Don Nordin Holy Land Tour
Pastor Don Nordin
December 3-13, 2017
Tel Aviv, Israel
Day 1 & 2: – USA to TEL AVIV – Tel Aviv Hotel
Arrive in Tel Aviv and board a new, climate-controlled motor coach where our guide will greet us and give us an orientation of the land as we travel towards Jaffa. There we will consider the vision of Peter (Acts 10) and start following the sequence of events that lead to the opening of the gates of the early church to Gentiles. As we look at the very place where Jonah ran from the Lord, we will also reflect on our own walk with God. Check into our hotel on the coastal plains of the Mediterranean Sea. Dinner included.
Day 3:- Caesarea Maritima – Mount Carmel – Megiddo – The Church of the Annunciation – Nazareth Village – – Tiberias or Galilee Hotel
After a buffet breakfast, we depart the hotel on route to Caesarea Maritima, where we will visit the magnificent city with Roman, Byzantine, and Crusader ruins. Here we will elaborate on the story of the baptism of Cornelius, the first gentile convert into Christianity (Acts 10), and on the travels of Paul — those events that led Caesarea Maritima to become the springboard of Christianity to the West. We will then continue to Mount Carmel and consider the contest between the Prophet Elijah and the false prophets of Baal (I Kings 18), discussing the reasons why the Prophet chose that place for the contest, and the lessons we learn from the story. We then travel to Megiddo, and explore the Tel that goes back in history to 4000 BC, looking at ruins from the times of King Solomon and King Ahab. Overlooking the Jezreel Valley, where the battle of Armageddon will be fought. We will also discuss the reasons why we believe this will be the setting for the final battle between good and evil mentioned in Revelation 16:16. After a lunch break we travel to Nazareth where we will Visit the Church of the Annunciation and then tour Nazareth Village. A reenacted explanation of 1st century life and culture. We check into our hotel on the Sea of Galilee for the next three nights and enjoy another dinner together.
Day 4: Bethsaida – Mt. of Beatitudes – Capernaum – Boat ride
You will be encouraged each morning to rise for a private, early morning walk and a time of prayer on the shores of the Sea of Galilee. Most likely you will get to see modern fishermen using nets the way Jesus and His disciples did. After a buffet breakfast, we begin our day with a visit to the Mount of Beatitudes and discuss the Sermon on the Mount, finishing the theme that was started earlier that day. We will then proceed to the lake side site of Peter’s Primacy, that is often reputed to be the place where Jesus prepared the breakfast of fish after the resurrection and where He challenged Peter three times about his faithfulness. We will then visit Capernaum, Jesus’ Galilean ministry base. There we will see the house of Peter’s mother in law, in addition to other ruins of the village. We will stand in the ruins of the ancient synagogue where Jesus was confronted by the demoniac. We then travel to Bethsaida, the hometown of Peter, Andrew, and Philip, This is one of three cities that make up the Gospel Triangle and the location where Jesus spent two of His three years of public ministry. During our lunch break you will have the opportunity to try St. Peter’s fish, commonly eaten by people in Jesus’ day. We end our day with a visit to the ancient boat museum, containing a recently-discovered 2000-year old fishing boat. We will then sail on the Sea of Galilee on a replica of that boat. We return to our hotel. Dinner included
Day 5 – Tel Hazor – Tel Dan – Caesarea Philippi – Golan Heights – Magdala – Tiberias or Galilee Hotel
After a buffet breakfast, we begin our day with traveling to the northern boundary of Israel and begin with visiting Tel Dan, the northern extremity of Biblical Israel. Our First stop will be Tel Hazor, where we will view the ruins of the largest Canaanite city and the only place that Joshua burned. This is one of three cities mentioned in the Book of Kings as part of the building activities of King Solomon. We will move on to the Dan Stream, at Tel Dan, the largest tributary of the Jordan River and possibly the place where Psalm 42 was written (“As the dear pants for the water brook, so my soul pants for Thee…”). We will then visit the location of the altar where the golden calf was placed by King Jeroboam. There we will discuss the downfall and idolatry of the Northern Kingdom of Israel. We will then continue to Caesarea Philippi, where we will visit the ruins of the pagan altars and consider the confession of Peter in Matthew 16 “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” You will be invited to lunch where you will have the option to try falafel, a typical Middle Easter meal. We will drive further north, on the Golan Heights, to the ancient road to Damascus, where we will consider the dramatic conversion and life-transformation of Saul of Tarsus: The Apostle Paul. Before retiring for the evening, we will visit the ancient city of Magdala, the hometown of Mary Magdalene where there is a 1st century synagogue on the shores fo the Sea of Galilee. Dinner included.
Day 6: – Beth Shean –Bethany Beyond the Jordan (Baptism) – Jericho – Wadi Qelt – Jerusalem Hotel
After a buffet breakfast, we leave the area of Galilee, following the Jordan Valley Road to Beth Shean, the capital of the Decapolis. There we will see the ruins of the Roman and Byzantine cities. We will also discuss the demise of King Saul and his sons, whose bodies were hanged on the walls of Beth Shean. We will then continue traveling south to the actual location where John the Baptist was baptizing on the Jordan River. Jericho will be our next stop, where we will visit the Tel of Jericho with its ancient ruins, pointing out what possibly could be the foundations of the ramparts that Joshua and the Israelites brought down. We will then make our way to the Wadi Qelt the ancient Roman road between Jerusalem and Jericho. This road was the familiar scene to travelers of the story of the good Samaritan. We then proceed to Jerusalem for the first time in our trip. We then check into our hotel, where we will stay for the remainder of our time in Jerusalem. Dinner included.
