We have finally arrived in the Promised Land after an overnight flight from home. We are met at Israel’s Ben Gurion Airport and escorted to our transportation which will take us to Jerusalem. Orientation, dinner, and overnight in Jerusalem.
Day 2 – Wednesday, April 18: The Shomron
Our first day in Israel begins by traveling north into Samaria to meet Abraham as he enters the Promised Land and settles in the first city mentioned in the Bible (see Genesis 12). On Mount Gerizim (the Mountain of Blessings), we discuss the covenant God made with His people as we look upon Mount Ebal (the Mountain of Cursings). After lunch at an IDF Army canteen, we will visit Shiloh, always voted by our groups as one of the most important sites in Israel. Here stood the Wilderness Tabernacle of Moses for 369 years and was Israel’s first capital until the Ark was captured by the Philistines. Here Hannah prayed for a son and where that son, Samuel, grew up to anoint Israel’s first two kings. From Shiloh, we will visit the Orthodox Jewish home of our Tour Operator for a discussion of life in the communities of Judea & Samaria. Dinner and overnight in Jerusalem.
We awake in the “City of Gold” (Jerusalem) for an after-breakfast visit to the Israel Museum for a look at the famous scale model of the Jerusalem of Jesus’ day. This will provide us with an overall understanding of where Jesus walked and ministered while in the City. We then spend time at Yad Vashem, Israel’s holocaust museum. After Yad Vashem, we will spend time in the Jewish Quarter of Jerusalem’s Old City for a tour of the Quarter as it was rebuilt after the 1948 War of Independence. Dinner and overnight in Jerusalem.
Jerusalem’s outdoor market, popularly known as The Shuk, is where we will get a taste of life in the “real” Jerusalem as Jerusalemites scramble to finish their shopping before Shabbat arrives. We then spend time at Emek Tzurim where we will work alongside archaeologists who are sifting through precious Temple Mount debris to discover Israel’s ancient past. Some of our groups have found ancient coins from 2,000 years ago! From here we visit the City of David: “Where it all began”. Here are the foundations of King David’s palace where ruled all the kings of Judea mentioned in the Old Testament. We will also descend to the tunnel built by King Hezekiah when attacked by the Assyrians in 720 BC and we will walk the entire length of the tunnel deep underneath the City. Tonight we have a special treat: we will eat a Sabbath meal with a Christian couple who prepare meals for Israel’s “Lone Soldiers”. Overnight in Jerusalem.
Jesus spent much of his time in and around Jerusalem. We will spend the day visiting the biblical sites of Jesus’ ministry: The Garden of Gethsemane and the Pool of Bethsaida/Bethesda. We will walk the traditional Via Dolorosa, then through the Arab Market and visit the Garden Tomb. We descend to the Valley of Ben Hinnom on the way back to our guesthouse for supper. As Jerusalem becomes alive again after Shabbat, we will take time to shop along Ben Yehudah Street, Jerusalem’s outdoor shopping mall. Dinner and overnight in Jerusalem.
This morning we travel to HaElah, the valley where David slew Goliath. We will hear the story before visiting the very brook where David picked up his 5 smooth stones. Bring a bag and pick up your own 5 stones! We then travel south to Tel Sheva, the ancient village of Beersheba of the Bible. Here still stands the well dug by Abraham 4,000 years ago. After Beersheba, we visit Tel Arad to meet the first walled city encountered by Moses and the people of God as they traveled from Egypt to the land of Canaan. We will recall the disastrous report of the 12 men sent by Moses to spy out the Land and the consequences of their report. We will spend time riding Bedouin camels before our dinner and overnight in the Negev.
This morning we have the special treat of arising early in order to climb the Roman siege ramp to the top of Masada where we will watch the sun rise over the Mountains of Edom and the Dead Sea. After sunrise, we will tour Masada, one of Israel’s most important sites before riding the cable car to the foot of the mountain and breakfast. We are going to swim in the Dead Sea before hiking the cliffs of Ein Gedi where David cut off a piece of King Saul’s cloak. This is another of our groups’ favorite places. Dinner and overnight near the Dead Sea.
This morning we begin moving north toward the Sea of Galilee. Along the way, we will visit Qumran, site of the community, of and the discovery, of the Dead Sea Scrolls. We need to stop across from the world’s oldest city (Jericho) for the biblical stories of all that happened in this area so long ago. We will visit the site where Jesus was baptized by John and anyone who wishes to do so may be baptized at this same location in the Jordan River. Dinner and overnight on the Sea of Galilee.
Today we travel to the far northeast of the Land where we will visit Banias, the biblical Caesrea Philippi and Tel Dan. Dinner and overnight on the Sea of Galilee.
This is our day to visit the town Josephus called, “The jewel of Samaria”, and which Jesus, His father and brothers, probably helped build. The rest of the day is for fun as we drive to the extreme northwestern shores of the Land to visit Rosh Hanikra and Keshet Cave. Dinner and overnight on the Sea of Galilee.
We will spend the morning in Capernaum, known in Scripture as Jesus’ hometown. This is where Jesus made his headquarters after moving from Nazareth to live with Peter’s family. This afternoon we will take a boat ride on the Sea before rafting the Jordan River. Dinner and overnight on the Sea of Galilee.
We follow Jesus where He ministered in the areas around the Sea of Galilee. This will include the cities of the “evangelical triangle” (Korazim, Capernaum, and Bethsaida); locations where He healed, fed the multitudes, and Kursi, where He delivered the demoniac. We will also visit the Mount of Beatitudes and Peter’s Primacy. Dinner and overnight on the Sea of Galilee.
This morning, we visit Mount Carmel to discuss the face-off between the prophet, Elijah, and the prophets of Baal. From our vantage point on the mountain, we take in nearly the entirety of the Valley of Jezreel (Armageddon). Back to the Sea, we visit one of King Herod’s most amazing creations: Caesarea by the Sea. Here, Paul the Apostle was imprisoned for 3 years before being sent to Rome; Philip, the evangelist lived with his daughters; and, the gospel was first preached in the home of the Gentile, Cornelius. Dinner and overnight near the Mediterranean Sea.
This morning we visit Israel’s Independence Hall to hear the amazing story of the founding of the State of Israel in 1948. Then, it’s on to the world’s oldest port, Jaffa, where we will have lunch and visit the place where Peter received his vision to take the gospel to the Gentiles at Caesarea. Our final destination is the Ayalon Institute (where we can learn the extent to which young Israelis were/are willing to sacrifice to form their new country). We have our final dinner at a special restaurant in Tel Aviv, and, after dinner, we will each share our most meaningful experiences while in God’s Promised Land! Trip to the airport to say our “goodbyes” to this amazing place.
You will often be asked, “How was your trip to Israel?” Your trip will be so memorable, answering this question will not be so easy!
Price to be announced soon
Price will include:
Transportation within the Land
All-you-can-eat buffet breakfasts & dinners
Experienced tour guides
All admission fees to locations and all special events
Total Jerusalem Experience
Meetings with Israeli Jewish & Christian families
Working alongside archaeologists
Rafting the Jordan River
Being baptized in the Jordan River (if desired)
Boat ride on the Sea of Galilee (if included in the itinerary)
Tips (which most “regular” tours do not include)
Price does not include:
R-T flight to Tel Aviv
Most lunches (we are on the road and stop where various choices are available)
Personal items (i.e. bottled water)
Trip Interruption and/or Trip Health Insurance (if desired)
If you are interested in joining this Experience, let us know using our Contact Us Form.