Join us in the Bible Lands this year with soloist Sandra Entermann for a music-fest worship tour that you will never forget! Scripture will come to life as we visit the towns and cities where Jesus lived, died and rose again. As we visit each historic site you will come to understand the teacher from Galilee in the context of His time and culture. Each day our worships will occur at a specially chosen Biblical location to help us appreciate more fully God’s goodness to us through the nation of Israel and through the Messiah – Jesus Christ. And as you engage in Scripture after our tour you will forever see in your mind’s eye the places where it happened.
Queen Alia International Airport, Amman, Jordan
This morning we arrive at Queen Alia International Airport, Amman, Jordan. Welcome to our tour! On arriving we are met by our local tour director, who will escort us during our travels in Jordan. Today we start by visiting the ancient ruins of Amman (the Biblical city of Rabbah) and the place where King David sent Uriah into battle to be killed by the Ammonites. This afternoon we visit the beautifully preserved ancient ruins of Jerash, one of the 10 cities of the Decapolis, and considered to be one of the largest and most well preserved sites of Roman architecture outside of Italy.
Our first stop is Madaba, the Moabite city conquered by the Israelites as they made their way to the Promised Land. Next is Mt Nebo, where we take in the view across the Dead Sea into Israel, the same vantage point from where Moses longingly viewed Canaan before he died. Next is Machaerus—the ruins of Herod’s fortress and the place where John the Baptist was beheaded. This afternoon we head down the Kings Highway to Petra, driving through ancient territory that the Israelites traversed as they made their way to the Promised Land .
Today brings one of the highlights of the tour! We visit the ancient site of Petra, the Edomite city that existed in the time of Christ but was lost to the world for centuries. Carved out of rock in the various gorges and cliff faces, it is one of the New 7 Wonders of the World. Walking down the Siq (the narrow gorge that leads into this spectacular city) and glimpsing the treasury building in the widening gap in the rock is an unforgettable experience. We spend a whole day exploring here.
Overnight—Dead Sea, Jordan.
This morning we start with a float in the Dead Sea, the most concentrated salt water on the planet. Next we head to Bethany Beyond Jordan, the traditional site of the baptism of Jesus where we enjoy morning worship. After crossing into Israel we head to Jericho and visit the ancient tel, the city that the Israelites marched around daily for seven days as they began the conquest of Canaan. Our last treat for the day is the first glimpses of the Sea of Galilee as we wend our way to Tiberius, which will be home for the next few nights. Time permitting, we will open Sabbath on the shore of Galilee.
This morning we visit an ancient synagogue in Tiberius, where we will have our morning worship. Next we enjoy a boat ride on the Sea of Galilee. As we look at the surrounding hills and countryside where Jesus taught the multitudes, and as we sail over the waters He calmed during a storm, we take time to worship the God who became man and once inhabited this place. Next up we visit the Mount of Beatitudes, where Jesus gave the Sermon on the Mount. After lunch we continue on to Capernaum, where Jesus visited the home of Peter, healed the multitudes, and taught in the synagogue. Next is a visit to Kursi in the Biblical region of the Gadarenes, where Jesus freed two men from the bondage of Satan. Finally we head back to Tiberius, after having completed a full circuit of the Sea of Galilee.
This morning we head to Nazareth, the place where Gabriel appeared to Mary, and also the boyhood home of Jesus. We also visit Mount Precipice, believed to be the site from which the angry mob tried to throw Jesus from a cliff. While enjoying the spectacular view of Galilee we also enjoy morning worship. Next is Nazareth Village, which depicts life as it was in the time of Jesus. This afternoon we visit Sepphoris—a town to close to Nazareth that although not mentioned in Scripture played a significant role in the lives of those who grew up in Nazareth in the time of Christ.
Following breakfast we head north to the Biblical site of Bethsaida, a remote site of ruins where Jesus miraculously healed the sight of a blind beggar. Morning worship is here in the bush away from the crowds. Heading further north we enjoy spectacular views of Mt Herman before coming to Dan, the place where Jeroboam erected an alter to lure the Israelites away from festival pilgrimages to Jerusalem. We also visit the city gate that dates from the time of Abraham, and take a walk through the National Park to Israel’s most spectacular waterfall.
After lunch we explore Banias, the Biblical city of Caesarea Philippi, which lies at the foot of Mt Herman, and where Herod the Great built a pagan temple to Pan. Here we view the spring that is the source of the Banias River, a major tributary of the river Jordan as it flows down to the Sea of Galilee.
Overnight—Sea of Galilee.
Today we head south to Jerusalem. First is Mt Carmel where Elijah slew the prophets of Baal. We look over the sweeping view of Israel to the east and south, the Mediterranean Sea to the west, and Mt Hermon to the north. Next is the ruins of the ancient fortified city of Megiddo, famous for its battles in the time of Israel and beyond, and pictured in the New Testament as Armageddon.
Next we head to the ruins of Caesarea—the seaside town in which Cornelius received his vision telling him to send for Peter at Joppa. We visit the Roman amphitheatre and take a stroll around the ruins alongside the shores of the Mediterranean Sea. Next is Tel Aviv en route to Jaffa, (the Biblical seaside city of Joppa) where Jonah ran from God to Tarshish, and where Peter received his vision of Acts 10 launching the Gospel to the Gentiles. This evening we arrive in Jerusalem, home for the next few days.
The Temple Mount is our first stop today, where we view the Dome of the Rock and site of Solomon’s Temple. We also visit the Rabbinic tunnels that run under the Western Wall. Continuing on we head to the Mount of Olives where we take in the panoramic view of the Temple Mount and Old City of Jerusalem, before descending down the route that Jesus took as He descended into Jerusalem riding on a donkey. At the conclusion of this walk we visit the Garden of Gethsemane where we take some time for private worship and solitude. After visiting the Pool of Bethesda, we walk the Way of the Cross, or the Via Dolorosa, before arriving at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre.
Later this afternoon we have free time to explore the Old City and shop in the Arab Markets. After dinner we head out to the Tower of David Sound and Light Show, a spectacular 3D production that tells us about the different periods of Jerusalem’s history.
Heading south we stop at Qumran—the site of the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls just 60 years ago, verifying the accuracy of Scripture. Next stop is an oasis in the wilderness—En Gedi, where David hid from Saul and wrote many of the Psalms. We take a short walk through the National Park to a refreshing waterhole. This afternoon we fast forward to the time of the Jewish Revolt at Masada—the spectacular cliff-top fortress where 960 Jewish zealots chose death at their own hands rather than surrender to the overwhelming Roman forces. We ascend by cable car and enjoy breathtaking views of the Dead Sea and surrounding mountainous regions.
This morning we visit the field of the Shepherds, the traditional site where the angels visited the shepherds, and then Bethlehem and the famous Church of the Nativity built over the traditional site where Jesus was born. Next we trace Jerusalem to its earliest origins, founded in the ancient City of David, where we view an archaeological site dating from the time of Abraham. For those who wish we take a walk through Hezekiah’s tunnel.
Tonight we welcome Shabbat with Jewish friends at the Western Wall.
This morning we worship at the Seventh-day Adventist church in Jerusalem, and share fellowship lunch with new friends. This afternoon we visit the Shrine of the Book, which houses the famous Dead Sea Scrolls, and then on to a stunning model of Jerusalem in the second temple period.
Lastly we visit the Garden Tomb. Here, through Communion, during our final worship service together we celebrate the life, death and resurrection of the One who makes eternal life possible for us. Tonight after closing Shabbat at the Western Wall we enjoy our farewell dinner together.
This morning we say goodbye to our new friends and head back across the Jordan to Amman for home or on to other destinations.