Day 1 • Departure
Our life-changing journey begins this evening as we board our overnight flight to Jordan.
Day 2 • Arrival Jordan
We arrive in the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan and transfer to our lodging for the next three evenings in Amman.
Day 3 • Machaerus, Bethany on the Jordan, Amman
Our first stop today will be at the hilltop palace/fortress of Machaerus, where John the Baptist was beheaded. Next we visit the fascinating site of Bethany on the Jordan, the place where Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist, where Elijah and Elisha crossed the Jordan as well as the area where the children of Israel led by Joshua entered the Promised Land. We return to Amman for for the evening. Free time will be allowed for shopping and an optional visit to the Archeological Museum.
Day 4 • Jerash, Jabbok, Um Qays, As Salt
This morning we travel to Jerash, one of the best preserved and most complete provincial Roman cities. Jerash, Gerasa of Roman Times, was one of the cities of the Decapolis, a confederation of 10 Graeco-Roman cities dating from the 1st century BC situated in Jordan, Syria and Israel. Known as the Pompeii of the East for its extraordinary state of preservation, the ruins indicate human occupations at this location for more than 2,500 years. Our next stop is Um Qays, the old Decapolis city of Gadara, with its spectacular panoramic views overlooking the Sea of Galilee, is the proposed site of Jesus’ miracle of the Gadarene swine. A rare five-aisled basilica from the 4th century was recently discovered and excavated at Umm Qays. Everything about this distinctive arrangement of a church above a tomb at this particular place, strongly indicates that it was designed and built to commemorate the very spot where the early church believed that Jesus performed his miracle. Nearby we find Jabbok, the place that is said to be where Jacob wrestled with God who was in the form of an angel (Genesis 32:24-30). We pass through As Salt, the city that houses the tomb & shrine of Job and tomb of Jethro before returning to Amman.
Day 5 • Dead Sea, and Aqaba
Traveling southward we stop at a Dead Sea resort for a relaxing float or optional spa treatment. The infamous Sodom and Gomorrah are believed, although not confirmed to be the burned remains of two cities in the nearby southeastern Dead Sea plain. We will view from a distance a hillside cave near to the small town of Zoar (modern-day Safi). The Bible says Lot’s daughters gave birth to sons whose descendents would become the Ammonite and Moabite people, whose kingdoms were in what is now central Jordan. It is here that Byzantine Christians built a church and monastery dedicated to Lot. From here, we continue on to our lodging for the evening in Aqaba, Biblical Ezion Geber - the lovely seaport of King Solomon.
Day 6 • Petra
This morning we turn north toward the amazing mountain fortress of Petra, known to be inhabited by the Edomites - the descendents of Esau. Begin the tour with a walk through the "Siq," an immense crack in the Nubian sandstone, to the city of Petra carved out of the rose red rock. The Treasury, El Khazneh, is one of the most elegant remains of antiquity. Beyond El Khazneh we are surrounded on both sides by hundreds of Petra's carved and built structures. Departing Petra, we travel northward on the famous ancient route of the King's Highway used by Abraham and Moses where to the west we view from a distance the hills bordering the Dead Sea. We overnight in Amman for the evening.
Day 7 • Mt Nebo, Madaba, Tel Aviv
Our morning tour begins in the town of Madaba, the biblical Medeba, 30 kilometers south of Amman. Madaba is best known for its Byzantine and Umayyad mosaics and at the Greek Orthodox Church of St. George we view the earliest surviving mosaic map of the Holy land. Mt. Nebo, believed to be the site of the tomb of Moses, commands a spectacular view across the Jordan Valley and the Dead Sea. Study the panorama as we read the scripture of God showing Moses the "Promised Land" before He brought him home to heaven. As we travel west toward the Allenby Bridge, we view to the north the Plains of Moab, the area where the tribes of Israel camped before crossing the Jordan and picture the place where Jesus was baptized. Crossing back into Israel, we drive to Tel Aviv area with the remainder of the afternoon free. You may wish to take a devotional time with the sunset over the “Great Sea,” a time of prayer and thanks for the special blessings ahead, a prayer for the people of this land, and then enjoy a good night’s rest.
