Departs Oct 12, 2017 from New Orleans
|Hosted By:||Lynn Martin|
|Tour Type:||HolyLand Tour|
|Highlights:||Bethlehem, Capernaum, Garden of Gethsemane, Jerusalem, The Dead Sea|
- Tour Host
Hosted by Lynn Martin
Ben’s Ford Baptist Church
Today we depart New Orleans for our flight to Newark where we will board our international non-stop flight to Tel Aviv, Israel.
We arrive in the Holy Land this afternoon where we will be met by our representative who will assist with your luggage and direct you to your awaiting motorcoach. We’ll be transferred to our hotel in Tel Aviv for dinner and one overnight in our hotel overlooking the Mediterranean Sea.
There was a certain man in Caesarea called Cornelius, a centurion of what was called the Italian Regiment, a devout man and one who feared God with all his household, who gave alms generously to the people, and prayed to God always. About the ninth hour of the day he saw clearly in a vision an angel of God coming in and saying to him, “Cornelius!” And when he observed him, he was afraid, and said, “What is it, lord?” So he said to him, “Your prayers and your alms have come up for a memorial before God. Now send men to Joppa, and send for Simon whose surname is Peter “ (Acts 10:1–6). Begin where the baptism of Gentiles began: at Caesarea Maritima (Focus on Acts 10). You will see the sunken harbor, the hippodrome, the theatre and the Roman aqueduct. Then drive to Muhraka (“burnt offering”) on Mt. Carmel and have a short hike to Muhraka Church and go up to its roof to have a magnificent panorama of the Plain of Jezreel (Esdraelon). (Focus on I Kings 18, the confrontation between Elijah and the prophets of Baal.) After surveying the Plain of Jezreel, we drive through the famed Jezreel Valley west to Megiddo for the background to Ar-mageddon. In one fell swoop, from the heights of Tel Megiddo, you take in thousands of years of biblical history. You are surrounded by dramatic remnants of the more than two dozen civilizations that rose and fell here, which created the very mound on which you stand. The Canaanites knew it, and so did Solomon and the kings of Israel who built a major city here. We will explore Ahab’s amazing water system, and pay tribute to the ancient ingenuity that has brought worldwide acclaim to this site. From the first recorded battle in history, in 1468 BC, every army that crossed this land fought in Megiddo’s shadow. We remind ourselves the lesson we heard on this spot, about history’s last recorded battle: “They gathered the kings together to the place that in Hebrew is called Armageddon” (Rev. 16:16).After surveying the layered city we will proceed to Nazareth and drive up to the Mt. of Precipice for a panoramic view of the Jezreel and see the connection with Mt. Tabor in the distance and the Carmel Range in the west and the connections to the town of Nazareth down the hill. It is also the location of the events mentioned in Luke 4:16-30. This story tells about how angry Jewish worshipers drove Jesus away from the Synagogue, attempted to throw him of the cliffs, and he disappeared before their eyes “in the midst of them”. We drive down to Nazareth, Jesus’ home town, passing by Mary’s Well and the Church of the Annunciation. Continue on to Cana, commemorating Jesus’ transformation of water into wine and end the day at the Arbell Cliff, which affords a view over the Lake of Galilee and the main sites of Jesus’ ministry. Drive down to the Sea of Galilee. Here you will lodge on the shores of the Galilee.
Day 04 – SUN. OCT. 15 – MT. OF BEATITUDES / CAPERNAUM / EIN GEV
Now when he saw the crowds, he went up on a mountainside and sat down. His disciples came to him, and he began to teach them saying: “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven”. (Matthew 5:1-3). Drive up to the Mount of Beatitudes (Matthew 5-7) and hike down the hill to the lake and go to Tabgha where Christians have long remembered the first feeding of the multitude (Mark 6) and nearby, the breakfast of John 21. Continue walking to nearby Capernaum where Franciscan archaeologists believe they have uncovered the house of Peter (Mark 1 and 2). Then drive the northern end of the Sea of Galilee heading east and stop at Beth Saida, which is the fishing village of the Gospels. This village was the home town of Peter, Andrew, and Philip (John 1:44). Here, as well as Capernaum and Chorazin, Jesus performed most of his miracles, healed a blind man, and cursed all three towns for their failure to repent. In Luke’s account, the feeding of the 5000 occurred in the area of Beth Saida. Continue driving around the eastern shores of the Sea of Galilee heading south to Ein Gev where you can stop for a St. Peter’s Fish lunch. After lunch drive further south to Kursi in the “Gergesa” of Matthew’s Gospel where the evangelist locates the miracle of the swine. Most likely, that is what early Christians were commemorating. Then drive full circle around the lake and stop at a location where the Jordan River exits south from the Sea of Galilee and heads down the Jordan Valley. We end our day at the modern Baptismal site of the Yardenit where you have the possibility of renewing the Baptismal vows before heading back to their hotel for dinner and overnight.
