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The day has arrived and we depart Indianapolis (IND) on an overnight journey to Israel.
Today we arrive in Israel at Tel Aviv’s Ben Gurion Airport. Time permitting, we visit the ancient town of Jaffa where Peter had his vision on the rooftop of the house of Simon the Tanner. Overnight in the Tel Aviv area. Herods Herzeliya or similar. D.
Today we travel towards Caesarea Maritima (entrance included), where we will have a brief visit to this magnificent city with Roman, Byzantine, and Crusader ruins. Here we will elaborate on the story of the baptism of Cornelius, the first gentile convert to Christianity, and on the travels of Paul — those events that led Caesarea Maritima to become a springboard of Christianity to the West. We continue to Mount Carmel (entrance included) and consider the contest between the Prophet Elijah and the false prophets of Baal, discussing the reasons why the Prophet chose that place for the contest, and the lessons we learn from the story. We depart for Tel Megiddo (entrance included), before travelling on to Nazareth where we will climb the Mount of Precipice, the brow of the hill on which the city was built. There we will reflect on the rejection of Jesus by his family and friends in Nazareth. While there we will also overlook the Armageddon Valley. We depart for the Sea of Galilee, passing Cana of Galilee where Jesus performed his first miracle. Overnight Sea of Galilee area. Sofia Sea of Galilee or similar. B, D.
Today we will visit the ancient boat museum containing a recently-discovered 2000-year-old fishing boat (entrance included). We then sail on the Sea of Galilee on a replica of the 2000-year-old fishing boat (entrance included). Afterwards, we will drive to Magdala (entrance included) the hometown of Mary Magdalene. Then we will visit the Mt. of Beatitudes and discuss the Sermon on the Mount; we will then visit Capernaum (entrance included), Jesus’ Galilean ministry base. We drive to Tabgha where we see the Primacy of Peter. This is where Jesus appeared to the disciples for the third time after the resurrection. Our last stop of the day will be at the Jordan River where you will get a chance to be baptized. Overnight Sea of Galilee. Sofia Sea of Galilee or similar. B, D.
Today we leave the area of Galilee. We follow the Jordan Valley Road to Beth Shean (entrance included), the capital of the Decapolis. There we will see the ruins of the Roman and Byzantine cities. We will also discuss the demise of King Saul and his sons, whose bodies were hanged on the walls of Beth Shean. We continue traveling south to Bet Arabah where John the Baptist was baptizing on the Jordan River. We visit the Tel of Jericho (entrance included) with its ancient ruins, pointing out what possibly could be the foundations of the ramparts that Joshua and the Israelites brought down. This afternoon we visit Qumran (entrance included), the location where the Dead Sea Scrolls were found by a Bedouin boy back in 1947. There we will see the caves and other buildings where the Essenes (the group of Jews who wrote the scrolls) lived. Overnight Jerusalem. Grand Court or similar. B, D.
We begin our day visiting Masada (entrance & cable car included), the fortress built by King Herod the Great and made famous by the Zealots in 73/74 AD with their standoff against the Romans. We visit the fortress and see the ruins that are considered a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. We then continue to Ein Gedi, the oasis in the desert where the meeting between David and King Saul took place and where many of the psalms were written by David. In the afternoon free time will be given at one of the Dead Sea beaches. Overnight Jerusalem. Grand Court or similar. B, D.
We begin our day with an orientation over the holy city from the Mount of Olives, pointing out important locations within the Old City. We will connect them with biblical stories and prophecies about the return of Jesus. We walk down the Palm Sunday Procession Road to the Garden of Gethsemane, where Jesus agonized on the night before his crucifixion. We visit the Southern Wall excavations (entrance included) where ruins of the retaining walls of the Temple Mount are still visible. We gather at the teaching steps, the main entrance to the Temple where rabbis would meet and teach their disciples. We travel to Bethlehem, the birthplace of Jesus. We begin with a visit to the Shepherds’ Field where the angels appeared to the shepherds and announced the birth of Jesus. These fields are also the setting of some of the events of the Book of Ruth. We will then travel to the Church of the Nativity and view the actual place where, according to ancient tradition, Jesus was born. Overnight Jerusalem. Grand Court or similar. B, D.
We begin our day entering the Old City, starting with a visit to the Western Wall, a section of the Western retaining wall of the Temple Mount, and Judaism’s holiest site. We ascend the Temple Mount, discussing its connection to both the Old and New Testaments. On to visit St Anne’s church (entrance included) and a visit to nearby Pools of Bethesda where the healing at the pool took place. We walk the Via Dolorosa, the traditional path that Jesus walked from the Antonia Fortress to the Church of the Holy Sepulcher. This afternoon we travel to the Israel Museum (entrance included), where we visit the Second Temple Period Model of Jerusalem, a 1:50 scaled model of the city from the 1st century AD. This is followed by a visit to the Shrine of the Book, where the Dead Sea Scrolls are on exhibit, in addition to the archaeological section where many artifacts are displayed. We will pay special attention to those items that relate to Bible history. Overnight Jerusalem. Grand Court or similar. B, D.
We begin our day with a visit to the Upper Room, the traditional place of the Last Supper followed by a visit to nearby location of the home of the High Priest, Caiaphas (entrance included). We will visit the Garden Tomb (entrance included), a potential site of the burial and resurrection of Jesus, where we will worship together and celebrate communion. The balance of the day will be spent at leisure. Your flight home may depart either late tonight or tomorrow. If tomorrow, and an overnight is required, overnight Jerusalem. Grand Court or similar. B, D.
Your flight home may depart either the previous night or today. If today, and time allows, breakfast is included today.