Day 7: – Masada – Ein Gedi – Qumran – Dead Sea – Jerusalem Hotel
After a buffet breakfast, we begin our day visiting Masada, the fortress built by King Herod the Great and made famous by the Zealots in 73/74 AD with the standoff against the Romans. We visit the fortress and see the ruins that are considered a World Heritage Site by the UNESCO. We then continue to Ein Geri, the oasis in the desert where the meeting between David and King Saul took place (I Samuel 24) and where many of the psalms were written by David. After lunch, we visit Qumran, the location where the Dead Sea Scrolls where found by a Bedouin boy back in 1947. There we will see the caves and other buildings that the Essenes, the group of Jews who wrote the scrolls, lived. You will then be able to experience floating in the Dead Sea before returning to our hotel in Jerusalem.
Day 8: – Israel Museum, Model of the City, Shrine of the Book –Bethlehem – Jerusalem Hotel
After a buffet breakfast, we begin our day with a visit to the Israel Museum where we will visit the Second Temple Period Model of Jerusalem, a 1:50 scaled model of the city from the year 66 AD. We will also visit the Shrine of the Book where the Dead Sea Scrolls are on exhibit, in addition to the archeological section where many artifacts are displayed we will play special attention to those items that relate to Bible history. We then travel to Bethlehem, the birthplace of Jesus where we will have lunch. We then to the Church of the Nativity and view the actual place where Our Lord was born. We then proceed on with a visit to the Shepherds fields where the angels appeared to the shepherds and announced the birth of Our Lord. These fields are also the setting of the Book of Ruth. Time will then be given to shop for olive wood and other items. We return to our hotel. Dinner included.
Day 9: – Western Wall – Rabbinical Tunnel – Temple Mt. – St. Anne and Pool of Bethesda – Antonia Fortress – Via Dolorosa – Church of the Holy Sepulcher – Jerusalem Hotel
After a buffet breakfast, we begin our day entering the Old City and a visit to the Western Wall, a section of the Western retaining wall of the Temple Mount, and Judaism’s holiest site. We will ascend the Temple Mount, discussing its connection to both the Old and New Testaments. We will also discuss why it is considered the third holiest site in Islam. Leaving the Temple Mount, we will visit the Church of St. Anne’s, a perfectly intact Crusader church. It is a wonderful place to gather and sing a song (sometimes with fellow Christians from all over the world). There, we will also visit the pools of Bethesda where the healing at the pool took place (John 5). We will then walk the Via Dolorosa (The Way of Suffering), the actual path that Jesus walked from the Antonia Fortress to the crucifixion site. After lunch in the Old City. We will also visit the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, Jesus’ tomb. We will then spend some time in the Old City on our own visiting the shops and dealing with the vendors there. We then return to our hotel. Dinner included.
Day 10: – Mt. of Olives – Garden of Gethsemane – Southern wall excavations – Upper Room – Caiaphas’ house – Garden tomb – Jerusalem Hotel
After a buffet breakfast, we begin our day with an orientation over the holy city from the Mount of Olives, pointing out important locations within the Old City, connecting them with Biblical stories and prophecies about the return of Jesus. We will then walk down the Palm Sunday Procession road to the Garden of Gethsemane, where the passion of Jesus began. Each of us will be given some personal time in a private section of the Garden. We will then visit the Southern Wall excavations where ruins of the retaining walls of the Temple Mount are still visible. We will then gather at the teaching steps, the main entrance to the Temple where Rabbis met and taught their disciples. After lunch, we will visit the Upper Room reported to be the place where Jesus and the Disciples celebrated the Last Supper together. From there we proceed to House of Caiaphas where Jesus was taken as part of His trial the night before His crucifixion. From here we proceed to the Garden Tomb and Gordon’s Calvary. Here we will see an alternative site believed by some to the place where Jesus was crucified and buried. We will celebrate communion together here in this beautiful setting on our last night together. We return to our hotel for our last dinner provided.
Day 11: – Thursday- Departure
Travel to the airport. Return home with unforgettable memories, amazing new friends and a life-changing understanding of the Bible.
Roundtrip Non-Stop Flight – Wide-bodied trans-atlantic jets.
Porterage of Baggage – Your bags will be put on buses and taken up to your room for you.
Air-Conditioned Motor Coaches – Ride aboard a brand-new, private, air-conditioned motor coach.
Boat Ride on the Sea of Galilee – Complete the experience with prayer, singing and dancing on a 2,000 year old boat replica.
Guides Knowledgable of Historical and Biblical Context of Sites Visited
Customized Guidebook – Complete with study on where you have been and where you will go on your tour.
Superior First Class Hotels – We stay at only the best hotels the area has to offer.
Group Photos and More – Get a group photo and tons of photography opportunities!
Three Meals Daily plus Drinks Included on the Bus
Comprehensive Sightseeing – With plenty of time and opportunity for pictures.
Limited Trip Size – We strive to make your trip special and unique, so this trip offers limited group size.
Entrance Fees to Places Visited – Walk right past the ticket booth with all your Entrance Fees paid in advance!
Special Rabbinical Tunnel Visit
Masada Visit Including Round-Trip Cable Car Ride to the Top
*Some accommodations may be changed on certain tours depending on the leader’s wishes. Please see your dedicated tour page for more information.