When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say the Son of Man is?” They replied, “Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” “But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?” Simon Peter answered, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” (Matthew 16:13-16).Ascend the Golan Heights today, the biblical Bashan and ancestral home of the half-tribe of Manassah and in Jesus’ day, part of the territory of Herod Philip. Stop for an overview of Gamla, also known as “Massada of the north” where you’ll hear a heroic story of the few against the many, as the raptors that are protected here soar overhead in these magnificent natural surroundings. Continue to Katsrin and visit its ancient Talmudic Village to understand aspects of daily life at the time of Jesus as they are reflected in Gospel stories. Drive along Israel’s border with Syria and stop at the Kuneitra overlook. Visit Tel Dan, one of the most important biblical mounds in the country. Here archaeologists discovered an inscription with the words “House of David,” and you can see a gateway from the time of Abraham, as well as the High Place of Jeroboam and the Israelite gate. Continue to Caesarea Philippi, now known as Banias. Open your Bible among the ruins of pagan temples to consider the words Jesus spoke here: “Who do people say the Son of Man is?” (Matt. 16:13). At Dan, you’ll also enjoy the natural beauty of Banias nestled on the flourishing banks of one the Jordan’s main tributaries. We end our day with an hour boat ride accross the Galilee in a wooden boat modeled on one from Jesus’ time. (Mathew 14)
“Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit in the desert, where for forty days he was tempted by the devil. He ate nothing during those days, and at the end of them he was hungry. The devil said to him, “If you are the Son of God, tell this stone to become bread.” Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man does not live on bread alone.’ (Luke 4:1-4).Today you will visit three major sites: Beth Shean, Jacob’s Well and Jericho. Drive down into the Jordan Valley where we stop for a visit at the modern baptismal site at the point where the Jordan flows out of the lake. Then drive to the strategic crossing point between the Jordan Valley and the Jezreel which is located in the city of Beth Shean (aka Scythopolis). Here, you can climb the Tel to view the setting of Saul’s death (I Samuel 28 – II Samuel 1). You shall then survey the magnificent Roman and Byzantine ruins: theatre, bathhouses, ancient rest rooms, market areas, colonnaded streets. Drive through the Jezreel Valley west to Ein Harod (Judges 7), which describes Gideon’s actions in thinning out his army. This is where he brought the men to the spring and sorted them on the basis of how they drank from the water. You will then drive west through the Dotan Valley, where Joseph’s brothers threw him into a cistern, and pass Samaria, Ahab’s capital. At Nablus (Shechem), we visit the mound of the ancient city where Joshua renewed the covenant. We stop at nearby Jacob’s Well, site of Jesus’ conversation with a Samaritan woman. We then drive through the lovely valley of Bidan and down Wadi Fariah, the pass through which Jacob (and probably his grandfather before him) entered the promised land. At Jericho, we visit the tell of this oldest city and view the traditional mountain of Jesus’ temptation. Continue south to the Dead Sea and stop at Qumran. Here you can view Cave #4, which contained the greatest quantity of Dead Sea scrolls. Continuing south to Ein Bokek you will check into your hotel on the shores of the Dead Sea for dinner and overnight.
