Yom Kippur: Day of Atonement

“This is to be a lasting ordinance for you: Atonement is to be made once a year for all the sins of the Israelites.” – Leviticus 16:34 From the time of the fall of mankind with Adam and Eve’s disobedience, there has been a need for repentance and atonement. God created an initial path in reconciliation in the Old Testament that was ceremonially accomplished through sacrifices and rituals, the most important of which called for in Leviticus and today referred to as the “High Holy Days”, beginning with Yom Teruah (today referred to as Rosh Hashanah) and ending ten days later with Yom Kippur. The point of the “High Holy Days” is a process of making amends for sin and wrongdoing and allowing for a fresh start for individuals as well as the Israelites as a whole with G-d. G-d spoke to Moses in [...]

Mosaic in Galilee Shows the Feeding of Five Thousand

Along the shore of the Sea of Galilee lies many sites of significance from Jesus’ ministry. This includes Tabgha, the location of the Church of the Primacy, where it is said that Jesus fed the five thousand and that Jesus appeared to the disciples the third time after his resurrection, feeding the disciples. A recent find in the Galilee however is challenging one of these stories. It isn't challenging it if happened, but perhaps where it occurred. About a mile east of the Sea of Galilee (also known as Kinneret) is an active archeological excavation site that includes a burned out church from the Byzantine era. It was built around 1500 years ago, but was destroyed by fire 200 years later, likely by conquest during the Crusader period. The remains were discovered ten years ago in the area of Hippos, an abandoned area that [...]

Israel’s Biblical Animals

When you are visiting the Holy Land, it may seem practical and obvious to just look for archeological ruins and relics and want to know exactly where things from the Bible happened. This however makes your trip and ability to comprehend the Bible incomplete! A major part of your learning is understanding the context of the Bible and the land in which the events occurred. So many things are described using examples of nature, from the weather to the terrain and the animals. Just think of Jesus' parables, if you are there during the spring you will see mustard plants all over the hills surrounding the Galilee. With this knowledge then, you will know just how small a mustard seed is. You can perhaps imagine that Jesus was in a field reaching for a mustard seed to show as an example of the lesson [...]

Language in Israel

Whenever someone travels to another country, one is often concerned about what communicating in that country will be like. What is the language? Will anyone speak English? How will I get around? In Israel, Hebrew is the nation's official language. It was resurrected from being a dead language beginning in the 1800s, after not being spoken for nearly 2000 years. While it is the most widely spoken language,  it is far from the only spoken. Arabic has special status in the government and is seen routinely throughout the country. What may be more surprising though is there is a large population that speaks English. In fact, all schools in Israel, whether Israeli or Arabic, require English through high school. English is written on many signs, and while you are there you will find that most of the locals you encounter will speak English, especially [...]

What is the Valley of Armageddon?

…15“Behold, I am coming like a thief. Blessed is the one who remains awake and clothed, so that he will not go naked and let his shame be exposed.” 16And they assembled the kings in the place that in Hebrew is called Armageddon. 17Then the seventh angel poured out his bowl into the air, and a loud voice came from the throne in the temple, saying, “It is done!" - Revelations 16:15-16   The word “Armageddon” is synonymous with end of days. Even people who have no knowledge of the Bible refer to events about the earth ending as “Armageddon”, but what exactly is it? Armageddon is a Greek word, translating the Hebrew “har Megiddo” or “hill of a place of crowds”. This is actually an incorrect term, as Megiddo is not actually that tall of a hill, but a tel, or a place where people would build upon ruins for generations. [...]

The Valleys of Jerusalem

Jerusalem, “The City of Peace” is the city where Christians and Jews yearn to ascend to. This city on a hill is surrounded by three valleys that from their depths no doubt made the gleaming Temple look even more impressive and grand; The Tyropoeon Valley, the Hinnom Valley, and the Kidron. Jerusalem has been at the center of the world for millennia and prior to its religious significance, it had strategic military advantages being surrounded by valleys which created immediate high ground. These valleys have stories and histories as well that reach far beyond just being the beginning of ascent. The Tyropoeon Valley is also known as “Valley of the Cheesemakers” (though there is no evidence any cheese was ever made there) and it divided the Old City and Mt. Moriah. Today, it is barely recognizable and is filled with houses and debris and [...]

