where will we visit?

The Bible Lands are rich in locations where our Spiritual History took place. Too many to see in a couple of weeks. We have picked some of our favourites to give a well-rounded appreciation for how a visit to the Good Land can enhance our appreciation for our Grand Creator.
joppa

Tel aviv/ Joppa

"Therefore, send to Joppa and call for simon who is called peter. This man is a guest in the house of simon, a tanner, by the sea" Acts 10:32
DAY 1, and 2- Tel Aviv is a great place to get over jet-lag. The beaches, the market, Bethel, and of course old city Joppa.
An ancient seaport. Also called "Yaffo" as in "Tel Aviv Yaffo". King Solomon used this port to float timbers from Lebanon for the construction of the temple. Later, this was the seaport from which Jonah heading towards Tarshish. Later in the first century Dorcas (Tabitha) was associated with the congregation in Joppa and was resurrected by Peter. At "Simon the Tanner's house" Peter received one of the keys of the Kingdom. Six Jewish brothers from Joppa accompanied him from Tel Aviv to our next stop Caesarea...
caesarea

Caesarea

"The next day we left and came to Caesarea, and we entered the house of Philip the evangelizer" Acts 21:8
DAY 3 - After Leaving Tel Aviv, We Will Visit Caesarea For The Majority Of The Mid-Day and Afternoon.
An important seaport city built by Herod the Great on the Mediterranean Seacoast. Luke wrote the book of Acts here. The Apostle Paul was held captive here for several years. Paul appealed to Caesar here. Philip the Evangelizer was a "need greater" in Caesarea. The existence of Pontius Pilate was confirmed here. The old harbour is largely visible. An impressive aquaduct, hippodrome, amphitheater, Roman baths and steam rooms as well as Royal Residence can all be explored along the beautiful coastline.
mt-carmel

Mt. Carmel

"And now summon all Israel to me at Mount Carmel, as well as the 450 prophets of Baal and the 400 prophets of the sacred pole." 1 Kings 18:19
DAY 3 - After Leaving Caesarea we will make our way to Haifa the modern day city on Mount Carmel.
Carmel is not just a mountain but a mountain range in NW Israel. The SE slopes of Carmel produce the Valley of Jezreel - also known as the valley of Megiddo; Esdraelon; Kishon. Carmel featured prominently in the activities of the prophets Elijah and Elisha. It was here Elijah and Ahab assembled Israel to witness the test between Baal - represented by the 450 prophets of Baal, and the true God Jehovah represented by Elijah. Haifa has the only Kingdom Hall in Israel with the sign "Kingdom Hall" on the building.
tel-dan

Tel Dan

"they named the city dan after the name of their father, dan, who was born to israel. But laish was the city's former name" Judges 18:29
DAY 4 - A short drive along the Anti-Lebanon Mountains takes us to Tel Dan - The northern most city in ancient Isreal
The tribe of Dan was the most populous of the tribes, but received one of the smallest land inheritances. The land may be small, but the soil is rich and fertile. The remains of the old city contain a ritual compound with a paved platform. Reminiscent of the structures built by Jeroboam for the worship of false gods. Abraham mobilized 318 trained men to pursue the men who took Lot captive all the way up to Dan. "Abrahams Gate" is a 4,000 year old in-tact archway to the city that existed here in Abraham's day.
tel-hazor

Tel hazor

"struck down everyone in it with the sword, devoting them to destruction. Not a breathing thing was left, then he burned hazor in the fire." Josh 11:11
DAY 4 - Heading back towards the west coast, we make a stop at Tel Hazor, a chief city of northern Canaan.
At the time of Israel's conquest under Joshua, Hazor was the northern boundary of Canaan and at that time covered some 150 acres and could have accommodated 25,000 - 30,000 inhabitants in its strategic location. Even though the instructions were to drive the Canaanites out and burn their cities, this was the only city "that stood on the mounds" that they did burn. In Solomon's time the city was reinforced, and a "high place" of false worship built by the Israelites still stands prominently in the city.
tel-megiddo

tel Megiddo

"Josiah would not turn away from him and would not listen to the words of necho, which came from the mouth of god. So he came to fight in the plain of megiddo." 2 chron 35:22
DAY 5 - A guest guide will take us through the full day starting at Tel Megiddo, where 20+ civilizations can be examined.
Our theme for the day is to answer the question: why is "Armageddon" called "the battle of the mountain of Megiddo"? Starting at Megiddo, we get a number of answers to our questions. Decisive battles were fought here. Josiah died here. Solomon shored up the cities, and this may have been one of his "horse cities" going against direction not to do so. Unlike Hazor, the Israelites did not drive out the Canaanites - why? Why was Baal worship a snare to the people? Today we will get answers to these questions.
jezreel

