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This sample 12-day tour through Biblical Israel and Jordan will enable you to enjoy wonderful times of fellowship as we follow in the footsteps of Jesus, Moses and the Apostles, spending time where they lived and ministered. The Bible will come to life in a new way as we experience the context of Bible passages, such as the authentic baptism site at Bethany-Beyond-the-Jordan, or look over at the promised land from Mt. Nebo. We will have the unique opportunity of spending the night in a Bedouin camp in Wadi Rum, after a fun sunset jeep ride in the desert. Bring your Bibles and experience the wonder of Israel and Jordan on this faith-enriching journey.
Please note this itinerary is copyrighted.
Key: IF = In Flight Meals, B= Breakfast, D = Dinner
Day 1: Departure
Our journey begins as we depart on our international flight to Tel Aviv. (IF)
Day 2: Arrival in Tel Aviv, Joppa/Jaffa
After we arrive in Tel Aviv, we transfer to our hotel, where we can rest and have free time. In the afternoon we travel to nearby Joppa/Jaffa. This is the ancient seaport mentioned in the biblical narrative of Jonah and the whale, and the story of Solomon’s import of the cedars of Lebanon. We walk in the old city and learn about the Miracle of the Resurrection of Tabitha by Peter (Acts 9:36-42) and his vision in which God told him not to distinguish between Jews and Gentiles (Acts 10:12-13). We will dine in our hotel. (D)
Day 3: Caesarea, Galilee
A full and memorable day awaits us! We enter Caesarea Maritima to explore this Roman bridgehead to the East, which became the Christian springboard to the West. It was here that the Gentiles first heard the Good News from Peter as Cornelius the Centurion and his household were saved and baptized (Acts 10); and here Paul made his defense before Festus and King Agrippa prior to his final journey to Rome (Acts 25 & 26). We tour the Roman theater, the hippodrome and promenade to the renovated Crusader city and home of Philip the Evangelist. We visit the top of Mt. Carmel/Muhraka, where Elijah prayed down fire from heaven and defeated the 450 prophets of Ba’al (I Kings 18). In Nazareth, the childhood town of Jesus, we tour the Basilica of the Annunciation and enjoy the reconstructed Nazareth Village Museum, a full-scale reconstruction of life in Nazareth during the time of Jesus. We drive through Cana, the village where Jesus performed the first miracle, turning water into wine. We overnight the first of two nights in Tiberias, on the Sea of Galilee. There are lots of local options tonight- shopping, cafes by the waterfront, or a visit to a local spa. We will dine in our hotel. (B/D)
Day 4: Galilee area
This morning, we take a Sea of Galilee boat ride to Kibbutz Ginosar to see the Yigal Allon Jesus Boat Museum. This features the Jesus Boat, dating to 1st century AD, similar to the boat Jesus and his disciples sailed in. We drive 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 Mount of Beatitudes, we listen to Jesus’ teachings and envision the Sermon on the Mount. Following an ancient trade route, 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 at the Arbel Cliff, which affords a view over the Lake of Galilee and the main sites of Jesus’ ministry. We return for dinner and a second night at our hotel in Tiberias. (B/D)
Day 5: Yardenit, Dead Sea
Our first stop is Yardenit, the famous baptismal site, where we have the option of being baptized in the Jordan River. From there, we go to the Tel of Bet Shean, where the bodies of King Saul and his sons hung from the city gates (I Sam. 31). After Bet Shean, we cross the Sheikh Hussein Bridge and cross into Jordan. We continue on to a spa resort on the Jordan side of the Dead Sea, and overnight at the Holiday Inn Hotel. We have a brief float in the Dead Sea—a unique experience! (B/D)
Day 6: Mount Nebo, Bethany Beyond the Jordan, Madaba, Petra
Today’s highlight is a visit to Bethany Beyond the Jordan, where Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist. This park is preserved to be much like it was 2,000 years ago, and it is a great place to learn more about John the Baptist. We then visit Mount Nebo where Moses looked out on the land the Lord promised to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. On a clear day, we can see Jericho and beyond to Jerusalem. In Madaba we will see the famous 6th century Mosaic Map of Jerusalem and the Holy Land and have time for lunch and some shopping. In the afternoon we will drive to Petra, with the opportunity to do an evening tour. (B/D)
