DAY 1: TRAVEL TO ISRAEL
5,660 miles from New York City, NY to Tel Aviv, Israel
Estimated 12 hour flight
DAY 2: ARRIVE IN TEL AVIV
Tel Aviv is located on Israel's Mediterranean coastline. With a population of 438,818, Tel Aviv has the third-largest economy in the Middle East and is ranked number 31 in the most expensive cities in the world.
DAY 3: CaESAREA Maritima, MEGIDDO & ZIPPORI
Caesarea Maritima is an Israeli National Park that includes the ancient remains of the coastal city of Caesarea. This city and harbor were build during the reign of King Herod (Matthew 2:1-23). Caesarea served as the main gateway to the east for the Roman Empire. Caesarea is also the site of one of the most important events in early Christianity; the baptism of the first Gentile (Acts 10:1-2).
Megiddo is situated in the Northern part of Israel. It is one of the most strategic points in the entire Middle East. The Hebrew words for Armageddon mean "Mount Megiddo". Megiddo is the site of Biblical Armageddon, where the main battle of Christ vs. the Anti-Christ is prophesied to take place (Revelation 16:16).
DAY 4: CAPERNAUM, Sea Of Galilee,
The Mount Of Beatitudes, CAESAREA PHILIPPI,
the Ancient CITY OF DAN & the road to DAMASCUS
ZIPPORI is believed to be the birthplace of Mary, the mother of Jesus. This city was the capital of Galilee in the time of Christ and it has been suggested that, while living in Nazareth, he may have worked as a craftsman at Zippori. Much of the city has been excavated, revealing Jewish homes along a main cobblestone street as well as remains of a synagogue dated to the first half of the fifth century.
Capernaum is referenced in all four Gospels (Matthew 4:13, 8:5, 11:23, 17:24; Mark 1:21, 2:1, 9:33; Luke 4:23, 31,7:1, 10:15; John 2:12, 4:46, 6:17, 24, 59) where it was reported to have been the hometown of Jesus and the apostles. Located on the northeast side of the Sea of Galilee, Capernaum was one of the largest fishing cities during that time period. According to the Gospels, Jesus selected this town as as the epicenter of his public ministry and many early miracles happened here.
The Sea of Galilee is one of the most beautiful places in all of Israel. Contrary to its namesake, is actually a freshwater lake. We read about Jesus' first encounter with His disciples at the Sea of Galilee in Matthew 4:18-22. It is also the place where the majority of Jesus' miracles took place and is easily one of the most recognizable Biblical references in Israel.
The Mount of Beatitudes is a hill in Northern Israel where Jesus is believed to have delivered the Sermon on the Mount (Mathew 5-7). A Byzantine church was erected lower down the slope from the current site in the 4th century, and it was used until the 7th century. Remains of a cistern and a monastery are still visible. The Roman Catholic Franciscan chapel, built in 1937, currently sits at the top of the mount and is a popular tourist attraction.
CAESAEREA PHILIPPI is the first time that the disciples truly recognized Jesus as the Messiah and he commissions Peter with the keys to the Kingdom of Heaven. (Matthew 16:13-20). According to Greek Mythology, the gates of this site were known as the Gates of Hades or "Hell". The significance of Christ declaring that this place would be where he would build the foundation of His Church meant that the literal "gates of Hades" would not prevail against the Kingdom of God!
The Ancient City Of Dan
is described as the northernmost city in Israel and belonging to the tribe of Dan. According to the archaeological excavations at the site, the town was originally occupied around 4500 BC. Prior to the Tribe of Dan occupying the land (Judges 18:27-31), it was known as Laish; which translated from Hebrew means "the lion."
The Road to Damascus is one of the most significant roads in the entire bible. This road saw two epic moments in scripture. In the Old Testament, God appeared to Abram and said to him "I shall give you this land" (Genesis 15), then again when Jesus revealed himself to Paul (Acts 9:1-8). The road to Damascus is not merely a road between two cities. It is a significant part of Biblical history, as well as the symbol of Jewish and Christian heritage to the Kingdom of Heaven. In Hebrew, it is translated to mean "the place of the covenant".
DAY 5: MAGDALA, The Dead Sea, BET SHEAN, EIN GEDI
MAGDALA is an ancient city located not far from Capernaum, the home base of Jesus and the disciples. Translated from Hebrew, it means "elegant, great, or tower." Some scholars believe this to be the birthplace of Mary Magdalene. The Bible makes mention of Magdala in Matthew 15:39 after Jesus feeds the four thousand, he "sent away the multitude, got into the boat, and came to the region of Magdala."
The Dead Sea is a salt lake bordered by Jordan to the East and Israel to the West. Its surface and shores are located 1,412 feet below sea level, Earth's lowest elevation on land. The Dead Sea is 997 feet deep, the deepest hyper saline lake in the world. With a salinity of 34.2%, it is 9.6 times as salty as the ocean, making it one of the world's saltiest bodies of water. This makes for a harsh environment in which plants and animals cannot flourish, hence its name.
Bet Shean is an Israeli National Park, situated on the east side of Mount Gilboa. It is made of two different parts. The Byzantine and Roman City (which takes up the majority of the park) and the Biblical site of Bet Shean (referenced in 1 Samuel 31). This is the place where King Saul fought his final battle.