tel jezreel

"But the hand of Jehovah came on elijah and he wrapped his garment around his hips and ran ahead of ahab all the way to jezreel" 1 Kings 18:46
DAY 5 - Our tour continues at the Nazareth Precipice - ideal vantage point back South toward Mounts Tabor and Moreh. 
Nazareth is best known as the town where Jesus grew up. But how is the name "Nazareth" prophetic and what does it mean? The precipice is possibly the location where the people of Nazareth wanted to throw him off the cliff after reading from the scroll of Isaiah, what can we learn from this? What happened in the land that was right in front of where Jesus grew up? Mt. Tabor, Mt Moreh, Nain, Shunem? We will read these accounts again, and the role geography plays in Bible understanding will take on a new meaning.
nazareth

Nazareth

"then he went down with them and returned to nazareth and he continued subject to them. Also his mother carefully kept all these sayings in her heart." Luke 2:51,52
DAY 5 - Next stop Nazareth Precipice on the northern slopes of the Kishon. Wrap up with dinner at award winning restaurant.
Nazareth is best known as the town where Jesus grew up. But how is the name "Nazareth" prophetic and what does it mean? The precipice is possibly the location where the people of Nazareth wanted to throw him off the cliff after reading from the scroll of Isaiah, what can we learn from this? What happened in the land that was right in front of where Jesus grew up? Mt. Tabor, Mt Moreh, Nain, Shunem? We will read these accounts again, and the role geography plays in Bible understanding will take on a new meaning.
harod-spring

Harod Spring

"Then Jerubbaal, that is, gideon, and all the people with him rose early and encamped at the spring of harod" Judges 7:1
DAY 6 - After a long tour day before, we will have an easier rest day starting with a quick visit to Harod Spring. 
A spring or well bursting forth at the foothills of beautiful Mount Gilboa. While only a few feet across and deep at the spring, it flows strongly enough to feed many farms further down the valley towards the Jordan. The plentiful water, and steep mountainside make it an easily defensible place to camp in preparation for battle. It was here Gideon camped before Jehovah gave Midian into his hands after pairing down his men from 32,000 to 10,000, then to 300 men to make sure they knew who's battle it was!
gan-hashlosha

gan hashlosha

"the next day, when the philistines came to strip the slain, they found saul and his sons fallen on mount gilboa" 
1 chronicles 10:8
DAY 6 - After a visit to Harod Spring we will follow the Spring towards the Jordan Valley to a stunning park for some R&R. 
Harod spring flows naturally toward the Jordan Valley and becomes a large stream as it nears the Jordan River. This area has become a national park also called Sachne or the Amal Stream. While the park is of no real Biblical significance, it is a beautiful place to spend a day getting some rest. The water is 28 degrees year round, and the pools have small fish that nibble at your toes. The beautiful stream, natural waterfalls, and lush banks have led many to call this the garden of eden - of course it isn't.
magadan

Magadan

"finally, after sending the crowds away, he got into the boat and came into the region of magadan." Matthew 15:39
DAY 7 - Today we will visit three Galilee towns with three Synagogues from the first to fourth century C.E. 
We start at Magadan aka "Magdala" or "Migdal", some Greek manuscripts refer to the region as "Dalmanutha" as well. It has been suggested that Mary Magdalene is from this area - "Magdalene" meaning "Of (Belonging to) Magdala". Of particular note here is a first century synagogue that was recently discovered in this area. While there is no reference in the Bible to Jesus having preached in this particular synagogue, he did teach in "all of Galilee" so it is possible, although we can't say for sure.
capernaum

capernaum

"Further, after leaving nazareth, he came and took up residence in capernaum beside the sea in the districts of zebulun and naphtali" Matt 4:13
DAY 7 - The second Synagogue we will visit is in Capernaum - Jesus adopted home on the Sea of Galilee
A city of major importance in Jesus earthly ministry. Here Jesus called Matthew to be his disciple. Jesus performed many miracles here, healing the sick, curing the blind, expelling demons and raised the daughter of Jairus. Here Jesus invited Peter and Andrew and later James and John to be his disciples. Peter and Andrew had a home here, and it was here Jesus healed Peter's mother-in-law. Here a woman was healed by simply touching Jesus' garment. In this area most of Jesus powerful works were performed.
gamla

gamla

"then he went throughout the whole of galilee teaching in their synagogues and preaching the good news of the kingdom..." Matthew 4:23
DAY 7 - The third and final Synagogue we will visit is in Gamla featured in our Study Bible.
Our study Bible includes a detailed description and image of this first century Synagogue. What can we learn from the Synagogues we have visited today? What was their program of worship? What can we learn from the construction and layout of these Synagogues? What was taught in these Synagogues? How does this differ from Temple Worship? How did the 1st Century Christian Congregation meet and what did they take from the teaching program at Synagogues? A beautiful spot to stop and review what we've learned today. We wrap the day up with a boat trip on the Sea of Galilee.
gerasenes

