May 14-24, 2019
Itinerary subject to change while touring for the best interest of the group.
Day 1: Departure from US (May 14)
Today we embark on our Journey to the Holy Land. Prepare yourself for a life-changing experience. Get some rest on the flight…tomorrow you will be walking where Jesus walked!
Day 2: Arrive Israel (May 15)
Arrive in Israel late this evening and travel northward to our hotel for one night in the coastal area near Tel Aviv. Meet your Israeli guide, and have a briefing en-route to the hotel. Upon arrival we check in and immediately head to bed in preparation for our touring day tomorrow.
Day 3: Caesarea, Megiddo, Mt. Arbel (May 16)
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, hippodrome, a film on history and the remains of this famous port city, and aqueduct, and then journey on to Mt. Carmel, where Elijah challenged King Ahab and the prophets of Baal. Following lunch, 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 arriving atop Mt. Arbel. From here we have a panoramic overview of the Galilee below highlighting key locations of Christ’s Ministry, giving us great preparation for the next two days. We will have dinner and overnight lodging for the next two nights in the Tiberias area on the Sea of Galilee.
Day 4: Capernaum, Dan, Caesarea Philippi & Mount of Beatitudes (May 17)
Following breakfast, our morning travels take us to two valuable northern sites. Dan is where the children of Israel fell to the depths of pagan worship and Caesarea Philippi, the site of Peter’s Confession. Upon returning south we experience the St. Peter’s Fish lunch before visiting nearby Capernaum where we will visit the ruins of an ancient synagogue and Peter’s home. Then we travel on to the possible site of the multiplication of loaves and fishes in Bethsaida and the Mount of the Beatitudes overlooking the Sea. After viewing the ancient Fisherman Boat at an operating Kibbutz, we enjoy a relaxing cruise on the Sea of Galilee. A brief scripture reading and devotional on board brings to life the experiences of Jesus and the fishermen disciples concluding a wonderful day.
Day 5: Jordan River Baptism Sites, Beth Shean, Bethany & Dead Sea (May 18)
We begin our day with an opportunity to be baptized at the Jordan River Baptismal site. Next we travel southward to Beit-Shean/Scythopolis, the most magnificent archeological site in Israel, located at the strategic juncture of the Jezreel and Jordan valleys. Like Jericho, it has been almost continuously occupied throughout history. After defeating Saul and his sons on Mt. Gilboa, the Philistines hanged their bodies on the walls of Beit-Shean. During the time of Jesus, Scythopolis was one of the chief cities of the Decapolis – a league of ten cities sharing Greek culture and government. Following the fertile Jordan Valley southward, your guide will point out the agricultural restoration of the “Land of Milk and Honey” and Israel’s intricate irrigation development. We pass ancient Jericho, view from a distance this city famed as the oldest in the world, before coming to the Jordan River (Queser El Yehud) the Israeli side of Bethany Beyond the Jordan, the place where Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist, where Elijah and Elisha crossed the Jordan as well as the area where the children of Israel led by Joshua entered the Promised land. Our lodging for the evening is at the Dead Sea – the lowest place on earth. Spend time in the special spa and enjoy a dip in the Dead Sea for a relaxing float before dinner.
Day 6: Masada, Afternoon Dead Sea Free Day (May 19)
This morning we begin with a cable car ride to the mountain top fortress of Masada. Here our guide will treat us to the history of the famous zealot stand. The rest of the day is spent in the sun and sand of the Dead Sea. Sleep in, rest, enjoy the waters and or the hotel spa. We use the remainder of the day to re-energize ourselves. Dinner this evening will be at the hotel.
Day 7: Ein Gedi, Dead Sea Scrolls, Abraham’s Tent (May 20)
This we have a late rise this morning followed by a late morning departure form the hotel. Our day We proceed north to Ein Gedi, “Spring of the Goat”, an oasis on the western shore of the Dead Sea. Because of its warm climate and abundant supply of water, the site developed a reputation for its fragrant plants and date palm groves. This is where King David hid from Saul, and where God defeated the enemies of the Israelites by praise and worship led by King Jehoshaphat. Next, we visit Qumran Caves where the Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered. This afternoon we will take part in the Genesis Land/Dinner in Abraham’s Tent, where we enjoy a trip back in time: a reliving of life in the time of the Patriarchs, complete with costume, dramatic presentation, camel ride and authentic food. Our lodging for the next four nights will be in Jerusalem.
Day 8: Around Jerusalem, Bible Times (May 21)
On our way into the city we will visit the Wailing Wall and then the fascinating Rabbinical Tunnels leading us through the Second Temple era. The tunnel and exhibit give a clear understanding of the amazing construction of the Temple Mount, giant stones, water supply and Roman street where our Lord was led to judgment. Before exiting the tunnel we see the immense cornerstone rejected by the builders. We move on to the Judgment Hall of Pilate, hear of those who conspired against Him and are reminded of His brutal beating and humiliation. From here we will also be able to see the Pool of Bethesda, Stephen’s Gate and St. Ann’s Church. Following lunch, we visit the Southern Wall Excavations. This southern side of The Temple was the main entrance for the common folk, whereas the Priests and Levites had their own entrance from the higher eastern side. Parts of the giant stairs, which led to the Temple Mount from the courtyard have been unearthed along with the purification pools. From here Jesus entered the Temple Mount and drove out the vendors and money exchangers who were exploiting the people. It is also likely that this is the place that Peter stood and preached and where thousands were saved and baptized on the Day of Pentecost. Our last visit of the day takes us west of Jerusalem to view the possible location of Emmaus where Jesus appeared to two disciples, and Gibeon where the Lord appeared to King Solomon before he built the Temple.
Day 9: Bethel, Shiloh, Mt. Gerizim, Jericho (May 22)
The Old Testament city of Shilo was home for the Tabernacle with the Ark of the Covenant and you may walk to the likely plateau where it was pitched and picture the cloud pillar of God’s presence rising up above the valley walls. This would also be the spot where Hannah came to pray for a son. Later, she dedicated that son, Samuel, to serve in the Tabernacle. It was from Shiloh that the Ark was taken into battle and temporarily lost to the Philistines. We travel to Jacob’s Well, site of Jesus’ conversation with a Samaritan woman and drive up to Mt. Gerizim to visit with the local Samaritans still practicing their faith today. Our final visit of the day takes us eastward to Jericho to see the place of Herod’s winter palace, Zaccheus’ sycamore tree, Elisha’s Spring, then enter ancient Tel Jericho to see remains of fallen walls, and view the Mount of Temptation where Satan tempted Jesus.
Day 10: Jesus’ Steps, Last Days, Way of Suffering, Temple Institute, Garden Tomb (May 23)
Today we walk where Jesus walked; beginning the day 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. How many have wished to be whisked back in time to get a glimpse of our Lord or hear His voice if only for a moment? To walk between the ancient olive trees, read the scriptures of Jesus’ prayer and take time for personal reflection is important here. Passing by the Protestant Cemetery, we visit the “Upper Room” just outside the Zion Gate where the disciple whom Jesus loved laid his head on His breast and where later Thomas cried, “my Lord & my God.” While walking along the Via Dolorosa, we are reminded of His way of suffering. We make our way to the Temple Institute to learn of the preparations being made for the rebuilding of the Temple. The climax of the day is the area of Golgotha (place of the skull) and the Garden Tomb, where we celebrate the resurrection with communion and a time of praise.
Day 11: Depart for Home (May 24)
An early morning departure for the Tel Aviv Airport for our flight homeward will allow for arrival home by early afternoon.