FROM DAN TO BEERSHEBA ~ A 13-DAY TOUR OF ISRAEL
Hosted by Dr. Jerry and Sue Rueb
April 28 - May 10, 2013
This trip of a lifetime is a complete tour of the Holy Land like very few tourists experience. Dr. Jerry Rueb has planned a comprehensive itinerary that will cover all the important biblical sites at a reasonable price. No other place on earth is as significant to a follower of Jesus as Israel. Along this journey you will use your Bible as your guide to each destination. The people and stories of the Bible will come alive for you as we relive the events described in the sacred text. You will be amazed that after over 2000 years, the places and archeological sites where Jesus and the prophets walked are still there to see and to touch. You can expect God to reveal Himself as you walk through each Bible location and listen to the absorbing descriptions from Dr. Jerry and David Assael, our most outstanding Israeli guide. You will strengthen Christian community with others on this tour and worship God in this amazing place.
Sunday, April 28 - DAY 1
We leave the States for a journey to the land where the Bible will unfold before our eyes. We will walk, see, feel and touch the roots of our faith, encounter God and sense His presence.
Monday, April 29 - DAY 2
Flying over the Atlantic Ocean and over Europe, we reach the shores of God's land. Upon our arrival to the Ben Gurion airport we will be met by our guide and transferred to our hotel on the coast of the Mediterranean, for a wonderful buffet dinner and a good night’s rest.
Tuesday, April 30 - DAY 3: COASTAL PLAINAfter a rich Israeli breakfast we will begin our tour of Israel at Caesarea, city of Cornelius the Centurion, the first Gentile to convert (Acts 10). We will visit the Roman theatre, walk on the pier used by the apostle Paul on his way to Rome and see the impressive water aqueduct built by Herod the Great. Leaving the Mediterranean, we will travel north to Mt. Carmel, where Elijah held the contest with 450 prophets of Baal (1 Kings 18). At noon, a memorable experience is awaiting us, as we stop for a typical Falafel Meal at the Druze village of Daliat El-Carmel. The afternoon will be dedicated to a trip through the Valley of Jezreel. At Megiddo we will view the excavations of 21 superimposed cities, the remains from Solomon's days (1 Kings 9). At the end of the day we will drive through Nazareth, where Jesus spent most of His life. We will make a stop at Mt of Precipice (Luke 4) for a wondrous view of Nazareth and the Valley of Armagedon. We will drive by Cana of Galilee where Jesus performed His first miracle at the wedding feast (John 2) and continue to our hotel in the beautiful region of Galilee.
Wednesday, May 1 - DAY 4: AREA OF THE TRIBE OF DAN
Today is dedicated to the spectacular northern part of Israel. Following the accounts described in the Gospel of Luke chapter 9, we will drive through the Hula Valley to reach Mt. Hermon, where the miracle of Transfiguration occurred. We will visit the Banias, one of the headwaters of the Jordan River and site of Caesarea Philippi, where Peter confessed Christ's divinity. From there, we will continue to the Dan Nature Reserve. After a refreshing walk through the beautiful reserve and a taste from the cool water, we will discover the Jeroboam's Altar (1 Kings 12). We will also see a city gate from the time of Abraham the Patriarch and learn about the importance of the gate in the social life of the city in the Old Testament times. Our final stop will be at Capernium, where Jesus taught in the synagogue and spent much of His ministry (Matthew 4).
Thursday, May 2 - DAY 5: AROUND THE SEA OF GALILEE
Today we will be visiting the places where Jesus spent most of his public life, and the sites you have read about all of your life. Using a replica of the wooden fishing boat from the disciples’ time, we will sail on the Sea of Galilee and recall Jesus’ experiences with the fishermen. Then we will continue to the Mount of Beatitudes, where Christ preached the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7). Driving around the lake we will visit Tabgha, place of the feeding of the 5000 (Matthew 14). We will also stop by the Jordan River for a Baptism service in the same water where Jesus was baptized. In the afternoon we will visit Beth Shean (1 Samuel 31), a Decapolis Capital mentioned in the Gospels. We will walk on the ancient streets and view the Roman steam baths, the theatre coliseum, market and temples.
Friday, May 3 - DAY 6: JORDAN VALLEY - MASADA
We will leave the beautiful Galilee and head down south to the Jordan Valley, passing by Jericho, the oldest city in the world and a beautiful oasis (Joshua 3). We will visit Qumran, site of the Dead Sea Scrolls discovery. Then we will visit the astonishing ruins of Masada. Using a cable car, we will reach Herod's magnificent fortress, site of the Zealots' stand against Rome. Well-preserved storehouses, cisterns, and palaces will be among the features to visit. A nice ride along the Dead Sea will bring us to our hotel, located in the lowest place in the world - 1300 feet below sea level!
