Blog 2018-01-10T17:14:54+00:00

The City of David

Shake yourself from the dust, rise up, O captive Jerusalem; Loose yourself from the chains around your neck, O captive daughter of Zion. –Isaiah 52:2   When most people think of Jerusalem, they immediately imagine biblical times, with a triumphant David entering the city and the Temple with the Ark of the Covenant being God’s earthly home among them or where Jesus taught and so many other events took place. They may also think that the Old City is where this all took place, but that isn’t entirely the case. About 150 yeas ago, everyone thought that the Old City was the Jerusalem of ancient and in its entirety. A British officer in the Royal Engineers was hired to excavate and explore under the Temple Mount. His discoveries included the discovery of a series of tunnels and a water shaft that would become known [...]

The Young Life of Phillip Meyers

In celebration of Phillip Meyer's 50 years of serving Christian pilgrims coming to Israel, we have asked him to share about his remarkable life. Over the next year, we will share more about Phillip and Berit, as well as Immanuel Tours and how Phillip as one of the original tour operators in the country has made an impression on the entire industry!    I was born in Oberzwehren outside Kassel in June 1931 just two years before Hitler came to power in Germany. My father, a Jewish tailor had left Poland for Hamburg in the early 1920's, intending to embark on a ship to New York. Instead he met a Hebrew Christian pastor whose testimony introduced him to the Messiah. His life changed again when he met and married my mother, a fellow believer though not Jewish. Unfortunately her parents never accepted her marrying [...]

Tu B’Sheva: A New Year for the Trees

On the 15th day of the Hebrew month of Shevat, Israel celebrates the rebirth of the trees and essentially the beginning of spring. This day is referred to as Tu B’Sheva and this year it begins at sundown on January 30th and ends at sundown on January 31. Tu B’Sheva is traditionally the start of the agricultural cycle in Israel and marks the biblical tithes of crops. This calendar assisted in ensuring that biblical laws pertaining to crops were observed, such as not eating the fruit of a tree in its first 3 years of life and another that a portion of the crops were given to the poor. While a minor holiday, it still held great importance to the very agrarian society. In modern times, the day still is observed however in different ways. While it still holds more of its traditional significance [...]

Journey to Christmas: Locations of King Herod

“After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem  and asked, “Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.”  When King Herod heard this he was disturbed, and all Jerusalem with him.  When he had called together all the people’s chief priests and teachers of the law, he asked them where the Messiah was to be born. “In Bethlehem in Judea,” they replied, “for this is what the prophet has written: “‘But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah,    are by no means least among the rulers of Judah; for out of you will come a ruler     who will shepherd my people Israel.” Matthew 2:1-6   While Christmas today is seen as a time of hope, love and even fun, it [...]

Journey to Christmas: Nazareth

The story of Christmas is really a journey through Israel. In this series, we will be taking you through the story, one location at a time, and making Christ’s birth come to life for you. "Nazareth! Can anything good come from there?" Nathanael asked. "Come and see," said Philip.” John 1:46 In the last edition of our series we learned about the events of Zachariah and Elizabeth in a town in the land of Judah which today is called Ein Karem. Approximately 90 miles north of Ein Karem there was a little town in the hills of Galilee called Nazareth, a place that was known to be of poor circumstance and little consequence. It was a small town which had agriculture as its main occupation along with a few trades supporting that, such as carpentry. It was so unimportant that little mention has ever [...]

Christmas Story: Judea

The Christmas Story: Judea The story of Christmas is really a journey through Israel. In this series, we will be taking you through the story, one location at a time, and making Christ’s birth come to life for you.  In the beginning there was the Word, and the Word was with God and the Word was God. – John 1:1 In the southwestern area of the Jerusalem hills there is a small community of 2000 residents that daily sees its population multiply daily. They come as part of pilgrimages from around the world, answering a “cry from the wilderness”. The beginning of the Christmas story does not begin with Jesus’s birth, but the beginning of time itself, with Christ being present as part of the Trinity. All of history and prophecy led to the [...]

American Thanksgiving Ties to Judaism

“Let us come before him with thanksgiving and extol him with music and song. 3 For the LORD is the great God, the great King above all gods. In his hand are the depths of the earth, and the mountain peaks belong to him.” – Psalm 95:2 While Israel celebrated Sukkot during the High Holy Days, celebrations of Thanksgiving take place at different times around the world, this week taking place in the United States. Most people think of turkeys, pilgrims and Native Americans in relation to American Thanksgiving, however it has more ties to Israel and Judaism than most people realize. While Puritans were indeed Christians, they heavily drew from the Old Testament, and in fact referred to themselves as “Christian Israel”. They believed that they were a covenanted people, gaining favor from God as long as they kept His commands. With this [...]

How to Organize a Group Trip to Israel

While many trips are great for individual travel, we believe that touring the Holy Land in a group is far better for a multitude of reasons. A few of these include: • Sharing the experience with likeminded Christians, if not those close to you from your own extended family or church. • Obtaining group rates on airfare, land transportation, hotels and admissions make the trip far more affordable and open up more options. • Allows you to get the maximum out of your visit. Traveling on your own, you will struggle to get to all the sites offered on our group tour itinerary, and will not enjoy the services and insight of a licensed, knowledgeable and experienced guide. You may be reading this and having images of yourself experiencing the Holy Land with your church in your mind, but believe it will always be [...]

Ein Gedi: Oasis of Hope and History

Nearly everyone has probably heard or used the term oasis in a phrase similar to “it was like an oasis”. It is almost always in reference to finding beauty, help, or hope in a place or circumstance that one wouldn’t expect to find it. The bible references oases (plural of oasis) in many places. In such desert lands such as the Middle East, suddenly coming upon a lush ecosystem of water and foliage is not only exciting and beautiful, it can be life saving. It is powerful imagery, and no doubt placed by God in nature for the purpose of letting us understand how He can be an Oasis in the deserts of our lives. One particular oasis with important biblical history is Ein Gedi, which means “Fountain of the Kid”. This beautiful oasis is near the Dead Sea, Masada, and Qumrum caves, [...]

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