After breakfast, we visit the fortress Masada, rising 1,200 feet above the desert plain. We see the restoration efforts of remains of buildings dating back to the fourth and fifth centuries AD. “ We are going up to Jerusalem.” (Matt. 20:18). We later drive to the crossing point with the Beersheba – Arad road – Maaleh Akrabbim (the Ascent of the Scorpions) is mentioned in Joshua 15:3, when tracing the border of the promised land. The Romans had a road here, into which they cut very impressive steps, connecting Mamshit with En Hatseva in the Arava, whence it crossed up to Petra. Today runs Route 227, which follows a route opened by the British Mandate and later paved by Israel to connect Beersheba to Eilat. We drive up the “Ascent of the Scorpion” to Beersheba. We visit Abraham’s Well in Beersheba. We then drive straight to the heart of the Negev to begin to dwell on the Desert Experience. We’ll be exploring a section of the Wilderness of Zin, one of the major Israelite way stations en route to the Land of Canaan. This is where Moses’ sister, Miriam, died and where the people challenged Moses and Aaron to explain why they were liberated from slavery, only to be brought out to die in the wilderness. (Numbers 20). Some scholars believe it was in this area that the Israelites spent a majority of their wilderness “wandering,” for there are abundant sources of water. We continue To Avdat the city of Aretas the Nabatean who built up this city from a camel station. To this period of expansion we may date Paul’s report in 2 Corinthians 11:32-33: “In Damascus the ethnarch under Aretas the king was guarding the city of the Damascenes in order to seize me, and I was let down in a basket through a window in the wall, and so escaped his hands.” Now we regain our bus and drive through the Philistine country to Beit Shemesh. Then we drive north for a stop in the Valley of Elah, where David encountered Goliath (I Samuel 17). After reliving this story, we head up the historic Beth Horon road (Joshua 10:10) to the Benjamin Plateau, passing ancient Gibeon and continue on to Jerusalem. Atop Mt. Scopus we behold Majestic Jerusalem.
“I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. (Luke 2:10-11).This morning drive south to the region of Bethlehem passing by Rachel’s Tomb at the outskirts of the city. Drive to a hilltop for a view of Bethlehem, noting its relation to the rest of the central mountain range, including Jerusalem, as well as to the desert and the area of ancient Moab. Driving south, we visit Solomon’s Pools, Jerusalem’s main source of water for almost 2000 years. Passing the monastery of Hortus Conclusus (“the sealed garden”) in Artas, we continue to one of the traditional sites of the “Shepherds’ Fields.” Experience the contrast between shepherds and kings by visiting King Herod’s Summer Palace (Herodium). According to the historian Josephus Flavius, Herod wanted to be buried in Herodion, the place which bore his name. On May 8, 2007, it was announced by the Hebrew University that the long search for Herod’s tomb had ended with the exposure of the remains of his grave, sarcophagus and mausoleum on Mount Herodium’s northeastern slope. Continue into Bethlehem itself, walking through the restored old town to the Church of the Nativity and visiting the manger and Jerome’s Grotto where he lived and translated the vulgate Bible. Drive back to West Jerusalem passing by the Knesset on the way to the Israel Museum where we end our day. The Israel Museum houses the Dead Sea Scrolls, and the outdoor model of Jerusalem as the city may have looked in 66 AD.
“If you, even you, had only known on this day what would bring you peace” (Luke 19:42). Start the day on the Mt. of Olives for an orientation to the city. Visit the church of Pater Noster to see the church dedicated to the Lord’s Prayer depicting several languages of the world done in ceramic covering the walls of the Church. Have an opportunity to read the Lord’s prayer in Aramaic in the language that Christ taught his disciples. Then descend the traditional Palm Sunday Road stopping at the church of Dominus Flevit – The Lord Weeps. We continue down to the Church of All Nations in the Garden of Gethsemane (Matthew 26) with a visit to the garden and the church where you can have some quiet time. Then walk down along the new path into the Kidron Valley and down the part of the Kidron called the Valley of Jehosafat, where God will judge the nations of the world (Joel 3:12). Another name for the valley is the Vale of the King; it was once intensely cultivated and the revenues went to the king. Zechariah’s Tomb, named after a First Temple priest, the Tomb of the Sons of Hezir, a Second Temple-era priestly family, and Absalom’s Tomb. The conical-roofed Absalom’s Tomb received its name because the Bible says this rebellious son of David built a monument here so he would be remembered. Absalom was eventually killed by his father’s men; Jerusalemites of old would bring their sons to pelt the tomb with stones and recall the fate of rebellious offspring. Continue walking along the path to the City of David. The tour starts with a 10 minute 3-D movie. It gives a visual timeline of the geography of the City of David from the original settlement to present day. Then descend into the ground to Hezekiah’s tunnel built somewhere near 700 B.C. and was needed to bring fresh water from outside the fortified City of David (from the Gihon Spring) to the inside (deposited into the Pool of Shiloam) so that the city would have drinking water during any siege (the tunnel’s construction is referred to in Isaiah 22:9). As part of the tour you can do the 40 minute walk in knee-high water from the Gihon Spring to the Pool of Shiloam.
