Best of Israel
Join Southwinds Church of Christ on a:
10 Day Inspirational Tour | September 16-25, 2022
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Join Southwinds Church of Christ on a:
10 Day Inspirational Tour | September 16-25, 2022
|September 16-25, 2022||$3,150*||$719|
|*Includes roundtrip airfare from Chicago.|
Reservation Due: June 6, 2022
Final Payment Due: July 15, 2022
Roundtrip air from Chicago including current air taxes and fuel surcharges (taxes and fuel charges are subject to change), 8 nights lodging at 4 star hotels, breakfast and dinner daily, 1 lunch, full time English speaking tour guide, services of air conditioned deluxe motor coach, all guides, entrances, touring and transportation as appears on itinerary, baggage handling at hotels (one piece), tips to driver, guides, and hotel staff
7 lunches, optional travel insurance (7.6% or 10.25% of tour cost), COVID testing and any related expenses
Day 1: Departure
Today we embark on our Journey to the Holy Land. Prepare yourself for a life-changing experience. Get some rest on the flight…tomorrow you will be walking where Jesus walked!
Day 2: Arrive Israel
Arrive in Israel where you meet your guide and travel northward to our hotel for one night in the coastal area near Tel Aviv. The remainder of the day is free to walk along the Mediterranean, relax, and have dinner. The time is right for a personal devotional with the sunset over the “Great Sea.” Enjoy a time of thanksgiving for safety and the special blessings ahead and a prayer for a good night’s rest.
Day 3: Caesarea, Mt. Carmel, Megiddo, and Mt. Arbel
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, hippodrome, a film on history and remains of this famous port city, 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 drive through the area of Cana and Nazareth, the boyhood home of Jesus. Continuing toward Tiberias, we drive up to Mount Arbel for a spectacular view of the northern Sea of Galilee for an excellent time of teaching on the region of Jesus’ ministry. We will have dinner and overnight lodging for the next two nights in the Tiberias area on the Sea of Galilee.
Day 4: Capernaum, Dan, Caesarea Philippi & Mount of Beatitudes
Following breakfast, our morning travels take us to two valuable northern sites. Dan is where the children of Israel fell to the depths of idolatry in sacrifice to Baal and Caesarea Philippi, the site of Peter’s Confession and pagan worship. We pass by the possible site of the multiplication of loaves and fish in Bethsaida and the Mount of the Beatitudes overlooking the Sea. In Capernaum we will visit the ruins of an ancient synagogue and Peter’s home followed by a visit to well-preserved seaside village of Magdala, home town of Mary Magdalene. The recent excavation of the First Century Synagogue and well-preserved village makes Magdala one of the most interesting Biblical sites in Israel. Returning to Tiberias for a St. Peter’s Fish Lunch (on own account), we then visit the ancient Fisherman Boat at an operating Kibbutz and enjoy a relaxing cruise on the Sea of Galilee. A brief scripture reading and devotional on board brings to life the experiences of Jesus and the fishermen disciples concluding a wonderful day.
Day 5: Magdala, Jordan River Baptism Sites, Beth Shean, & Dead Sea
We begin our day 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 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” and Israel’s intricate irrigation development. We pass through ancient Jericho famed as the oldest city in the world. To the east we see the Jordan River (Qasr El Yahud) on the Israeli side of Bethany Beyond the Jordan. In this area Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist, Elijah and Elisha crossed the Jordan, as well as where the children of Israel, led by Joshua, entered the Promised Land. We will visit the Jordan River with opportunities to be baptized in the river itself. 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 6: 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. Upon entering Jerusalem, we will enjoy a devotional with an evening overlook of Jerusalem and the Temple Mount. Our lodging for the next four nights will be in Jerusalem.
Day 7: Around Jerusalem, City of David, Hezekiah’s Tunnel, Pool of Siloam
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 following days. Conditions permitting, 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. We continue 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, and the lower city wall. 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 you have seen to date.
Day 8: Mount Olives, Way of Suffering, Garden Tomb
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. From the Temple Mount we will begin the walk along the Via Dolorosa where 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. The actual place of crucifixion and burial is a very interesting study. We will enjoy a time touring the city marketplace near the Jaffa Gate on our way to the climax of the day at the Golgotha (place of the skull) site and the Garden Tomb, where we celebrate the resurrection with communion and a time of praise.
Day 9: Pentecost, Wailing Wall, Pool of Bethesda
On our way into the city we will 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. Our next stop will be the Southern Steps. During the first century, 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 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. Next, we will visit the Pool of Bethesda, Stephen's Gate and St. Ann’s Church.
Day 10: Return Homeward
Depart for the Tel Aviv Airport for our flight homeward.
Itinerary subject to change while touring for the best interest of the group.