Trip Experiences for our 11 Day Summer Israel Tour


August 6-16, 2023    



Wadi Qelt John DeLancey

"Life transforming Israel tours & teaching in the context of the land of the Bible"

Group Photos

Caesarea Group Aug 23 Israel Tour John DeLancey
Katzrin Aug 23 Israel Tour John DeLancey
Yardenit Jordan River Aug 23 Israel Tour John DeLancey
Masada Sunrise Aug 23 Israel Tour John DeLancey
Wadi Qelt Aug 23 Israel Tour John DeLancey
Nazareth Precipice Aug 2023 Israel Tour John DeLancey
Hill 713 Aug 23 Israel Tour John DeLancey
Capernaum Group Aug 23 Israel Tour John DeLancey
 Masada Aug 23 Israel Tour John DeLancey
Hezekiah's Tunnel Jerusalem Aug 23 Israel Tour John DeLancey
Gamla Aug 23 Israel Tour John DeLancey
Arbel Aug 23 Israel Tour John DeLancey
Sea of Galilee Boat Ride  Group Aug 23 Israel Tour John DeLancey
 Masada Aug 23 Israel Tour John DeLancey
Rampart Walk Jerusalem Aug 23 Israel Tour John DeLancey

360 Photos




Day 1 & 2 – Sunday-Monday, August 6-7: Depart U.S, Flight & Arrival in Israel


Our trip began today! Various flights were used for the 24 of us to fly to the Ben Gurion Airport in Tel Aviv. Some arrived early, while half the group arrived late to a 4-hour flight delay out of Newark. However, we all arrived safely, with luggage in hand too (which is a blessing in today’s travel world). Eventually by 10 p.m the Newark group arrived at the first night’s hotel in Netanya. We all are anticipating our first full here in Israel tomorrow.

Tel Aviv, Israel
Welcome to Israel Ben Gurion Airport BIMT January 2022 Israel Tour
Netanya Sunset Sept 2022 Israel Tour John DeLancey

Day 3 – Tuesday, August 8: Caesarea, Megiddo, Beth Shean, Precipice of Nazareth, Tiberias


Today was our first full day here in Israel. We are all excited to engage with the Bible and the primary land where biblical events took place. The day’s weather was very warm and with full sun (to be expected in August). After a wonderful full breakfast, we loaded the bus and left about 7:30. We read Psalm 100 as we drove north to our first site. We also learned the song, “Oh, the Sun’s Coming Up.” 🙂 Everyone was thrilled to meet Mary, our “hiker” using “Rosie,” BIMT’s new one-wheel device purchased this spring. Thanks to Pastor Kevin and his team to joining us (again) for another Israel trip!


Caesarea Maritima

We drove north in the Sharon Plain to get to our first site, Caesarea Maritima. It was a city built between 22-10 BC by Herod the Great.We started the the theater where we read portions of Acts 10, 12, 21, and 26. Peter, Phillip, and Paul were all here sharing their faith in Christ. Among the ruins the praetorium (palace, where we saw a replica of the Pilate Inscription found in 1961 in secondary use), hippodrome, and the area of the harbor. We then entered the Crusader part of the city. We ascended to the top for a great view of the harbor below. Before leaving the site, we also saw the aqueduct that brought fresh water into Caesarea from the Carmel Range.



Leaving Caesarea, we drove through the Carmel Range (or Mt. Carmel), using the Jokneam Pass. This range separates the Sharon Plain with the Jezreel Valley. We descended to the edge of the Jezreel Valley to Megiddo, an archaeological site that has about 25 levels of occupation that span 2,500 years! After seeing a model of the tel (ancient mound), we walked to the top of this Canaanite/Israelite site. We saw two Canaanite gate complexes, the gate, stables and palace area of Solomon (1 Kings 9:15), a sacrificial altar (Canaanite), and a grain silo. The also enjoyed a great view of the surrounding hills from here and the valley itself (Revelation 16:16). We left the site through the impressive water system that was designed and engineered to safely bring water into the city. Mary and “Rosie” even made it down into the water system! Remarkable.


