Israel – May 2023
May 5, 2023 - May 17, 2023
THIS TOUR IS FULL.
Update as of 2/24/22: Vaccine mandate and quarantine restrictions have been dropped in Israel.
Please note that Biblos tours are geared for Christian Scientists. Call Kristy for any exceptions: 636.386.9266.
Join us as we walk the land that Jesus traversed, from the bustling city of Jerusalem to the peaceful shores of Galilee. The Scriptures will come alive with its inspired Word, as we visit significant Old and New Testament sites, and study God’s Word.
• Visit Tel Megiddo where many believe the last battle, “Armageddon,” will take place.
• Engage with the unforgettable New Testament healings of Jesus’ ministry, as we visit sites throughout Jerusalem, Capernaum, and the Galilee region.
• Participants should anticipate a physically active tour. This program involves a lot of walking (3-6 miles every day), often on uneven surfaces and up and down terrain. If you have any questions about the activity level of this tour, please contact Kristy Christian at email@example.com.
Go to Global Travel to sign up for this tour:
- Create an account (if you don’t already have one), and click on the Start Enrollment button.
- If you already have an account, click on the blue Enroll Now button.
- Enter the trip ID and leader name, and secure your spot on this tour with a $200 non-refundable deposit.
- Trip ID 23012 / Leader: Christian
May 5 – 17, 2023
Friday, May 5 – Depart USA
Saturday, May 6 - arrive Ben Gurion airport near Tel Aviv. Drive to Jerusalem.
Rest of the day free.
Sunday, May 7 – Temple Mount, Western Wall, Southern Wall, Hezekiah’s Tunnel, Pool of Siloam
We will arrive early on the Temple Mount, a site sacred to three religions. Here, Abraham almost sacrificed his son Isaac; it is also the location where Solomon built the first temple, and the place where Herod the Great built the second temple. We will then walk to the Western Wall. Next, we will go to the Southern Wall Excavations and walk up the 1st-century steps of the Temple Mount. Afterwards, we will walk to the City of David and walk through Hezekiah’s Tunnel to reach the ruins of the Pool of Siloam.
Monday, May 8 - Mount of Olives, Dominus Flevit, Garden of Gethsemane, St. Peter en Gallicantu, Pool of Bethesda, Ecco Homo, Lithostrotos
We begin our day by seeing a panoramic view of the Temple Mount and the Old City of Jerusalem from the Mount of Olives. Then we will walk down to the site where Jesus wept over the city of Jerusalem: Dominus Flevit. Here we will sit and have a talk about the events of Gethsemane. A little further down the mount is the site known as the Garden of Gethsemane where Jesus prayed and was arrested. Here, we will see some very ancient olive trees which have survived the centuries. Next, we will take a short bus drive to St. Peter en Gallicantu, the traditional site of Peter’s denials of Jesus during his trial with the high priest. After a brief talk at the site, we will drive to the Jaffa gate and walk through the Old City to the Pool of Bethesda where Jesus healed the lame man. Another talk will be shared on the significance of this healing.
Finally, if time, we walk underneath the Ecce Homo Arch – where, far beneath our feet will be extensive remains of first-century Jerusalem. Though Christians believe this is where Pontius Pilate displayed Jesus, crowned with thorns and clothed in a purple robe, to the hostile Jewish crowds, it is actually the arch which stood on a great plaza constructed by the emperor Hadrian when he rebuilt the city in 135 CE – 100 years after Jesus’ crucifixion. Many believe it was originally a city gate from the time of Herod Agrippa I (41-44 CE).
The Roman flagstones of Hadrian’s plaza were once believed to be the Stone Pavement (Lithrostrotos in Greek; Gabbatha in Aramaic) identified in John’s Gospel as the location where Jesus was condemned by Pilate. But today some believe Pilate judged Jesus at Herod the Great’s palace – the site of the modern Citadel inside the Jaffa Gate. In various parts of the pavement, off-duty soldiers carved the lines and squares of the games they played in their idle moments.
One set of marks, with a crude crown and the initial B in the center (for basileus, the Greek word for king), has been identified as the King’s Game, which soldiers played with dice. In the past, the presence of the soldiers’ games added weight to the mistaken assumption that this was the location where Jesus appeared before Pilate, was flogged, mocked as “King of the Jews” and crowned with thorns.
Tuesday, May 9 - Golgotha, Garden Tomb, Emmaus, Israel Museum
We will begin our day at the Protestant site for Jesus’ crucifixion and resurrection: The Garden Tomb. A talk will be shared on the resurrection. Then, we will drive to Abu Ghosh, a traditional site for Emmaus. It is about 6 miles west of Jerusalem on the main road to Joppa. Crusaders built a church here in 1140 CE. and called the place “Castellum Emmaus.” It was not identified with Luke’s Emmaus until the 12th century. A talk will be shared at this site on the inspiring discussion Jesus has with these two disciples.
Our next visit will be the Israel Museum to view some of the Dead Sea scrolls. We will also see a 50:1 scale model of a reconstruction of Jerusalem in the year 66 CE, the time of the Second Temple. The model covers nearly one acre and illustrates one of the most formative periods in the history of the Jewish people.