“Walk about Zion, go around her, count her towers, consider well her ramparts, view her citadels, that you may tell of them to the next generation. For this God is our God for ever and ever; he will be our guide even to the end.” (Psalm 48:12-14). First thing this morning, take the ramparts walk on the Old City Walls from Jaffa Gate to the Western Wall. Descend from the Old City Wall and take the time to examine the ruins near the south side of the Temple complex, which includes steps where you may be certain that Jesus taught and He and his disciples walked. Then walk up to the Western Wall, Judaism’s holiest site. Walk up to the Dome of the Rock and the al-Aqsa Mosque, the third holiest site of Islam, located on the traditional site of the ancient Temple Mount. You will then return back to the Western Wall and enter the Western Wall Tunnel that enables us to examine the length of the outer Herodian Temple wall -mostly preserved in mint condition – including two stone blocks each weighing about 600 tons. Spend some time walking around the Jewish Quarter. Walk along the Cardo, the ancient Roman road; View the Broad Wall. While in the Jewish Quarter take the opportunity to visit the Temple Institute, the Herodion Mansion Walk out through Mt. Zion Gate to visit the King David Tomb and the Upper Room. From there take a short hike to the church grounds called Peter in Gallicantu, which affords the best view of early Jerusalem from the west. Here, the Assumptionist Fathers propose, was the house where the High Priest Caiaphas interrogated Jesus and where Peter denied Jesus three times. Return back to your hotel for the dinner and overnight.
“He has risen!” (Mark 16:6). This morning we transfer to St. Steven’s Gate or the Sheep’s Gate enter the city. Just inside the gate you will find. the Pools of Bethesda (John 5) and St. Anne’s Church, which has remarkable acoustics and which has been perfectly preserved from the Crusader period. Then follow the Way of the Cross (Via Dolorosa) back as far as the Holy Sepulcher. From there walk through the Arab Souks to Damascus Gate and then walk leisurely to the Garden Tomb for a special visit. Later this afternoon we’ll immerse ourselves in traditional biblical landscapes at Neot Kedumim. Neot Kedumim means “pleasant pastures (or habitations) of old.” It is an attempt to re-create the physical setting of the Bible and see the natural plants mentioned in the bible and to shed light at the crossing between scripture and landscape. We will then drive to the modern City of Tel Aviv and have a panoramic tour of the city. We then take a scenic drive to Jaffa the biblical Joppa, the oldest port in the world. Joppa was also the home of Tabitha, who was raised from the dead by Peter. Peter had his vision here while lodging in the home of Simon the Tanner. It is also where King Solomon imported the cedars of Lebanon to build the Temple in Jerusalem. We walk through the Old City of Jaffa through the artist quarter before we enjoy a farewell dinner before we drive to the airport for our late evening check in for our flight home.
Today we arrive back in the USA on our flight from Tel Aviv.
Important Passport Information: A valid passport is required and must be obtained in person by each tour member at a local passport office. Passports must have an expiration date beyond April 24, 2018 in order to travel with this tour. If your expiration date is inside this date, you must renew your passport in order to participate.
Current airport departure taxes, fuels surcharges, customs & security fees.
Superior first-class and deluxe hotel accommodations throughout (9 nights);
Tiberias 3 nights Leonardo Plaza
Dead Sea 1 night Herod’s Hotel
Jerusalem 4 nights Inbal Hotel
Comprehensive daily sightseeing per itinerary by private deluxe motor coach with qualified driver and English-speaking, licensed guide/escort, who meets you upon arrival after clearing Israeli customs (as per itinerary) and stays with the group throughout until returning you to the airport for your flight to the U.S.A.
Entrance fees to all sightseeing, including the Sea of Galilee boat ride, Masada and Western Wall Tunnel.
All transfers and porterage (one suitcase per person).
All tipping to hotel and restaurant personnel, porters, drivers, and guides.
Wilcox World Travel and Tours flight bag.
96-page “Pilgrim’s Guide to The Holy Land” book.
Insurance: Travel, baggage, trip cancellation, etc. – $345.00
Beverages with meals, or meals not specifically mentioned on itinerary (lunches).
Personal Items and Immunizations
Price (per passenger)