Beth Shean

Next, we drove east through the Harod Valley (and eastern extension of the Jezreel Valley) to Beth Shean, the only city of the Decapolis on the west side of the Jordan. We passed by Mt. Gilboa (1 Samuel 31), the Hill of Moreh (Judges 6-7), Shunem (2 Kings 4), and the site of Jezreel (1 Kings 18, 21; 2 Kings 8-9), on our drive east. Beth Shean is a massive archaeological site, primarily Roman. Following a quick lunch in modern Beth Shan, we entered the site from the back gate. We walked to the top of the OT site that provided a great view of the Jordan Valley to the east and the Roman city below us to the west. We walked down 190 steps to see the Roman bathhouse, the colonnaded street, and the impressive theater. 


Precipice of Nazareth

We drove back into the Jezreel Valley to get to the area of Nazareth. We ascended towards the top of the Precipice. A short walk took us to a panoramic view of the Jezreel Valley. We enjoyed a beautiful breeze from here. We read from Luke 4 about Jesus’ synagogue teaching. While Nathaniel asked, “What good can come out of Nazareth?” It was Philip who replied, “Come and see!” (John 1). We celebrated Jesus as Messiah!


Sea of Galilee

It took about an hour (past Cana, John 2 and 4) to arrive at our hotel in northern Tiberias (Ron Beach) along the western coastline of the Sea of Galilee. We enjoyed dinner here followed by free evening.

Caesarea Aug 2023 Israel Tour John DeLancey
Beth Shean Theater August 2023 Israel Tour John DeLancey
Caesarea Luke 5 Rosie Aug 2023 Israel Tour John DeLancey
Nazareth Precipice Mt Tabor Aug 2023 Israel Tour John DeLancey
Megiddo Aug 2023 Israel Tour John DeLancey
Sea of Galilee Ron Beach Aug 2023 Israel Tour John DeLancey

Day 4 – Wednesday, August 9: Gamla, Qatzrin, Mt. Hermon, Dan


Today was another sunny summer day, but with cooler day as we headed north in the Golan Heights. Following a wonderful breakfast (what a spread!),  we left the hotel at 7:20 and read Mathew 4 as we departed.



We drove around the northern end of the lake before turning south on the eastern side. We then ascended into the Golan Heights and to Gamla, our first site of the day. Gamla was a Jewish city that played a significant role in the First Revolt (66 AD). The Romans came here and defeated the city run 67 AD. Many in the group walked down (and then back up) the difficult trail to the excavations. Even Mary on “Rosie” made it down. What an incredible effort the Luke 5 folks displayed to make it happen. No doubt Mary is the very first disabled person who ever went down this trail! We entered the 1st century synagogue where we read from Matthew 9. Even though Gamla is not mentioned in the Gospels, there is a high probability that Jesus taught from this rectangular synagogue!



We drove north from Gamla on the eastern side of the lake before turning east to Katzrin. A Talmudic Village was here (from about the 3rd-8th centuries AD). We saw good examples of olive presses, the synagogue, and other house structures. We then gathered in a completely-restored stone house where we read from Mark 2. We could see the story unfolding before our eyes! Kevin shared briefly about the Luke 5 ministry.


Syrian Border

As we drover further north to the Syrian border, From here we could see over the border to a city inside Syria called Kuneitra. On the bus, Mickey still shared a brief word on the 1967 and 1973 wars that took place here, as well as the current situation in Syria. We enjoyed some apples, bananas, and snacks that David bought for us for lunch.


