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The day has arrived, and we begin our overnight journey from RDU to Tel Aviv, 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 roof top of the house of Simon the Tanner.
Overnight Tel Aviv area
Today we travel towards Caesarea Maritima (entrance included), where we will have a brief visit to the 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 the 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 visit Tel Megiddo before travelling 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 overlooking the Armageddon Valley, we will also discuss the reasons why we believe this will be the setting for the final battle between good and evil mentioned in Revelation 16:16. We depart to Sea of Galilee passing Cana of Galilee where Jesus performed his first miracle.
Overnight Sea of Galilee
After a buffet breakfast, we will visit the ancient boat museum containing a 2000-year-old fishing boat which was discovered on the shores of Tiberias (entrance included). We will then sail on the Sea of Galilee on a replica of that boat (included). Afterwards, we will drive to Magdala (entrance included) the hometown of Miriam Magdalena. Then we will visit Mt. of Beatitudes and discuss the sermon on the Mount; we will then visit Capernaum (entrance included), Jesus’ Galilean ministry base. Then we drive to Tabgha and see the Primacy of Peter where Jesus appeared to the disciples the third time after the resurrection, Lunch at Pilgerhaus on your own. Our last stop of the day will be to the Jordan River where you will get a chance to be baptized.
Overnight Sea of Galilee
This morning we leave the area of Galilee, following the Jordan Valley Road to BethShean (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 will then continue traveling south to Bet Arabah where John the Baptist was baptizing on the Jordan River. We continue to Jericho where 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.
Overnight Sea of Galilee
We begin our day driving to Masada (entrance & cable car included), the fortress built by King Herod the Great and made famous by the Zealots in 73/74 AD with the standoff against the Romans. We visit the fortress and see the ruins that are considered a World Heritage Site by the 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. We visit Qumran (entrance included), the location where the Dead Sea Scrolls were found by a Bedouin boy in 1947. There we will see the caves and other buildings where the Essenes, the group of Jews who wrote the scrolls, lived. You will also be able to experience floating in the Dead Sea (entrance included; weather conditions permitting).
We begin our day with an orientation over the holy city from the Mount of Olives, pointing out important locations within the Old City, connecting them with Biblical stories and prophecies about the return of Jesus. We will then walk down the Palm Sunday Procession Road to the Garden of Gethsemane, where the passion of Jesus began. On to visit St Anne’s Church (entrance included) and the nearby Pools of Bethesda where the healing at the pool took place. We then 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 Our Lord. 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, Our Lord was born.
After a buffet breakfast, we begin our day entering the Old City and visiting the Temple Mount*, discussing its connection to both the Old and New Testaments. Then we visit the Western Wall, a section of the Western retaining wall of the Temple Mount, and Judaism’s holiest site. Afterwards, will 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 met and taught their disciples. This afternoon we travel to the Israel Museum (entrance included), where we will visit the Second Temple Period Model of Jerusalem, a 1:50 scaled model of the city from the 1st century AD, followed by a visit the Shrine of the Book where the Dead Sea Scrolls are on exhibit, in addition to the archeological section where many artifacts are displayed. We will pay special attention to those items that relate to Bible history. The balance of the day will be spent at leisure.
*Please note that, due to security reasons, the only items the visitors can carry into Temple Mount are telephone, small camera, notebook and a bottle of water. Groups are not allowed to enter with professional cameras, iPads, backpacks, purses, any religious symbols such as Bible or crosses as well as swiss penknives and clippers.
We begin our day with a visit to the Upper Room, the traditional place of the Last Supper, followed by a visit to the nearby location of the home of the High Priest, Caiaphas (entrance included). We walk the Via Dolorosa, and visit the Church of the Holy Sepulcher. After lunch we will visit the Garden Tomb (entrance included), where we will worship together and celebrate communion.
Your flight home may depart either late tonight or the following day. If the following day, and an overnight is required, overnight Jerusalem.
Your flight home may depart either the previous night or today. If today and time allows, breakfast is included today. Either way, today we arrive back at RDU.