Friday, February 17 Depart the USA for The Holy Land of Israel
We will meet in the parking lot of Salem Baptist Church, McDonough at 9:45 AM* to load the bus and depart no later than 10:30 AM* for Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport.
Saturday, February 18
Arrive in the Holy Land We will arrive at Ben Gurion Airport, near the modern city of Tel Aviv, Israel’s largest city. We will be met and assisted through customs by an Immanuel Tours representative. We will be met by our guide and driver to transfer us to the Renaissance Hotel in Tel-Aviv for check-in, dinner & overnight.
Sunday, February 19 Joppa / Caesarea Maritime / Mt. Carmel / Tel Megiddo / Jezreel Valley / Nazareth Overlook
After breakfast we will check out of the hotel and ride to the ancient seaport of Joppa where King Solomon’s ships sailed to far-away ports and where the prophet Jonah fled from the call of God. We will then travel through the Sharon Valley along the Mediterranean coast to the ancient capital of the Roman Empire in Palestine – Caesarea Maritime. This is the place where many events in the book of Acts took place and which was also the home of Herod the Great. We will then journey to the heights of Mt. Carmel where Elijah fought the prophets of Baal where we will see the spectacular view of the Jezreel Valley upon which the future battle of Armageddon will take place. Then we will travel through the Manasseh Pass to Tel Megiddo and visit the ancient chariot city of King Solomon and walk through a water tunnel chiseled out during the days of King Ahab of the Northern Kingdom of Israel. From there we will ride through the Jezreel Valley up the hills of the lower Galilee to the overlook of Nazareth, the boyhood home of the Lord Jesus. We will then travel into the lower Galilee and spend our first night on the peaceful shores of the Sea of Galilee. Leonardo Plaza Hotel Tiberias – dinner & overnight.
Monday, February 20 Sea of Galilee – Boat Ride / Jesus Boat / Mt. Of Beatitudes / Primacy of Peter/ Capernaum / Magdala / Chorazin / Baptism After breakfast, while sailing in a replica of an ancient boat, we will have a time of worship on the Sea of Galilee. We will dock at Nof Ginnosar and see a boat of antiquity dating to the time of Christ – the “Jesus Boat.” The rest of our touring day will be spent tracing the steps of Jesus through the Galilee region as we visit the Mt. of Beatitudes, Capernaum, Magdala, Chorazin, and the ancient fisherman’s landing called the “Primacy of Peter.” Near the end of the touring day you will be offered the opportunity to be baptized in the Jordan River. Dinner & overnight at the Leonardo Plaza Hotel in Tiberias.
Tuesday, February 21 Tel Dan – Nature Reserve / Mt. Bental / Caesarea Philippi / Herod Agrippa’s Palace**/ Golan Heights / Special Overlook of Sea of Galilee** The beautiful northern mountains of Israel await you today. We will see a city gate from the time of Abraham at Tel Dan, along with an altar from the days of Israel’s divided kingdom. We will walk through the incredible nature reserve at Dan and see the beginnings of the Dan River which join with other streams to form the famous Jordan River. The water is crystal clear and pure. There is a gorgeous waterfall at the headwaters of the Jordan River that cascade into a beautiful mountain stream. Our next stop will be the site of the Apostle Peter’s confession of Christ at Caesarea Philippi, where we will see the second source of the Jordan River at Banias. Israel’s incredible history from 1948 until the present will be explained like never before as we stand upon the heights of the extinct volcano peak – Mount Bental. We will see the Golan Heights spanning from the Northern border to the Sea of Galilee and learn about the strategic importance this region has played and will continue to play to the nation of Israel. Dinner & overnight at Leonardo Plaza Hotel in Tiberias.
Wednesday, February 22 Beit Shean / Jordan Valley / Qumran / Ein Gedi / Dead Sea
This morning we leave the beautiful Sea of Galilee and will drive to visit the excavations of Beit Shean, the capital city of the Decapolis that the Romans rebuilt in 63 A.D. and renamed Scythopolis. Afterwards, we will continue to Qumran – the center of the Essenes. Qumran is the home of the ancient caves where the Dead Sea Scrolls were found. From there we drive through the Jordan Valley, via Jericho and arrive at Ein Gedi which was David’s hideout from Saul. This is a beautiful nature reserve where you can casually stroll to see the Oasis of King David and watch for the ibex and hyrax, known in our English Bibles as the rock badger or coney. To complete our journey for the day, we will drive to the Dead Sea, the lowest spot on earth, for late afternoon arrival to our hotel. Take time to enjoy the different SPA facilities*** of the hotel and you will have the opportunity to float in the Dead Sea. Dinner & overnight at the David Dead Sea Resort and Spa Hotel.
Thursday, February 23 Masada / Tabernacle Model / Red Sea
We will leave the hotel after breakfast and drive to the ancient fortress of Masada. This mighty fortress was the last stronghold and stand of the zealots against Rome, on the edge of the barren Negev Desert. Masada is a symbol of courage and perseverance for the Jewish people, where 960 Jewish defenders organized their last resistance to the Roman conquerors and took their own lives rather than surrender into slavery. From Masada we will journey south to visit the full-scale Tabernacle Model located in the desert at Timnah, Israel. Following our visit of the Tabernacle Model we will continue our journey to the southernmost modern-day resort city of Eilat on the coast of the Red Sea! Dinner and overnight at Herod’s Palace Resort.
