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Itinerary

B= Breakfast

D= Dinner

WEDNESDAY, MAY 25
ARRIVAL DAY IN ISRAEL
See the Arrival and Departure link for additional information. Overnight: Mitzpeh Ramon (D)

 

THURSDAY, MAY 26
OUT OF EGYPT I HAVE CALLED MY SON

AVDAT, WILDERNESS OF ZIN, MARESHAH, ASHKELON
We begin our journey in the wilderness regions where the Children of Israel sojourned for forty years.  At Avdat, a Nabatean caravan waystation, we find a city of early Christians on the edge of Wilderness of Zin. Through the canyon of Zin Jesus returned with his parents from Egypt to the Transjordan and Nazareth in Galilee. At Marissa (biblical Mareshah, home of the prophet Micah) in the biblical Shephelah we investigate the archaeological remains from the Hellenistic and Roman city. We conclude our day at Ashkelon, site of the ancient Philistine city and legendary birthplace of Herod the Great. Overnight: Ashkelon (B, D)  

 

FRIDAY, MAY 27
ON THE COASTAL PLAIN

GEZER, NEOT KEDUMIM, CAESAREA

Today we continue our travel to sites on the Philistine and Sharon Coastal Plains of the Mediterranean Sea that were important both in the days of the Old Testament the New Testament. Gezer was a prominent Philistine city that continued into the days of the New Testament. It has recently been reexcavated with monumental remains from the days of the Canaanites to the Romans. Nearby we visit Neot Kedumim the National Reserve for Biblical Landscape.  Here we will hear how the prophets used the flora of the land to illustrate their message.  Moving to the Plain of Sharon we stop at Caesarea, a port city built by Herod and the seat of power for the Roman governors. Here the Apostle Paul was held in house arrest in the seaside residence of Felix and Festus, which had earlier been the Mediterranean villa of Herod the Great. Overnight: Sea of Galilee (B, D)

 

SATURDAY, MAY 28
LAND OF ZEBULON AND NAPHTALI

SEPPHORIS, NAZARETH, BEIT SHEAN, SACHNE
We trace the geographical regions of Lower Galilee, in the area of Jesus’ early life. Our first stop is at Sepphoris the capital of Galilee when Jesus, Joseph and Mary lived nearby. Here we gain insights into Jesus’ family life and the challenge that faced the Jewish people in the Roman period.  On to Nazareth, boyhood home of Jesus, we visit the Church of Annunciation, traditional site of Mary’s home. Other first century remains from this village await our exploration.  We descend into the Jezreel Valley and journey east to Beit Shean, the Roman period site of Scythopolis with its magnificent remains from the the Bronze Age to the Byzantine city.  Time and conditions permitting we conclude our day with a swim in the turquoise, tepid pools of Sachne.  Overnight: Sea of Galilee (B, D)

 

SUNDAY, MAY 29
THE WAY OF THE SEA

HAZOR, DAN, CAESAREA PHILIPPI, OMRIT

Today we journey to the northern borders of the Land of Israel. At Hazor we find evidence of Joshua’s burning “the chief cities of the Canaanites” and later the location of Solomon’s efforts to fortify this northern gateway to the Galilee. Tel Dan is one of the most impressive archaeological sites on the border of the Land of Israel. Archaeological remains from the time of Abraham and King Jeroboam are scattered within this verdant nature reserve at the headwaters of the Jordan River. At Caesarea Philippi (Banias) we consider Jesus’ pivotal question, “Who do you say that I am?” We conclude our day at the fascinating, new and seldom-visited excavations of Omrit, where we find an impressive Herodian temple. Overnight: Sea of Galilee (B,D)

 

MONDAY, MAY 30
LAND BEYOND THE JORDAN

UMM EL-KANATIR, GAMLA, ET-TEL, EL-ARAJ-BETHSAIDA
A full day traveling through the upper regions of the Golan on the western edge of the volcanic Hauran plateau. At Umm el-Kanatir we find a reconstructed Byzantine synagogue. Nearby is Hippos (Susita) one of the Decapolis cities and candidate for Jesus’ “city on a hill.” We hike to the impressive remains at Gamla where the people of this first-century city fought the Romans to their death. Today the ancient city boasts one of the few first-century synagogues. Descending from the Golan Heights to the shores of the Sea of Galilee, we consider the current debate regarding the location of first-century Bethsaida with visits to et-Tel and el-Araj, the latter being the site of Nyack College’s current archaeological efforts.  Overnight: Sea of Galilee (B,D)

