airport.
- After passport control and baggage claim you will meet your guide and board your bus and begin your first day in Israel with a brief tour of Joppa, the ancient seaport.
- It is here where Jonah fled from his responsibility and where Peter had his vision opening the church to the gentiles.
- We then drive northward to Tiberias and check into our hotel for three nights.
Day 3: Caesarea, Cana, & Nazareth
- After breakfast, we travel by private motor coach along the coast of the Mediterranean Sea to Caesarea, where Gentiles first heard the Good News from Peter and were baptized.
- We’ll see the Roman Amphitheatre and aqueduct, and then journey on to Mt. Carmel, where Elijah challenged King Ahab and the prophets of Baal.
- Next we travel through the Jezreel Valley to Megiddo, the Armageddon Battlefield, where archaeologists have unearthed 20 levels of civilization.
- We drive through the area of Cana and Nazareth, the boyhood home of Jesus, where we visit the Nazareth Village – a wonderful recreation of Biblical times with costumed guides.
- We end our day at the Arbel Cliff for an overview of the Sea of Galilee and the sites of the early Ministry of Christ around the lake before we drive down to our.
Day 4: Sea of Galilee and Upper Galilee
- Following breakfast, we drive on the western shores of the Sea of Galilee to the City of Tiberias.
- We continue driving along the Sea of Galilee to Capernaum, where we visit the synagogue and the place where early Christians remembered Peter’s house.
- We continue to Tabgha (short for Heptapagon, “seven springs”) to view the mosaics in the Church of the Loaves and Fishes.
- Ascending the Mt. Beatitudes, we listen to Jesus’ teachings.
- On an ancient trade route, we pass Hazor and then go on to Dan. Here we do a nature walk and visit the high place where Jeroboam son of Nebat set up a golden calf.
- We continue to Caesarea Philippi ( Banias ), where Peter answered Jesus’ question, “Who do you say that I am?”
- Our route then takes us over the Golan Heights, skirting Mt. Hermon, with a view toward Damascus.
- We end the day with a boat ride on the Sea of Galilee.
Day 5: The Lower Galilee and the Jordan Valley
- This day we visit three major sites: Beth Shean, Ein Harod and Jericho.
- We begin our day with a visit to the Jordan River Baptismal site.
- We then down into the Jordan Valley and to the startegic crossing point between the Jordan Valley and the Jezreel is located the city of Beth Shean (aka Scythopolis). Here we shall climb the tel and view the setting for the death of Saul (I Samuel 28 – II Samuel 1).
- We shall then survey the magnificent Roman and Byzantine ruins: theatre, bathhouses, ancient rest rooms, market areas, colonnaded streets.
- We then drive down through the Jezreel Valey west to Ein Harod. Judges 7 describes Gideon’s actions in thinning his army out. He brought the men to his army out. He brought the men to the spring and sorted them on the basis of how they drank from the water.
- We then drive east into Harod’s Valley. This fantastic view is filled with biblical history. From this location on Tel Jezreel looking east, one can yet imagine the crowned Jehu “driving like a madman,” on his way to killing the kings of Israel and Judah. 900 years later, Jesus healed the 10 lepers, probably somewhere in this valley.
- We continue east back to the Jordan Valley and then south to Jericho.
- At Jericho, we visit the tell of this oldest city and view the traditional mountain of Jesus’ temptation.
- We continue driving south through the Rift Valley and driving along the western shores of the Dead Sea.
- Then it is on to the Qumran Caves where the Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered.
- We will have a short stop at the Dead Sea for a dip in the therapeutic waters of the Dead Sea before we continue on to Jerusalem and check into our hotel where will be staying for two nights.
Day 6: Mount of Olives, Garden of Gethsemane, & Bethlehem
- Today we will walk where Jesus walked.
- Begin with a panoramic view of the city, Mount Moriah, and the Dome of the Rock from atop the Mount of Olives and then the Garden of Gethsemane.
- We will drive to Bethlehem, where Jesus Christ was born, to visit the Church of Nativity and the Shepherds’ Fields, which commemorate the fields where the angel appeared to the shepherds to lead them to where Jesus Christ was born.
Day 7: Old City
- Transfer to Dung Gate and walk to the Southern Wall excavations.
- Examine the ruins near the south side of the Temple complex, including steps where we are certain that Jesus and the disciples walked.
- Walk up to the Western Wall, Judaism’s holiest site.
- Ascend to the Dome of the Rock and the al-Aqsa Mosque, the third holiest site of Islam, located on the traditional site of the Temple.
- Just to the north we find the Pools of Bethesda (John 5) and St. Anne’s Church, perfectly preserved from the Crusader period.
- Pass through the Jerusalem markets.
- From there we board our bus and transfer to the Garden Tomb for a special visit and communion before having dinner and departing for Ben Gurion airport where we board our flight back home.
- Arrive back home.