Free afternoon. Shopping in the Old City is an option.
Wednesday, May 10 - Masada, Ein Gedi, Qumran, Swim in the Dead Sea
Today we leave early for the hilltop fortress of Masada, built by Herod the Great near the Dead Sea. Next, we drive to Ein Gedi and those who wish, can hike up to the waterfall. This area is an oasis along the western shore of the Dead Sea. The area was allotted to the tribe of Judah. Around 1,000 B.C., it served as one of the main places of refuge for David as he fled from Saul. Then we will drive to Qumran, site of the discovery of the Dead Sea scrolls. Here we will have lunch, then our final stop will be the Dead Sea for a swim.
Thursday, May 11 - Shiloh, Herodium, Bethany, Jerusalem
Today, we will drive to Shiloh which was the religious capital of Israel during the time of the Judges (sometime between 1398 to 1050 B.C.). Shiloh is mentioned in the Bible as a place of assembly for the people of Israel and where the Ark of the Covenant was placed until it was taken by the Philistines. A talk will be shared at the site
If time, we will drive to the hilltop palace of Herodium, built by Herod the Great. We will have a spectacular view of the Judean hills. It is said that that Herod was buried here, along with his treasures. Our final stop will be Lazarus’ Tomb in Bethany where we will discuss his resurrection.
Friday, May 12 – Wadi Qelt, Jericho, Mt. of Temptation, Baptism Site, Spring of Herod
Our day begins early as we drive to the edge of the Wadi Qelt, a gorge which travels from west to east along the Judean wilderness from Jericho to Jerusalem. A monastery of St. George was built along the cliffs. David fled Jerusalem on this route after his son Absalom made himself king. King Zedekiah escaped from Nebuchadnezzar’s troops on this road. Jesus traveled it many times. Even the 10th Roman Legion marched on it to destroy Jerusalem. A short talk will be given at the site overlooking the gorge.
Our next stop is Jericho. Even though Jericho is north of Jerusalem, the phrase going “down” to Jericho is accurate because Jerusalem is 2500 feet above sea level and Jericho is 825 feet below sea level. In less than 20 miles, this drastic gradient change occurs.
Herod the Great had a winter palace in this oasis. At Jericho we will view the traditional site for one of Jesus’ temptations in the wilderness. A short talk on the bus about the temptations will be given as we look at the Mt. of Temptation.
We then drive to Qasr el Yahud, a possible location for Jesus’ baptism near the Jordan River. As we sit near the Jordan River, we will discuss Jesus’ baptism. On our drive to Galilee, we will make a brief stop at the Spring of Harod (if time) where Gideon chose his 300 men before arriving at the Sea of Galilee.
Saturday, May 13 - Caesarea Philippi, Tel Dan, Magdala, Boat Museum, Boat Ride
We start our morning by traveling north to Caesarea Philippi, at the base of Mt. Hermon, where Jesus asked his disciples, “Whom do men say that I the Son of man am?” (Matt. 16:13). A talk will be shared here. Then, we drive to Tel Dan which is located next to the Golan Heights. Dan was the northernmost city of the Kingdom of Israel, known as Laish prior to the conquest by the tribe of Dan. The site’s artifacts date back to 4500 BCE. Here we will discuss the significance of the site.
On our way back to the Kibbutz, we will visit the recently excavated town of Magdala, the home of Mary Magdalene and view 2 first-century synagogues (one just recently discovered).
We will make a short visit to the Yigal Allon Museum, located on the grounds of Kibbutz Ginosar. This museum houses the first-century fishing boat discovered in 1986 in the Sea of Galilee. Our final activity o the day will be a boat ride on the Sea of Galilee. Here in the quietness of the Sea we will talk about the events of Jesus on and near the Galilean Sea.
Sunday, May 14 - Mount Precipice, Nazareth Village and Lunch, Tel Megiddo, Mount Tabor
Our visit this morning is Tel Megiddo which sits on a strategic location at the head of a pass through the Carmel Range and overlooks the Jezreel Valley. On the Tel are the ruins of a Canaanite Gateway, the Solomonic Gate and Casemate Wall, and “Solomon’s Stables.” As we talk about the last great battle mentioned in the book of Revelation, we will have a spectacular lookout over the Valley of Armageddon.
Our next stop is lunch at Nazareth Village; then a visit the traditional site for the “brow of the hill” incident near Nazareth when Jesus’ hometown tried to throw him over the hillside after his announcement that he was the Messiah of Hebrew prophecy.
After lunch, we drive to Mount Tabor. Here we take taxis up to the summit, which rises dome-like from the Jezreel Valley. Traditionally, Christians place Jesus’ transfiguration at this site. A talk will be shared on the Transfiguration.
Monday, May 15 – Capernaum, Mount of Beatitudes, Bethsaida
We will begin our day by the Sea of Galilee, with a sunrise talk on John, chapter 21, known as “the Morning Meal.”