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Itinerary

B= Breakfast

D= Dinner

TUESDAY, MAY 31
SEA OF GALILEE

CHORAZIN, MT. OF BEATITUDES, CAPERNAUM, MAGDALA, 1st CENTURY BOAT, SEA OF GALILEE BOAT RIDE

A full morning study includes sites and themes central to the ministry of Jesus. At Chorazin and the Mount of Beatitudes we consider Jesus' teaching ministry with attention given to the contemporary context. In the afternoon we take time at Capernaum, the center of Jesus' Galilean ministry, to consider his message and miracles in this lakeside town. On to Magdala, where we visit the recent excavations and the first-century synagogue, home of Mary Magdelene.  Our final stop is at Kibbutz Ginosar where an ancient Sea of Galilee boat (dating to the 1st century AD) is preserved. We conclude our day with a boat ride on the Sea of Galilee. Overnight: Sea of Galilee (B,D)

 

WEDNESDAY, JUNE 1
REFUGE IN THE WILDERNESS

MASADA, EIN GEDI, QUMRAN, DEAD SEA

Today we follow in the steps of individuals and communities who lived in the Judean Wilderness. At Masada we consider the fate of the Zealot movement which ended on this rocky promontory. At the oasis of Ein Gedi we walk in to observe a "river in the desert" in the region where David hid from King Saul. Khirbet Qumran provides the setting for our consideration of the Dead Sea Scrolls and their relationship to John the Baptist and early Christianity. Before ascending to Jerusalem, we stop for a swim in the Dead Sea.  Our journey to Jerusalem will take us through the Wilderness of Judea.  Overnight: Jerusalem (B, D)

 

THURSDAY, JUNE 2
CITY OF THE GREAT KING

WOHL MUSEUM, WESTERN WALL, SOUTHERN STEPS, TEMPLE MOUNT, CITY OF DAVID, HEZEKIAH'S TUNNEL, POOL OF SILOAM

Our focus today is the physical setting of Jerusalem from the time of King David to Jesus. We enter the Old City to examine the physical setting of Jerusalem nestled among the hills and valleys of Judah. We now turn our attention to the historical rule of Herod the Great (ending in 4BC), his successors and the destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans in 70 AD. Key archaeological sites to be visited in the Jewish Quarter include the Wohl Museum, the Herodian Villas, the Western Wall and the Southern wall.  After lunch we will visit the City of David of Old Testament times. Here we will have an opportunity to see remnants of Jerusalem's destruction by the Babylonians (586 BC). We conclude the day with a visit to the Pool of Siloam (John 9).  Overnight: Jerusalem (B, D)

 

FRIDAY, JUNE 3
SAMARIA

SHILOH, MT. GERIZIM, SHECHEM, JACOB'S WELL, SAMARIA

Today we follow in the steps of individuals and communities who lived in the region of Samaria north of Jerusalem. We begin at the Old Testament worship center of Shiloh where the Tabernacle once stood. Mount Gerizim served as a worship center for the Samaritans of the New Testament times and is still revered today by the Samaritan communities in this region. Shechem was frequented by the patriarchs and served as the first capital city of the Northern Kingdom. Nearby is Jacob's Well, thought to be the well mentioned in John 4 where Jesus met a woman of Samaria. We end our day at the city of Samaria which served as the last capital city of the Northern Kingdom. Here, in later times, Herod rebuilt the city and dedicated it to Caesar Augustus, calling it Sebaste.  Overnight:  Jerusalem (B, D)

 

SATURDAY, JUNE 4
BETHLEHEM AND JERUSALEM:  THE BEGINNING AND THE END

BETHLEHEM, HERODIUM, MT. OF OLIVES, DOMINUS FLAVIT, GETHSEMANE, POOLS OF BETHESDA, HOLY SEPULCHRE

 Our settings today involve the historical backgrounds associated with Birth Narratives and the Passion Narratives. In the morning we focus on the rule and personality of Herod the Great in conjunction with Jesus' birth in Bethlehem. We begin at the Herodium, a palace-fortress built by Herod. We shift our attention to Bethlehem and after lunch we return to Jerusalem. Here, we pay particular attention to the historical background regarding the opposition to Jesus and the events which led to his crucifixion. In connection with this theme we begin our touring atop the Mount of Olives. We descend the mount to the Garden of Gethsemane. We continue into the Old City to visit St. Anne's church, the site of the ancient pools of Bethesda. We conclude at the Church of the Resurrection, the possible site of Jesus' death and resurrection. Overnight: Jerusalem (B, D)

SUNDAY, JUNE 5
FREE DAY
This is a free day for you to explore the city. We leave for the airport promptly after the evening meal so it is important that you pack your bags prior to dinner. See the Arrival and Departure link for additional information. (B, D)

 

MONDAY, JUNE 6
ARRIVE USA

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