We would like to invite you to join us for a nine day (8 nights) fully escorted Christian tour of Israel. The 2019 IEF ISRAEL TOUR will be led by John Sode-Woodhead. John is a biblical archaeologist who has spent much of his life in Israel. IEF support John in his current ministry in Israel amongst both Jews and Arabs. Due to the combined experience of John and Immanuel Tours, your tour hosts will be able to bring the sites you visit to life in a new and exciting way.
It is our hope that at the end of your visit to the land you will have a greater understanding of the historic truth of God’s word. Places you had previously only known as words on a page, you will now be able to visualize, bringing a fresh awareness of Gods truth.
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Unlike our own four seasons, Israel has two: Winter (November-March) and summer (April- October). To ensure maxim comfort the tour has been planned for November when the weather is still pleasantly warm.
On Saturday 2nd of November, the day of rest for Israeli residents, we make sure you get safely from Ben Gurion airport (Tel Aviv) to the King Solomon hotel in the city of Netanya (which means Gift of God) on the Mediterranean coast.
On Sunday 3rd of November, your tour will officially begin. After breakfast, you will be taken to the ruins of Caesarea Maritima (by the sea), which is situated between Haifa and Tel- Aviv. During the time of Jesus, it was the site of the Roman capital of the province of Judea and the seat of its Governor, Pontius Pilate. Paul spent two years in prison here before being sent to Rome. (Acts 24:27)
You will then be taken to Mt. Carmel to visit the "Place of Sacrifice" where the Prophet Elijah had an encounter with the Priests of Baal (1 Kings 18:17-40) before driving across the "Plain of Armageddon" to the town of Nazareth, a town in the hill country of Galilee where Jesus grew to manhood (Matt. 2:23). Within the town boundary lies ‘Nazareth Village’ a historical re-enactment site where you will be given a tour of the village. Your first day will then close at the Golden Crown Hotel where you will have dinner and stay overnight.
Monday 4th of November begins with a visit to the Sea of Galilee (Lake Kinneret). The Galilee is rich with memories of Jesus’ Ministry both on land and water. You will be transferred by boat from Nof Ginosar to Capernaum. You will travel then to the new Magdala visitor center where you will find the oldest excavated synagogue in Galilee and one of seven from the first century in all of Israel. You will then visit the Mt. of Beatitudes, the site of the Sermon on the Mount, from the top of which there is a wonderful panoramic view over the Sea of Galilee. Your day will conclude by a visit to Beit Saida “The House of the Fisherman”, the location where Jesus healed the blind man (Matt. 11:21) and a city often visited by Jesus, before you go to your hotel.
On Tuesday 5th of November you will drive to the northern part of Galilee to visit, first Hazor, and then Tel Dan which was the northernmost town in biblical Israel (hence the saying “from Dan to Beersheba”). You will then travel to one of the sources of the River Jordan at Banias, which is the site of Caesarea Philippi where the Apostle Peter made his confession of faith (Matt. 16:13-17). Then we drive along the Golan Heights to see the signs of the more recent historical conflict that took place there.
Wednesday 6th of November will find you visiting the Yardenit baptismal site before continuing your drive southwards down through the Jordan Valley via Jericho and the Qumran caves where the Dead Sea scrolls were found in the Judean Wilderness, to the Mountain fortress of Masada. This was the site of the last Jewish resistance against the Romans in 73AD. Ascent and descent will be by cable car as the climb to the top can take an hour and is very arduous.
Having toured the ancient fortress site, we will drive to the Bianchi Resort hotel at the Dead Sea. Here we stay overnight and have the opportunity to bathe in the waters of the Dead Sea which is bordered by Israel on the west and Jordan on the east. It is almost impossible to swim in the Dead Sea because of the high salt content of the water, but you can float!
Thursday 7th of November, you will be driven to the "City of God", Jerusalem, and take a first glimpse from the top of Mt. of Olives, one of the heights surrounding the Holy City. From here you will get a panoramic view of both ancient and modern Jerusalem, the city that remains the centre of the biblical world. From there you will walk down to the Garden of Gethsemane. You will then visit the Garden Tomb site where you will share Communion.
In the afternoon, you will be taken to visit the New City. You will visit Yad Vashem, the Holocaust History Museum, a memorial site. The name "Yad Vashem" is taken from a verse in Isaiah 56:5. You will also visit the Israel Museum where you will see a model of Jerusalem as it stood during the 2nd Temple period. The tour will be concluded at the Shrine of the Book where the Dead Sea Scrolls are housed.
You will then be transferred to the Ramat Rahel Hotel, where you will stay the remain-ing nights in Jerusalem.
Friday 8th of November you will tour the Old City of Jerusalem. You will start with a visit to Hezekiah's Tunnel which was carved out by Hezekiah’s men around 701BC. You will then visit the last standing remnant of the ancient Temple which is currently known as the Western (Wailing) Wall.
The afternoon will be free to wander round Jerusalem, find your way to Bethlehem, or visit the Western Wall for the beginning of Shabbat.
Saturday 9th of November, on the final day of your tour we will be visiting the archeological excavation sites of Beth Shemesh, Azeka, and Lachish, with John as the archeologist - places where the accounts of the ark of the covenant, of David and Goliaith, and of the defeat of Israel against the Assyrians come alive. You will then return home on Sunday 10th November.
On Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Saturday we will have evening reflections that will include local guest speakers.
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