Then we visit the ancient site of Capernaum – the center of Jesus’ ministry where more healings by Jesus occurred than any other location in Israel. A talk on the events at this site will be shared.
Next, we go to the Mount of Beatitudes, the traditional site for Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount. A brief discussion of the Sermon will be shared. Our next stop is a visit to the ruins of Bethsaida. The feeding of the 5,000 likely took place nearby. Jesus also heals a blind man near the town. Bethsaida was also the hometown of Philip, Andrew, and Peter, according to John 1:44. We sit in the shade at the archaeological site and share thoughts about Jesus’ healing work here.
Tuesday, May 16 - Caesarea Maritima, Mount Carmel, Galilee
This morning we drive to the ancient site of Caesarea Maritima, on the Mediterranean Sea, where we will see the ruins of this ancient Roman port built by Herod the Great to honor the Emperor Augustus Caesar. We will explore the Roman Theater, the Governor’s Palace, the Hippodrome, and the Roman Aqueduct. Caesarea was the home of Pontius Pilate, the site of Cornelius’ baptism by Peter, the location of Paul’s imprisonment, and the port where Paul left for his final missionary journey. A brief talk will be shared here.
Our next visit is Mount Carmel where there is a spectacular 360-degree view of the surrounding area. This is near the traditional location where Elijah challenged the 450 prophets of Baal. A talk on this event will be shared.
Wednesday, May 17 – Depart for Home
The Holy Land has the capability of nourishing us with inspiration. When we learn more about the geographical places where specific events have happened and look beyond the mere physical attributes to the spiritual meaning behind the events in Scripture, are we not able to follow in the biblical pioneers' footsteps and be at one with those spiritual lessons all have left as their rich legacy?
Think of the bold contrasts evident in the geography of Israel – the peaks and valleys, the deserts and mountains, the rich fertile areas in the north and the arid, rocky landscape in the south! The lowest point on the earth’s surface is the Dead Sea. One could be sweltering in the heat of the Dead Sea while gazing at the snow-capped mountain of Hermon.
This land has been divided into a variety of topography, climates, agricultures, altitudes, fauna, and flora. Scholars segregate the territory from the Mediterranean Sea to the desert into seven sections running west to east: (1) the coastal plain of fertile farmland; (2) the low hills or Shephelah; (3) the central range broken up by (4) the Jezreel Valley and running into (5) the Negev Desert; (6) the Jordan Valley, which lies between the mountains of Judea and Samaria; and (7) the Eastern Range.
The traveler is full of wonder and awe as he or she ponders the land's raw characteristics of harshness and turmoil, beauty, and tranquility. It shouldn’t surprise us that this region has captured the hearts and imaginations of so many peoples. Bible scholar, Alfred Edersheim, reiterates: “Events, not places; spiritual realities, not their outward surroundings, have been given to mankind by the land of Palestine.”
Tour Cost does not include airfare:
Cost per person for double room occupancy (2 people in a room): $3,540
Single room occupancy (one person in the room) - $1,400 + 3,540 = $4,940
COST IS DEPENDENT ON 20 PAID TRAVELERS
- Talks at the biblical sites by Kristy Christian
- 11 nights of deluxe double (or single)-occupancy hotel accommodations
- Porterage at hotels
- Gratuities to the guide and bus driver
- 11 breakfasts, 11 dinners
- All activities and admissions per itinerary
- Israeli guide for the duration of the tour
- Transportation by private deluxe motor coach
- Gratuities for Israeli tour guide, bus driver, and hotel staff
- Headsets while touring in Israel
- Roundtrip airfare from home city to Israel
- Lunches and drinks
- Personal expenses (laundry, phone calls, travel insurance)
Any traveler not purchasing the Trip Protection Plan will be subject to the standard cancellation policies that can be found at www.globaltravelalliance.com/bookingconditions
Travel protection is optional and any traveler may opt-out of this protection during the enrollment process. Trip protection must be purchased within 30 days of your initial tour deposit. The TPP allows travelers to cancel for any reason (except for things like terrorism, civil unrest, war-declared or not declared) up to 24 hours prior to departure and get a full refund of their trip payments. Things like the non-refundable deposit, late payment fees, returned check fees, and the TPP fee are not refundable.
The TPP also protects travelers during the trip with medical coverage and emergency medical transportation. The cost for the TPP is $279.
In addition, we recommend purchasing insurance from the airlines when purchasing your airline tickets. Please note the TPP is not available to residents outside of the United States
All participants must be in good health. This program is active and involves a lot of walking – sometimes on even surfaces, and a lot of times on up and down terrain. We will walk 3-6 miles every day. All locations may not be handicapped accessible. Any condition that may require special accommodation must be reported at the time of your reservation.
A passport is required for all travelers, which we recommend be valid at least six months past the dates of the trip.
For questions regarding the itinerary, contact:
Kristy L. Christian
196 Spring Oaks Drive
Ballwin, MO 63011-3834
Phone: 636-220-2219 or 888- 524-2567
For questions regarding enrollment or payments, contact:
Global Travel Alliance