Saturday, May 4 - DAY 7: DEAD SEA AREA
We will spend the morning at Ein Gedi, where David wrote some of his beautiful psalms. After a short hike, we will reach the waterfall where David cut off Saul's skirt (1 Samuel 24). Before returning to our hotel, we will visit the area of Sodom and Gomorrah and see its salt mines. We will enjoy the rest of the day swimming the the Dead Sea. Those who would like to will be able to enjoy the hotel's spa as well.
Sunday, May 5 - DAY 8: BEERSHEBA - PHILISTINE COUNTRY
We will begin our day crossing part of the Wilderness of Judea, where we will become acquainted with the Bedouin life. Our first destination will be Beersheba, where Abraham made the covenant with Abimelek and stopped his wanderings (Genesis 21). We will visit the ancient city gate, some of the houses, the water system, and the well dug by Abraham. Using the Gaza Road that Philip rode with the Ethiopian eunuch (Acts 8), we will reach Tel Maresha. The site was recently opened to the public, holding outstanding remains from the Hellenistic, Roman, and Byzantine days. We will also visit the Bells' Caves, ancient quarries from which material was extracted for the production of cement 2000 years ago. At the Elah Valley you will be able to pick up your own stone from the brook where David killed Goliath (1 Samuel 17). Towards the end of the day we will start ascending to the Golden City of the Mighty King: JERUSALEM.
Monday, May 6 - DAY 9: MT. OF OLIVES - CITY OF DAVID
We begin the day at the Mt. of Olives with a magnificent overview of Jerusalem and an explanation of its history. Then, we will walk down the Palm Sunday road to the Garden of Gethsemane, site of Jesus' betrayal (Luke 22). We will continue on to visit the City of David, Hezekiah's Tunnel and the Pool of Siloam, where Jesus healed the blind man (John 9). Finally, at Yad Vashem, the museum of the Holocaust, we will better understand the miracle of Israel's revival and return to the Land, as promised by God.
Tuesday, May 7 - DAY 10: ISRAEL MUSEUM - OLD CITY of JERUSALEM
We will spend most of the morning at the Israel Museum. Here we will have a chance to visit the Model of Jerusalem during Jesus' time to obtain an excellent perspective of the city as it was then. We will visit the Shrine of the Book, where the Dead Sea Scrolls are housed, and view the ossuary of Caiphas and Pontius Pilatus stone. We will spend the rest of the day in the Old City. After a quiet moment of prayer at the Wailing Wall, we will visit the Ophel digs. We will walk on the First Century Street, used by pilgrims for centuries, while viewing the remains of the Temple and the steps used by Jesus when entering it (Luke 19, Matthew 21). We will continue to the Jewish Quarter, to visit the extensive area uncovered by archaeologists, including the Burnt House at the Herodian Quarter, where we will see the interior of houses from Jesus' time, complete with ashes indicating Jerusalem's destruction. Towards the end of the day we will walk through the Cardo and Hezekian's Wall, towards the Arab Market and bazaar and leave the Old City through the Jaffa Gate.
Wednesday, May 8 - DAY 11: BETHLEHEM - FREE AFTERNOON
In the morning we will visit Bethlehem, the birthplace of Jesus, and the Church of the Nativity. We will continue to the pastoral Shepherds' Field, where David raised his sheep and where the Good News about Jesus' birth was announced (Luke 2). Back in Jerusalen, the rest of the day will be free. This will allow us to rest and absorb the information we have come to obtain. You may want to use this day to revisit a certain site, stroll on your own, or do some shopping. Our tour bus will function as a shuttle, and different activities will be suggested.
Thursday, May 9 - DAY 12: JERUSALEM’S CHRISTIAN SITES
We will begin our last tour day in the city by retracing Jesus’ last steps in Jerusalem. First we will visit the Temple Mount and the impressive Dome of the Rock. After a visit to the Upper Room we will enter St. Stephen's Gate and come to the Pool of Bethesda, where Jesus healed the lame man (John 5). After a time of singing in St. Anne's Church, we will view the remains of the Antonia Fortress, site of Jesus' trial (Matthew 27). We then will follow the Way of the Cross out of the Damascus Gate to the Garden Tomb, and culminate our tour with a communion service at Calvary, the site of Jesus' crucifixion.
Friday, May 10 - DAY 13
We will have an early departure for home, after fulfilling a lifetime dream of seeing, touching and breathing the very places we have only read about until now. Arriving home, our Bible will never be the same, for it has come alive in front of our eyes and will be in our hearts forever.
This itinerary is subject to local conditions at the time of the tour, and may change at the discretion of the tour director(s) or land operator.
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