Our Israel study trip, focusing on the life and time of Jesus, is planned for November 5 to 17, 2020. We are taking reservations now. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you’d like to go!
Travel with us through the Land of the Bible, from the Mediterranean coast to the Negev desert, from the Judean wilderness to the Sea of Galilee. We will visit the lowest spot on earth, the Dead Sea, and the most-contested site, Temple Mount in Jerusalem. The itinerary, God willing, will look something like this:
Thu, Nov 5 (Day 1) We meet at Newark International Airport. The most important thing to bring along is your passport.
Fri, Nov 6 (Day 2) Arrival at Ben Gurion Airport. Time permitting, we visit Elah Valley and other historic sites. Our bus takes us to our hotel at the Dead Sea. We enjoy a buffet meal and learn to know some of our fellow travelers. Then it’s time to rest from the trip.
Sat, Nov 7 (Day 3) Visiting Old Testament sites in the Negev, we consider God’s covenants with Abraham and the people of Israel. Tel Be’er Sheva, Ein Advat (Wadi Zin), Tel Arad, and Fountain of Tears are on the agenda. We’ll do some hiking in the desert. A stream in the desert and water from the cliff face remind us of God’s provisions for His people. Then it’s back to our hotel for dinner and rest. Maybe a float in the Dead Sea.
Sun, Nov 8 (Day 4) Today we see Masada, Herod the Great’s magnificent fortress palace in the Judean wilderness, and site of the Zealots’ last stand in 73 AD. The oasis of Ein Gedi, spring of the goats, was a hiding place for David. The goats and the spring are still there today. We think of God’s covenant with David. The covenants find their fulfillment in Jesus. Beit She’an is a study in contrasts. We travel north towards the Galilee for our hotel and dinner.
Mon, Nov 9 (Day 5) Nazareth Village is reconstructed to what Jesus’ home town may have looked like. We visit Mount Arbel, with its magnificent view of the lake. Then on to Capernaum, thinking of the time of Jesus, and the dawn of the New Covenant.
Tue, Nov 10 (Day 6) A visit to Galilee isn’t complete without a boat ride on the Sea. Back on land, we visit Magdala, with a synagogue from Jesus’ time. Bethsaida, and the Jordan River. Then dinner, and an evening shopping on the Tiberias boardwalk.
Wed, Nov 11 (Day 7) We travel north of Galilee, to the site of ancient Dan. We see Caesarea Philippi, and the “gates of hell.” A Druze village would be a great place for lunch. Perhaps we’ll visit a few other northern sites, such as Golan Heights and Katzrin, if we have time. Then it’s back to our hotel by Galilee for dinner and rest.
Thu, Nov 12 (Day 8) Leaving Galilee, we’re now going “up to Jerusalem.” Today’s sites may include Megiddo, an ancient strategic city, Mount Carmel, where Elijah faced the hundreds of prophets of Baal, and Caesarea Maritima, on the Mediterranean coast. In Jerusalem, maybe we’ll have some shopping time in the Mahane Yehuda Market.
Fri, Nov 13 (Day 9) We’ll want to visit some Old City locations today. The Hurva Synagogue with its wrap-around walkway gives a panoramic view of the sights. We must visit the Old City markets and the Western Wall. Perhaps we’ll get to the Eastern Gate, blocked shut for the last five centuries to prevent the Messiah’s entering Jerusalem. Then we enjoy a Shabbat meal hosted by an Orthodox couple.
Sat, Nov 14 (Day 10) The Israel Museum has a miniature Old City model. The Shrine of the Book commemorates the finding of the Dead Sea scrolls. We visit the Mount of Olives and admire the view of the City. We think of Jesus standing here and weeping over Jerusalem. We follow the Palm Sunday road. We visit a garden with ancient olive trees and consider Jesus and His Gethsemane. The Garden Tomb, and the place of the skull, are just outside the Old City. We see the markets come back to life after sundown, when Sabbath ends.
Sun, Nov 15 (Day 11) On Temple Mount, we mingle with the Muslims, and perhaps the Temple Faithful Jews. Any non-Muslim worship and prayer is forbidden here. This is Mount Moriah, the threshing floor purchased by David. It is the site of Solomon’s Temple, and of the second temple. We visit the City of David, and walk through Hezekiah’s Tunnel. We see the site of the Siloam Pool, and the Pilgrimage road that took many an eager traveler up to the Temple. Back at Temple Mount, in the Davidson Center, we see the huge stones, thrown from the wall in 70 AD, still lying where they fell. At the southern steps of the temple, we’ll think about the events that took place there.
Mon, Nov 16 (Day 12) Time permitting, we visit more historic locations on our bus ride from Jerusalem to Tel Aviv. Back at Ben Gurion Airport, we’re glad it happened, and maybe sad that it’s over.
Tue, Nov 17 (Day 13) Flying west to Newark, we gain back the seven hours we lost. We say our goodbyes, but we have memories for a lifetime.