Day 7: Petra, Wadi Rum
The UNESCO World Heritage site of Petra, has been named as one of the new seven wonders of the world. The natural archaeological formations, as well as the buildings within the formations, are spectacular. In the afternoon, we drive to Wadi Rum for a jeep ride in the beautiful desert and spend the night in unique Bedouin accommodations. (B/D)
Day 8: Qumran, Masada
After a brief drive down to the Red Sea, we cross back to Israel through Wadi Araba and drive up through the Judean desert to Masada. We take the cable car to the top, visiting Herod’s mountain palace/bunker and the last stronghold of the Jewish revolt against Rome (66-73 AD). At nearby Qumran, we view Cave # 4, which contained the greatest quantity of Dead Sea Scrolls. We drive on to Jerusalem. After checking into our hotel in Jerusalem, our base for the final four nights, we enjoy a guided stroll in the old city, including the famous Western Wall. (B/D)
Day 9: Jerusalem
Today we start with the City of David. This archeological park tells the story of the establishment of Jerusalem, its wars and hardships, its prophets and kings, and the history of the Jews during Biblical times. Next, we return to the Western Wall, Judaism’s holiest site, revered as the last remnant of the Second Temple. Nearby is the Burnt House, which archeologists believe was destroyed at the time of the Roman conquest of Jerusalem in AD 70. The excavation, museum, and superb audio-visual presentation make this well worth the visit. We walk the Via Dolorosa passing the Stations of the Cross to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, the ancient site of the crucifixion and burial of Jesus. We then visit Gordon’s Calvary, known as the Garden Tomb, a serene authentic first-century tomb that many believe was the site of the burial and resurrection. We return to our hotel for dinner. (B/D)
Day 10: Jerusalem, Bethlehem
We start the day at the Mount of Olives, where we can view 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, where God commanded Abraham to offer his son Isaac as a sacrifice (Genesis 22:5 and 22:8). We then follow the traditional Palm Sunday route to the church known as Dominus Flevit (“the Lord weeps”). After viewing the Golden Gate, we walk downhill to Gethsemane, and visit the Church of All Nations, built atop the rock upon which Jesus prayed before his arrest. Then we drive to Mt. Zion to visit the Room of the Last Supper and the Church of St. Peter in Gallicantu, where Peter denied Jesus. This area affords the best view of early Jerusalem from the west. Here, according to tradition, was the house where the High Priest Caiaphas interrogated Jesus. We enter the city walls at St. Stephen’s Gate, also known as Lion’s Gate, and visit the Pool of Bethesda, site of the miraculous healing of a paralyzed man by Jesus. We tour the Church of St. Anne, where Christian groups love to sing hymns as they visit. Next, we go to Bethlehem to visit the key sites. We begin at the Shepherd’s Fields, then drive to the Church of the Nativity, and Rachel’s Tomb. We return to our hotel for dinner. (B/D)
Day 11: Jerusalem
The highlight this morning is the Western Wall Tunnel, something most tourists seldom experience. In modern Jerusalem, we drive by the Knesset (Parliament) and the campus of Hebrew University. In the Israel Museum we see the detailed model of Jerusalem from the time of the Second Temple and the Shrine of the Book, which houses the Dead Sea Scrolls. We visit the superbly done but sobering Yad Vashem Memorial to the Holocaust before our final dinner. (B/D)
Day 12: Return
We arrive home in the US inspired by a trip of a lifetime. (B)
Our hotels are chosen for their quality, amenities and proximity to areas of interest. Whenever possible, we choose hotels in town centers, so that you are able to go off and explore in your free time. It may be necessary for us to substitute hotels for others of equal quality. You will be fully informed of any changes that affect you. Enjoy your stay!
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