Friday, February 24 Red Sea / Eilat – A Day of Rest and Relaxation / Petra, Jordan***
Today will be a day of rest along the Red Sea with a full day of free time to rest, shop and/or explore this resort town. At Sunset we will celebrate the coming of Shabbat (The Sabbath) with a wonderful and lavish dinner at Herod’s Palace Resort. Optional Excursion To Petra Jordan*** – Those who choose to purchase the day trip to Petra will leave early in the morning to pass through the Israel/Jordan border to meet the Jordanian Tour Guide and Driver for a day journey to Historic Petra. Those traveling to Jordan will return to Eilat for dinner. Those remaining at the hotel will be offered the opportunity for a boat ride on the Red Sea at a reasonable additional fee.
Saturday, February 25 Tel Be’er Sheva / Bethlehem – Shepherds Fields / Church of Nativity / Jerusalem Promenade Overlook
After breakfast we check out from the hotel earlier than normal and start our journey to Jerusalem. Along the way we will drive through the area of the Ramon Crater which is the world’s largest makhtesh. We will then journey to the area of ancient Avdat which is the site of a ruined Nabataean city in the Negev Desert in Southern Israel for a quick lunch stop. Avdat was the most important city on the Incense Route after leaving Petra, Jordan between the 1st BC and 7th century AD. If time allows, our journey will continue to Tel Be’er Sheva which is believed to be the ancient city of Beersheba where Abraham lived when God called him to take his son Isaac to Mt. Moriah (in Jerusalem) to offer him as a sacrifice. Like Abraham and Isaac, we will journey onward to the region of Jerusalem, traveling the same route the ancient pilgrims would have taken from the South as they made their journey to Jerusalem for the great feasts of Israel. We will enter Bethlehem to visit the Church of the Nativity, Manger Square, and the Shepherd’s Fields. As the sun begins to set, we shall arrive in the City of God, The City of David and the ancient and modern capital of Israel – Jerusalem! We will stop at The Jerusalem Promenade Overlook where we will have a beautiful view the City of Jerusalem, The Kidron Valley, and The Mt of Olives from the south. After this long but incredible day, we will check in to the Dan Jerusalem Hotel for dinner and overnight.
Sunday, February 26 Mount of Olives / Palm Sunday Road / Garden of Gethsemane / Old City / Pools of Bethesda / Eco Homo / Via Dolorosa / Jewish Quarter / Model City at Israel Museum / Tower of David Light Show
We will start the day atop the Mt. of Olives for an introduction to Jerusalem. From the Mount of Olives there is a magnificent view over all of ancient and modern Jerusalem – the center of the biblical world – including an outstanding and breath-taking view across the Kidron Valley to the Eastern Gate. We will walk down the “Palm Sunday Road” en-route to the Garden of Gethsemane and the Church of All Nations where Christ prayed on the night of his betrayal (Lk. 22:40-46). We will have a time of private worship in the Garden of Gethsemane. Next, we shall enter within the old walled city of Jerusalem and walk along the Via Dolorosa in the footsteps of our Lord as He bore the burden of our sins to the Cross at Golgotha. Along the way, we will visit the Pools of Bethesda and visit the “Stone Pavement” were Jesus was sentenced and flogged. We will then drive to the Israel Museum to view the Dead Sea Scrolls and the incredible model of the city of Jerusalem. Return to the Dan Jerusalem Hotel for dinner & overnight.
Monday, February 27 Temple Mount / Western Wall / Rabbinical Tunnels / Davidson Center and Southern Steps / The City of David** / Temple Institute / Caiaphas House
This morning we will rise and leave early to visit the most sacred place on earth, Mt. Moriah aka The Temple Mount. We will visit the Western Wall, the last standing remnant of the ancient Temple. We will also tour the incredible Rabbinical Tunnels. We will visit the Davidson Center and see Robinson’s Arch and then worship on the ancient Southern Steps. If opened by authorities, we may visit the Temple Mount and view the centuries old “Dome of the Rock” built 688 – 691 A.D. Then we will visit the “City of David” archaeological site where we may go through a portion of Hezekiah’s Tunnel** which leads to the Pool of Siloam in the Kidron Valley where Jesus restored the sight of the man born blind. We will journey to Mt. Zion where we shall stop to visit the Church of St. Peter in Gallicantu which is built over the Palace of Caiaphas, the High Priest, who imprisoned Jesus and interrogated him before his trial before the Roman Governor (Lk. 22:54). (**Only if time allows: The nearby area of the “Upper Room” along with the Tomb of King David)
Tuesday, February 28 Shiloh / Yad Vashem** / Gordon’s Calvary / Garden Tomb / Farewell Dinner / Depart Tel Aviv Airport for USA
This morning we will journey to the Biblical Land of Samaria to visit Ancient Shiloh, where the Ark of the Covenant was located for more than 300 years. During our time in Shiloh we will have a special time of worship and prayer as we pray for many couples (based on 1 Samuel 1) who are longing to have a child – biologically or through adoption. We will then return to Jerusalem to visit Yad Vashem if time allows**. This is Israel’s memorial to the 6 million Jews who were put to death by Adolf Hitler and the Nazi regime of Germany during the days of WWII. This is a moving experience that includes a visit to the children’s museum in memory of the 2 million children who were sent to their deaths at the hands of the Nazis. We will complete our pilgrimage at Calvary where Jesus was crucified for our sins, and the Garden Tomb where He was buried and raised. We will then share our final meal in the Holy Land in Abu Gosh before driving to the airport for our flight back to the USA.
Wednesday, March 1 Arrive USA / Return to Salem Baptist
Early Wednesday morning we will land in New York and proceed through Customs prior to boarding the flight to Atlanta. Upon arrival in Atlanta we will be met by the Salem Baptist motor coach to return us to Salem Baptist, McDonough.