Gerasenes

"and they put in to shore in the region of the Gerasenes, which is on the side opposite galilee." Luke 8:26
DAY 8 - Beginning our day along the East Coast of the Sea of Galilee, our first stop - Gerasenes.
Today's theme: ""not one word out of all the good promises that Jehovah your God has spoken to you has failed." We start our day in the area of the Gerasenes (aka Gaderenes). The account in Matthew indicates Jesus was some ways away from the swine that the demons asked him to send them into. We can't know for sure, but it is possible that this took place at Kursi, our first visit today. Then a short drive up the hill to Ophir lookout (image to left) gives us an overhead view of the area where the swine were likely grazing. What can we learn from this account and from visiting the area where this took place?
bet-shean

decapolis

"Consequently, large crowds followed him from Galilee and Decapolis and Jerusalem and Judea and from the other side of the Jordan."Matthew 4:25
DAY 8 - Our tour moves South visiting one of the Decapolis: Bet Shean (aka. Scythopolis).
The Decapolis was a "league" of cities that embraced Hellenistic (Greek) culture and way of life. It's unclear how many of these cities existed in total, the name seems to indicate ten ("deka" being "10" and "polis" meaning "city"). The physical distance from where Jesus conducted his earthly ministry is fascinating. While people from the Dacapolis were among the crowds that flocked to hear Jesus' teaching Galilee, there is no mention of him devoting time to any of its cities. Pella - where 1st century Christians fled in 67CE was one of the Decapolis.
jericho

Jericho

"jehovah then said to joshua: "see, i have handed over to you jericho and its king and its mighty warriors." Joshua 6:2
DAY 8 - Our tour continues South to Jericho - where evidence of the destruction of the city can still be seen.
Our theme continues as we visit yet another site where Jehovah's promises to his people came true just as he had said. The first of the Canaanite cities to be overthrown on crossing the Jordan. Jericho is featured in the Bible on many accounts from the time of Joshua, through the "time of the prophets" including Elisha, as well as in the times of the Kings where Zedekiah tried to flee to Jericho, and it even featured in Jesus parables. Today remains of walls, and residences can still be seen.
mount-of-olives

jerusalem

"his shelter is in salem, and his dwelling is in zion." 
Psalms 76:2
DAY 8 - After driving the famous road between Jericho and Jerusalem, we wrap up at the Mount of Olives
Our day wraps with a stop at the Mount of Olives. An ideal last stop to get a view of how the city would have been viewed by travellers arriving in Jerusalem for one of the annual festivals. David fled from Absalom here. King Solomon built idolatrous high places here later made unfit for worship by Josiah. Jesus often met with his disciples in the garden of Gethsemane located on or in the vicinity of the Mount of Olives. Bethany is on the eastern slope of the Mount of Olives where Martha, Mary and Lazarus lived.
hezikiahs-tunnels

Jerusalem city

"god is known in judah; in israel his name is great. his shelter is in salem, and his dwelling place is in zion." Psalms 76:1,2
DAY 9 - Guest Guides take us on a tour of; Old City, City of David, Hezekiah's Tunnels, Wall Tour, & the Archeological Park.
Jerusalem has a rich Biblical history and the evidence of accounts we read on a daily basis is everywhere in Jerusalem. Hezekiah's tunnels are an evidence of the practical wisdom and action taken by good King Hezekiah. What did the Temple Walls look like in Jesus day? What is it like to walk on Temple Mount? What did the city look like in the times of David, and Solomon? How did David take the city from the Jebusites? What lessons can we learn from the events that took place here? Welcome to Salem.
israel-museum

israel museum

"Come, let us go up to the mountain of Jehovah. To the house of the God of Jacob" Isaiah 2:3
DAY 10 - Guest Guides from Israel will take us on the "Let us go up to the Mountain of Jehovah" Tour at the Israel Museum
What evidence is there of Biblical accuracy that can be found at the Israel Museum? How can we know that the Word of God we have today is accurate and has been preserved down to our day? What can we learn from the unearthed archeological history of worship in ancient Israel? What did it mean to "go up to the Mountain of Jehovah" in Biblical times, and what lessons can we draw from that for pure worship in our day? What did Jerusalem look like at the time of Jesus ministry and death? This tour will answer these questions.
qumram-caves

qumraN

"All scripture is inspired of god and beneficial for teaching, for reproving, for setting things straight, for disciplining in righteousness." 2 Timothy 3:16
DAY 11 - Leaving Jerusalem, we make our way to the Salt Sea. First stop Qumran where the Dead Sea Scrolls were found.
It's been called "the greatest archeological discovery in thousands of years". The unlikely discovery of scrolls dating back 2,000 years! Some from 200 years before Jesus. A portion of every book of the Hebrew Scriptures was found here, hundreds of scrolls. Before these scrolls were found, the oldest known codex to work from for translation was almost 800 years newer than these scrolls. What did they teach us about God's word being preserved and accurate for our day? What made this place ideal for preservation?
en-gedi