10 Things to Do Outside in Israel

When people visit Israel, they often think that there is nothing but historical and religious things to do. While there are many of those to be sure (and they should be the focus of your tour), there is a lot more to this amazing country to do while you are here! Israel has an amazing and diverse landscape and many are very surprised when they arrive to see it. While you visit Israel, we encourage you to find ways to enjoy this beautiful Promised Land! Here are 10 outdoor activities to participate in while you are in Israel…. The Dead Sea- The Dead Sea is a bucket list for many and for good reason. Floating in the water is a unique experience, and its waters are said to have great health benefits, especially for your skin. Local Tip: Don’t shave before going in the [...]

Pilgrim’s Road at City of David

We have people come to Israel over and over again and others will ask them “how can you go back again? Haven’t you seen it all?” The answer to that is you can never see everything because new things are discovered and made available to the public every day! The newest and most exciting new location is the “Pilgrim Road”, the ancient road that was discovered in 2004 when a sewage pipe broke and it revealed the biblical “Pool of Siloam”. They then discovered a road that led directly from the pool to the Temple Mount. This revealed an amazing portal to the past and how they lived. Pilgrims would ritually clean themselves in the pool and then take the road directly to the Temple to worship for the High Holy Days (Passover, Shavuot, and Sukkot). Israel has been working for some time now [...]

Summer in Israel

Summer vacations are very common around the world and the season is known to be a very popular time to travel, however in Israel, it is considered low season. This is primarily due to the reputation of it being hot in the summer. It is a reputation well earned -it is the Middle East, after all! Although the heat is still a deterrent for many, the rising interest in visiting Israel has not left summer untouched. Many have chosen to visit Israel during it’s long, hot summer, and it can have its benefits. You may be thinking of visiting Israel yourself in the summer, and if so, here are some things for you to know… Yes, summer is hot. You can expect temperatures upwards of 100 degrees, especially in the Galilee and Southern Israel. Jerusalem and Tel Aviv are slightly cooler, and you can [...]

Pomegranates: Fruit of Israel

If you’ve spent much time in Israel, you will know that pomegranates are a big deal. Between seeing them in carvings in ancient walls, in recipes, or in decorative sculpture forms in gift shops, you see the brightly colored fruit everywhere. Beyond being a beautiful color, having a unique shape and a delicious taste the fruit also holds a place of prominence in biblical and Israeli history as well. Here are 8 facts you may not have known about the pomegranate: The pomegranate is one of the seven agricultural plants listed in Deuteronomy 8:8. Pomegranates, wheat, barley, grapes, figs, olives and dates were staples of the biblical diet. The pomegranate traditionally symbolizes fertility and love and is talked about in Song of Solomon. 4:3. King Solomon’s Temple was decorated with 400 ornamental pomegranates. There is said to be 613 seeds in each pomegranate, which [...]

The History of Immanuel Tours

To start new life in a country, far from where you were born, is never easy but I praise God that as a new immigrant to Israel in April 1962 I was relatively quickly able to stand on my own feet. To find a place of work it was important to learn the Hebrew language and I was accepted to work and study the language in a kibbutz on Mt. Carmel, Kibbutz Ramat Hashofet, which had an Ulpan for new immigrants. The other people in my class were mostly Jews from Rumania, a Jewish couple from Brazil and a few odd Jews from European countries. The members of the Kibbutz and my fellow classmates soon found out that I was a believer in Jesus as the Messiah and there were some who found it very difficult accept me but on the whole [...]

Pontius Pilate’s Name Found in Egyptian Mine

More and more discoveries are being made that bring the Bible to life. Pontius Pilate's ring was found in 2018, and now they have found an inscription speaking of him in an Egyptian amethyst mine. The discovery, made at Wadi el-Hudi, was among other inscriptions. The mine fed the massive demand for amethyst in Egypt, where people loved the purple stone. Being that the mines were in Southern Egypt, the opposite side of the country that is close to Israel, it serves as evidence of Pilate's reach and notoriety. The history of the Bible gets clearer and more vibrant every day!  

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