July 7: Capernaum, Magdala, and the Jesus Boat
Our day begins as we retrace the steps of Jesus by walking through the hills around Capernaum, where Jesus often taught and instructed his disciples as recorded in the Semon on the Mount in Matthew. After walking down to the Sea of Galilee, we will see the remains of an ancient boat that dates to the time of Jesus and then take a boat ride on the Sea of Galilee.
After sailing from Tiberias to Capernaum, we visit the ancient remains of the city of Capernaum. Capernaum is an ancient fishing village on the north shore of the Sea of Galilee. Capernaum was the hometown of the Apostle Peter, and the place where Jesus healed a paralytic and Peter's mother-in-law (Mk. 1:21, 29). Jesus made Capernaum the main base of his Galilean ministry. Today a church stands on the spot where Peter's house was supposedly located. The house does date back to Jesus' time and appears to have been a sacred site by the mid-1st century.
After lunch, we will visit two other towns Jesus frequented: Chorazim and Magdala.
Dinner and Overnight Dinner and Overnight at Ron Beach Hotel, Tiberius.
July 8: Tel Jezreel, Mount Carmel, Caesarea
On our way to Tel Aviv, we will first stop at three Old Testament sites: Gideon's Spring, Tel Jezreel, and Mount Carmel. Gideon's Spring is the place where God had Gideon send most of his army back home before fighting the Midianites. Jezreel was a major Biblical city, and at the 9th Century BC it was the northern capital of the Israel Kingdom. The Bible tells about many events associated with the city: the King's palace in the city; the battle of the Gilboa when King Saul was killed; Naboth's vineyard and the plot of Jezebel to posses it; and Jehu and the death of Jezebel and her son. From here we travel to Mount Carmel--the site where the Prophet Elijah battled with the priests of Baal as recorded in 1 Kings 18.
After lunch, we will visit Caesarea Maritima, the site of Herod the Great's famous man-made harbor. Caesarea was the only harbor in ancient Israel. In addition to sailing in and out of this harbor during his missionary journey's, the apostle Paul was also imprisoned here for several years. Caesarea was also a key location for the Crusaders in the Middle Ages.
Once we check in to our hotel in Jerusalem, we will eat supper and head off to a the Tower of David Sound and Light Show.
Dinner and overnight at the Leonardo Hotel in Jerusalem.
July 9: Hezekiah Tunnel and the Herodium
Today we being with an early morning visit to the Church of the Holy Sepulcher--the place where Jesus rose from the dead. This is one of the busiest sites in all of Jerusalem as Christians from all the world travel to see where Jesus was crucified, buried, and resurrected. Visiting in the morning will allow us to bypass most of the crowds.
Later in the morning we will visit The City of David--the archaeological remains of the city that dates back to the reign of King David. During our visit we will walk through Hezekiah's tunnel, a 1,500-foot-long-tunnel created by King Hezekiah in 701 BC to protect Jerusalem’s water source, the Gihon Spring, from the invading Assyrians (2 Chron. 32:2-4). It will be an experience you will never forget.
After a late lunch, we will visit the Herodium--Herod's palace and desert fortress just outside of Bethlehem. It also served as Herod's burial site, which was recently discovered.
We will have some free time in the early evening to do some souvenir shopping!
Dinner and over night at the Leonardo Hotel.
July 10: Jericho Road and the Good Samaritan Inn
Today we get to experience Jesus' story of the Good Samaritan. We will head out to the Judean Desert to walk the Jericho Road, stopping at the St. George Monastery, and the visiting an ancient inn from the time of Jesus.
In the evening we will attend a special sound and light show on the history of King David.
Dinner and Overnight at the Leonardo Hotel in Jerusalem.
July 11: The Temple Mount
Today we walk in the steps of Jesus as we spend the day exploring the sites and sounds of the old city. The first stop of our walking tour takes us to the Wailing Wall (also known as the Western Wall), originally part of the retaining wall that supported the ancient Jerusalem Temple before it was completely destroyed by the Romans in A.D. 70. The exposed section of the wall is approximately 62 feet high with another 40 or some feel underground. From the Wailing Wall we walk to the Temple Mount, the original site of the Jewish Temple and current home of the Dome of the Rock. After exploring the Temple Mount for a couple of hours, we will head over to the Davidson Center where we will be able to walk around the foundation of the temple and see the place were people entered the Temple in Jesus' day--and perhaps the spot where Peter and John healed the lame man in Acts.
After lunch, we visit the Herodian Quarter, where we will see homes of wealthy priestly families who lived in Jerusalem at the time of Jesus. One of the homes may even be the residence of the High Priest Annas, who was involved in the trial of Jesus.
Our last stop of the day is the Israel Museum in Jerusalem. Founded in 1965 as the national museum of Israel , the museum has become one of the leading art and archaeology museums in the world. The Museum has extensive collections of biblical archaeology, Judaica, ethnography, fine art, and artifacts. It is also the home to the Shrine of the Book which houses the Dead Sea Scrolls discovered 1947–56 in 11 caves in and around Qumran, as well as archaeological remains from the Zealots who died at Masada. The museum also is home to the Aleppo Codex, a 10th-century manuscript believed to be the oldest complete copy of the Jewish Scriptures in Hebrew. Another popular attraction of the museum is a detailed model of Jerusalem as it was in A.D. 66, the year in which the Great Revolt against the Romans erupted, leading to the eventual destruction of the city and the Temple.
Dinner and Overnight at the Leonardo Hotel in Jerusalem.