En-gedi

"My dear one is like a cluster of henna among the vineyards of en-gedi." 
song of solomon 1:14
DAY 11 - From Qumram we travel along the Salt Sea to En-Gedi National Park.
En-Gedi is a lush oasis in an otherwise barren landscape of the Judean Wilderness. It's steep cliffs, rocky hills, and many caves earned it the reputation of being "difficult to approach". It was here David hid from Saul. It's possible it was here that Saul camped when David refused to kill him even though he had the opportunity to do so. The Shulammite maiden alluded to the fruitfulness of the region. Finally, it was here that Ammon, Moab came up against Jehoshaphat - what lessons can we learn from this account?
dead-sea

The dead sea

"all of these joined forces at the valley of siddim, that is, the salt sea." genesis 14:3
DAY 11 & 12- After a hike in the heat of En-Gedi - no doubt we will all be ready to relax in the Dead Sea.
It's a well known fact that the Dead Sea is one of the saltiest bodies of water on the planet. It's almost impossible to submerse your entire body in the water, and nor would you want too: the salt water stings if you get it in your eyes. There is nothing quite like the sensation of floating in the water that has the consistency of baby oil. It's long been revered for its healing properties and certainly is relaxing. There is Biblical significance here also - being the possible  site of the destroyed Soddom and Gomorrah.
beer-sheba

the wilderness

"in those days john the baptist came preaching in the wilderness of judea." 
matthew 3:1
DAY 13 - We make our way back to Tel Aviv via Beer Sheba and Tel Lachish in the Judean Wilderness.
After a soak in the Dead Sea (or the optional early morning climb up Masada) we head back across the Judean Wilderness where John the Baptist preached, and Jesus fasted for 40 days. With a visit to Beer Sheba we complete our "circuit of the cities of Israel" having been from "Dan to Beer Sheba" and back. Abraham spent considerable time in this area, making it his home in Canaan where he dwelt in tents. We make our way on to Tel Aviv arriving in the late afternoon for a visit to the ancient seaport city of Joppa.
tel-aviv

Tel Aviv Bethel

"in the final part of the days, the mountain of the house of jehovah will become firmly established above the top of the mountains..." Isaiah 2:2
DAY 14 - We  round out our tour on a Spiritual High-Note: a Tour of Tel-Aviv Bethel
A morning tour of Bethel will give us an overview of the history of the work in Israel, and what work is being accomplished here today. That leaves a free afternoon to make a last trip to Carmel Market for gift or souvenir shopping, or to relax on the beach, or take in some more of the sites and sounds of Tel Aviv. An evening transport pickup will take us for one last dinner together and then transport us to the Ben Gurion airport in time to check in for our flight, and all too soon - it's time to say goodbye.

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Future tours...

Stay In Touch To Learn About Future Tours That Will Include Visits To The Following Locations
salamis

Cyprus

"so these men, sent out by the holy spirit, went down to seleucia, and from there they sailed away to cyprus."
Acts 13:4
Cyprus - the home of Barnabas
Many Christians fled to Cyprus after persecution in Jerusalem broke out. Paul, Barnabas and John Mark visited Cyprus on Paul's first missionary tour in 47/48CE. After landing on the East Seaport of Salamis, they traveled across the entire island to Paphos on the West Coast. It was here that the encounter with the interested proconsul, Sergius Paulus and the opposing sorcerer, Elymas (Bar-Jesus), took place. A future tour is being planned that will include a visit to these Biblical sites in Cyprus.
corinth

Greece

"men of athens, I see that in all things you seem to be more given to the fear of the deities than others are." Acts 17:22
Greece - Athens, Corinth, Thessaloniki 
Modern Greece has many sites relevant to our Theocratic history. Athens, Corinth, Thessaloniki, all had first century Christian congregations. What conditions and influences did these struggle with? What will a visit in person to these locations add to the accounts we read in Scripture? What lessons can we learn from the inspired record? What does Paul's example as a Missionary and a first century Circuit Overseer teach us about our ministry today? A future tour is being planned to include a visit to Greece.

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