Ein Gedi translated from Hebrew, literally means "spring of the kid" (young goat). Ein Gedi is an oasis and nature reserve in Israel, located west of the Dead Sea near Masada and the Qumran Caves (Dead Sea Scrolls), and one of the most beautiful places in the east. Ein Gedi was listed in 2016 as one of the most popular nature sites in the country. It is also the location where King David had the opportunity to assassinate King Saul but chose instead to spare his life (1 Samuel 24).
Jerusalem, Mount of Olives, Garden of Gethsemane The Tower of David & the Cenacle ("UPPER ROOM")
Jerusalem is the recent, and rightfully recognized capital of Israel, located on a plateau in the Judaean Mountains between the Mediterranean and the Dead Sea. It is one of the oldest cities in the world, and is considered holy to the three major Abrahamic religions - Judaism, Christianity and Islam. During its long history, Jerusalem has been destroyed at least twice, besieged 23 times, attacked 52 times, and captured and recaptured 44 times. According to the Bible, King David conquered the city from the Jebusites (2 Samuel 5) and established it as the capital of the United Kingdom of Israel. His son, King Solomon, commissioned the building of the First Temple (1 Kings 6).
The Mount of Olives is one of the most important and significant sites in all of Israel, for both Jews and Christians alike. It is located on the east side of Jerusalem, overlooking the city. In the Old Testament, it is the prophesied location of the Messiah's return (Zechariah 14). In the New Testament this is the location of Jesus' ascension, thus fulfilling the prophecy (Acts 1:6-11).
The Garden of Gethsemane
is located at the base of the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem. It is well known as the place where Jesus prayed and the disciples slept the night before his crucifixion. (Matthew 26:36-46).
THE TOWER OF DAVID also known as the Jerusalem Citadel, is an ancient citadel located near the Jaffa Gate entrance to western edge of the Old City of Jerusalem. It contains important archaeological finds dating back over 2,000 years including a quarry dated to the First Temple period, and is a popular venue for benefit events, craft shows, concerts, and sound-and-light performances. It was built on the site of an earlier ancient fortification, after being destroyed repeatedly. The name "Tower of David" is due to Byzantine Christians who believed the site to be the palace of King David.
The Cenacle, known to most as the "Upper Room", is a room in King David's Tomb Compound in Jerusalem, traditionally held to be the site of the Last Supper (Luke 22:1-38).
DAY 7: YAD VASHEM, CITY OF DAVID & the Pool of Siloam
YAD VASHEM is Israel's official memorial to the victims of the Holocaust. It is dedicated to preserving the memory of the dead; honoring Jews who fought against their Nazi oppressors and Gentiles who selflessly aided Jews in need; and researching the phenomenon of the Holocaust in particular and genocide in general, with the aim of avoiding such events in the future.
THE CITY OF DAVID
is the archaeological site which is speculated to compose the original urban core of ancient Jerusalem.It is best known for its Iron Age structures attributed to King David and King Solomon. It also contains older Canaanite infrastructure dated to the Middle Bronze Age. The area is one of the most intensively excavated sites in the Holy Land.
The Pool of Siloam was a rock-cut pool located on the outside walls of the City of David. The pool was fed by the waters of the Gihon Spring (the only natural water source in Jerusalem), carried there by two aqueducts. The Bible tells us that King Hezekiah sought a method of securing the Gihon so that Jerusalem’s water supply was not vulnerable to being cut off during the siege of the Assyrians (2 Chronicles 32:30; 2 Kings 20:20). He dammed up the waters and cut a channel through the City of David to the Pool of Siloam (2 Chronicles 32:30). Today, a tour of the tunnels is considered a highlight of any visit to the ancient City of David - a kind of Indiana Jones adventure - ending at the Pools of Siloam.
Day 8: Garden Tomb, The Israel Museum & Elah Valley
The Garden Tomb is a rock-cut tomb in Jerusalem which was unearthed in 1867 and is considered by some Christians to be the site of the burial and resurrection of Jesus (John 19:38-42). Since 1894, the Garden Tomb and its surrounding gardens have been maintained as a place of Christian worship and reflection. As such, the Garden Tomb stands as a popular site of pilgrimage for many Christians.
The Israel Museum was founded in 1965 as Israel's national museum. An urn-shaped building on the grounds of the museum, the Shrine of the Book, houses the Dead Sea Scrolls and artifacts discovered at Masada. It is one of the largest museums in the region. Adjacent to the Shrine is the Model of Jerusalem in the Second Temple Period, which reconstructs the topography and architectural character of the city as it was prior to its destruction by the Romans in 66 CE, and provides historical context to the Shrine’s presentation of the Dead Sea Scrolls. Originally constructed on the grounds of Jerusalem’s Holyland Hotel, the model, which includes a replica of Herod's Temple, is now a permanent feature of the museum's 20-acre campus.
Elah Valley, also known as The Valley of Elah; translated from Hebrew means, "the valley of the terebinth." So called after the large and shady terebinth trees, which are indigenous to its parts.It is also one of the most fertile districts in the Middle East. Elah Valley is best known as the place described in the Bible where the Israelites were encamped when David fought Goliath (1 Samuel 17).