Day 8 • Caesarea, Megiddo & Mt Carmel
After breakfast, we travel by private motor coach along the coast of the Mediterranean Sea to Caesarea, where Gentiles first heard the Good News from Peter and were baptized. We’ll see the Roman Amphitheatre, harbor/palace area and aqueduct, and then journey on to Mt. Carmel, where Elijah challenged King Ahab and the prophets of Baal. Next we travel through the Jezreel Valley to Megiddo, the Armageddon Battlefield, where archaeologists have unearthed 20 levels of civilization. We will have free time, dinner and overnight lodging for the next three nights in the Tiberias area on the Sea of Galilee.
Day 9 • Dan, Caesarea Philippi, Bethsaida, Corazim, Capernaum
Following breakfast, our morning travels take us to two valuable northern sites emphasizing the loss of God's blessing on Israel. Dan is where the children of Israel fell to the depths of pagan worship and Caesarea Philippi which is also the site of Peter’s Confession. Bethsaida, Chorazin and Capernaum formed what has been called the "evangelical triangle," because most of Jesus’ miracles in Galilee were performed in these cities. Of special interest are the ruins of a 1st century synagogue in Corazin, the House of the Fisherman in Bethsaida and Peter’s home in Capernaum.
Day 10 • Jordan River Baptism Site, Nazareth, Mount of Beatitudes
We begin our day with a visit to the Jordan River Baptismal site. A mid-morning drive through the hills of Galilee takes us through the area of Cana and Nazareth, the boyhood home of Jesus, where we visit the Nazareth Village - a wonderful recreation of Biblical times with costumed guides. Continuing toward Tiberias we drive up to Mt. Arbel for a spectacular view of the northern Sea of Galilee allowing for an excellent time of teaching on the region of Jesus' ministry. This afternoon we travel on to the site of the multiplication of loaves and fishes and the Mount of the Beatitudes overlooking the Sea of Gallilee followed by a relaxing boat cruise. A brief scripture reading and devotional on board brings to life the experiences of Jesus and the fishermen disciples. We dock at a working Kibbutz and visit the famous Fisherman Boat from the days of Jesus, a conclusion to a wonderful day.
Day 11 • Beit Shean, Bethany & Dead Sea Spa
We begin our day by traveling southward to Beit-Shean/Scythopolis,
the most magnificent archeological site in Israel, located at the
strategic juncture of the Jezreel and Jordan valleys. Like Jericho, it
has been almost continuously occupied throughout history. After
defeating Saul and his sons on Mt. Gilboa, the Philistines hanged their
bodies on the walls of Beit-Shean. During the intertestamental period,
the city was renamed the "Scythopolis". Archaeologists have uncovered a
huge number of ruins of the Roman/Byzantine Scythopolis. During the
time of Jesus, Scythopolis was one of the chief cities of the Decapolis
-a league of ten cities sharing Greek culture and government. Following the fertile Jordan Valley southward, your guide will point out the agricultural restoration of the “Land of Milk and Honey,” the Kibbutz system and Israel’s intricate irrigation development. We pass ancient Jericho, view from a distance this city famed as the oldest in the world, before coming to Bethany Beyond the Jordan, the place where Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist, where Elijah and Elisha crossed the Jordan as well as the area where the children of Israel led by Joshua entered the Promised land. Our lodging for the evening is at the Dead Sea – the lowest place on earth. Spend time in the special spa and enjoy a dip in the Dead Sea for a relaxing float before dinner.
Day 12 • Masada, Ein Gedi, Dead Sea Scrolls, Abraham's Tent
Our day begins with a cable car ride to the mountain top fortress of Masada. Here our guide will treat us to the history of the famous zealot stand. Afterwards we proceed to Ein Gedi, "Spring of the Goat," an oasis on the western shore of the Dead Sea. Because of its warm climate and abundant supply of water, the site developed a reputation for its fragrant plants and date palm groves. This is where King David hid from Saul, and where God defeated the enemies of the Israelites by praise and worship led by King Jehoshaphat. Next, we visit Qumran Caves where the Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered. This afternoon we will take part in the Genesis Land/Dinner in Abraham's Tent, where we enjoy a trip back in time: a reliving of life in the time of the Patriarchs, complete with costume, dramatic presentation, camel ride and authentic food. Our lodging for the next five nights will be in Jerusalem.
