From your home city, you are responsible for arranging your own air transportation to meet your group in Israel. If you are departing from North America, you should plan to leave one day ahead of your INITIAL DATE* when you will meet in Israel.
Enjoy the never to be forgotten canyons of Ein Avdat where the Israelites would have passed on their desert journey from Egypt. You will study some aspects of Moses’ life and relate that to present day Biblical leadership. We take lunch near Ben Gurion's tomb and stroll in the cool of its beautiful oasis. The amazing history and fortress of Herod the Great is our focus for the afternoon, as we visit Masada. Dinner and Overnight at the Dead Sea.
Our hike into the springs of Ein Gedi furthers our understanding of how the Israelites viewed God as the source of living water, not to mention life itself. The morning will be dedicated to the study of some of the stories of King David. Be surprised at where he led both his sheep and his “mighty men”. During the afternoon, at Qumran, you will be intrigued by a glimpse into the beliefs of the Essenes, to whom we are indebted for the copying and protection of the scriptures (Dead Sea Scrolls). Dinner and Overnight at the Dead Sea.
Israel's conflict with her neighbors as well as her internal tribal conflict is the focus of today. You will study Biblical sites and the lives of such historical figures as King Hezekiah (Tel Lakhish), the cellars of Beth Guvrin, King David and Goliath (Tel Azekah) and Sampson (Beth Shemesh). You will see where God challenged and delivered His people in unexpected ways. Be prepared for some "aha!" moments. On this day, we complete our journey in the Negev desert and move north into the area of the Galilee. Dinner and Overnight at a kibbutz in the Galilee.
On your first day in the northern Galilee, you will see several important historical sites such as Gamla and learn of the devoted lives of the Zealots, who resisted the Romans and waited for a Messiah who would save them from their political enemy. Sit around the steps of an ancient synagogue where Jesus was almost certain to have visited and learn how the Israelites worshiped in Jesus’ day. Look into the paganism of ancient Pan worship at Caesarea Philippi. How does that relate to Jesus’ call for us to take our place in His triumphant Church? Experience the crystal headwaters of the Jordan River as they gush from the foot of Mount Hermon. Later in the evening you will experience the start of a joyful Jewish Sabbath with a synagogue service and a Shabbat supper at the Kibbutz. Dinner and Overnight at a kibbutz in the Galilee,
Trace the life of Jesus the Messiah around the Sea of Galilee, where He carried out most of His ministry. Explore some key cities (Korazin, Bethsaida and Capernhaum) where He spoke and called out his disciples. Learn how He discipled His followers and taught the Scriptures. Teachings and possible baptisms at the Jordan River. Dinner and Overnight at a kibbutz in the Galilee.
Mount Arbel is memorable in the morning air. Could this be the mountain where Jesus went up to pray? A surprise at lunch prepares us for the afternoon. As we approach Beth Shean from a different direction, the focus of the day is the clash of Hellenism (Greek / western thought) with Judaism. At Susita, one of the sites of His ministry, we will discuss Jesus’ teachings and in particular one interesting story where His words to a man with an unclean spirit directly impacted church beliefs in later centuries. Dinner and Overnight at a kibbutz in the Galilee.
Today you walk where Jesus walked as a boy in the fields and quarries of Nazareth and you study the ancient city of Sepphoris which Herod paid for but Jesus may have helped build! You will visit that ancient city (Tel Megiddo) that guarded a key trade route along the Coastal Plain. Elijah’s life and passion is revealed at Mount Carmel. You will be challenged with how you might live in your world as Elijah lived in His. On your way to Jerusalem you will walk the length of Caesarea, another of Herod’s astonishing cities which was also the launch area for Paul’s missionary journeys. Dinner and Overnight in Jerusalem.
The great city of Jerusalem is the backdrop to further experience the life and times of King David’s reign, the Roman era, teachings of Jesus and the modern day Jewish folks who live here. Visit many sites: the City of David, the Spring of Gihon, the Pool of Siloam, the Southern Steps, the Western Wall, the Temple Mount, and the Shrine of the Book. Finally, experience a stark reminder of the holocaust at Yad Vashem. Dinner and Overnight in Jerusalem.
Jerusalem deserves at least another day. Visit multiple sites including the Mount of Olives, the Garden of Gethsemane, St. Anne's Church, the Pool of Bethesda, the Antonia Fortress, the Church of the Holy Sepulcher and the Garden Tomb. There is time for one final night in Jerusalem. Take time for closure and farewells before you leave your fellow pilgrims, new friends, for home. Dinner and Overnight in Jerusalem.