Day 13 • Around Jerusalem, Bible Times, Holocaust Museum
Conditions permiting we will visit the Temple Mount, with commentary on the Temple Periods, and the variety of belief systems past and present that make this area so valuable. From here we will
also be able to see the Pool of Bethesda, Stephen's Gate and St. Ann’s
Passing by the Protestant Cemetery, we visit the "Upper Room"
just outside the Zion Gate where the
disciple whom Jesus loved laid his head on His breast and where later
Thomas cried, "my Lord & my God." An interesting and educational
time awaits us at the Israeli Museum. Walk through collections of
centuries old Israeli artifacts including the Dead Sea Scrolls, and a
then a guided walk through an accurately detailed model of Biblical
Jerusalem will help to prepare you for what you will experience in the
We conclude the day with a visit to Yad Vashem, the Holocaust Museum, for a needed reminder of what
the Jews have suffered as a people.
Day 14 • Jesus' Steps, the Last Days - Messianic Lecture
Today we walk where Jesus walked; beginning the day with a panoramic view of the city, Mount Moriah and the Dome of the Rock from atop the Mount of Olives and then the Garden of Gethsemane. How many have wished to be whisked back in time to get a glimpse of our Lord or hear His voice if only for a moment? To walk between the ancient olive trees, read the scriptures of Jesus' prayer and take time for personal reflection is important here. Next we visit the House of Caiaphas where Jesus was beaten and spit upon. See a pit where he may have been held for the evening and the ancient hillside steps he walked as he was taken to be condemned. On our way into the city we will visit the Wailing Wall and then the fascinating Rabbinical Tunnels leading us through the Second Temple era. The tunnel and exhibit give a clear understanding of the amazing construction of the Temple Mount, giant stones, water supply and Roman street where our Lord was led to judgment. Before exiting the tunnel we see the immense cornerstone rejected by the builders. We move on to the Judgment Hall of Pilate, hear of those who conspired against Him and are reminded of His brutal beating and humiliation. This evening we enjoy a special lecture by a local believer prior to dinner, giving us a perspective of Messianic life in Israel.
Day 15 • City of David, Jeremiah's Cistern, Hezekiah's Tunnel
We begin our sightseeing just outside the Dung Gate on the southeastern hill below the Temple Mount in the City of David. It was during the time of Solomon that the city limits extended past this part of Jerusalem. We visit Gihon Springs, the original water source for Jerusalem, view new excavations including a typical Israelite four-room house, the lower city wall and the cistern where Jeremiah was imprisoned. A highlight today will be a water walk through the incredible Hezekiah's Tunnel to the pool of Siloam, the place of Jesus' miracle in John 9. Before returning to our hotel, our guide will take us to an overview of the city from the hillside overlooking Jerusalem and the Gehenna Valley. This meaningful teaching time will bring together the many things that you have seen to date.
Day 16 • Way of Suffering, Garden Tomb, Pentecost, Bethlehem
While walking along the Via Dolorosa, we are reminded of His way of suffering along with a visit to the Church of the Holy Sepulcher. Our guide will explain the differing opinions on the route that Christ was led and the actual place of crucifixion and burial is a very interesting study. The climax of the day is the area of Golgotha (place of the skull) and the Garden Tomb, where we celebrate the resurrection with communion and a time of praise. This afternoon we visit the Southern Wall Excavations. This southern side of The Temple was the main entrance for the common folk, whereas the Priests and Levites had their own entrance from the higher eastern side. Parts of the giant stairs, which led to the Temple Mount from the courtyard have been unearthed along with the purification pools. From here Jesus entered the Temple Mount and drove out the vendors and money exchangers who were exploiting the people. It is also likely that this is the place that Peter stood and preached and where thousands were saved and baptized on the Day of Pentecost. We will enjoy a challenge from God’s word and a song before an optional time this afternoon. Those who wish may stay in the city marketplace for shopping, while others may choose to spend the remainder of the day surrounding the birth of Christ, with a visit to Bethlehem.
Day 17 • Home
A very early morning departure for the Tel Aviv Airport for our flight homeward will allow for arrival home by early afternoon.
Important Note: Although the itinerary above obviously emphasizes the spiritual aspect of this marvelous country, our guides are also experts in and passionate about the miracle of the return of the Jews and the restoration of the state of Israel. This fact, along with many modern day topics (military, politics, education, and other cultural aspects), will be woven into the commentary in order to give you well rounded information.