Mt. Hermon

Driving through a few Druze towns, we arrived at the base of Mt. Hermon at a distance. It is the highest peak in the region (Syria has a peak of 9,200, Israel 7,300, and Lebanon the lower northern slopes). We all went up the gondola to the top of the ski resort (about 6,800 feet). Ten in the group hiked down the difficult rocky path while the rest took the gondola back down. The view was excellent. Mt. Hermon is mentioned a few places in the Bible (Psalm 42, 84, 133; Son of Songs 4).


Driving Past Caesarea Philippi/Banias

Descending down of the Golan Heights, we passed by the archaeological site of Caesarea Philippi. This was a very pagan city in the days of Jesus and through the Roman Period. The city enjoyed the waters of the Banias Spring, one of the three tributaries of the Jordan. We read from Matthew 16 where Jesus asked His disciples the “final exam” question, “Who do you say I am?” Among the ruins at the Grotto once stood the Temples of Augustus, Zeus/Jupiter, Nemesis, the Shrine of the Dancing Goats, and the niches dedicated to Pan, the promiscuous shepherding god of the Greeks and Romans. Six days later, Jesus was transfigured (perhaps somewhere on the slopes of Mt. Hermon, Matthew 17).


Dan Nature Preserve & Archaeological Site

Our last site to visit was the nature preserve and Tel Dan. The Dan Spring served this ancient city originally called Laish. We walked along the river to a quite place where we recalled Psalm 42 (“as the deer pants for water…”) before we walked to the archaeological ruins of the high place. We read from Judges 18 and 1 Kings 12 about the patterns of disobedience displayed here. Looking north, Mickey shared briefly about the border with Lebanon.Leaving the site of Dan we saw the a mud-brick Middle Bronze gate (seen by Abraham?) and the Iron Age/Israelite gate and where the famous Dan Inscription was found in July, 1993.

We returned back to our hotel for dinner and a free evening.

Gamla Aug 23 Israel Tour John DeLancey
Katzrin Aug 23 Israel Tour John DeLancey
Gamla Aug 23 Israel Tour John DeLancey
Dan Aug 23 Israel Tour John DeLancey
Katzrin Aug 23 Israel Tour John DeLancey
Rosie at Dan Aug 23 Israel Tour John DeLancey

Day 5 – Thursday, August 10: Optional Sunrise Hike to “Hill 713,” Arbel, Yardenit-Jordan River Baptism, Magdala, Capernaum, Ancient Boat, Sea of Galilee Boat Ride


“Hill 713”

Today started early for about half of the group. We left the hotel at 4:40 a.m. and drove to “Hill 713” in there Upper Galilee for a sunrise overlooking the entire Sea of Galilee and Lower Galilee areas. We returned for breakfast the the entire group, and then departed together at 8:30. The day was a hot one, with sunny skies and temps in the high 90s. We read from Matthew 13 as we left for Arbel.


Mt. Arbel

Mt. Arbel is a mountain on the northwest corner of the Sea of Galilee. Almost half in the group choose to hike the challenging trail that ascended to the top, while the others drove around the back side and walked to the top from the visitor center. Even though it was a bit hazy, the view of the lake below was spectacular. As we all gathered on top, we read from Matthew 5 (the “Beatitudes”) and a few of the kingdom parables from Matthew 13. While there is a traditional Catholic location for the Mt. of Beatitudes, perhaps the lower slopes of Arbel may have been the place where Jesus about. The kingdom proclamation of Jesus was His “go-to” message throughout His ministry! Additionally, while we can’t know for sure, it could have been the top of this cliff where Jesus met His disciples after His resurrection and shared the “Great Commission” (Matthew 28).


Yardenit/Jordan River Baptism

We drove to the southern end of the lake where the Lower Jordan begins. Here a few in the group reaffirmed their faith in baptism in the Jordan River at a place called Yardenit. Jesus Himself was baptized at Bethany Beyond the Jordan further south across from Jericho (John 1). The experience was special for all of us!



We drove back to Tiberias for a quick lunch at the foodcourt in the mall (we enjoyed some air-condition for a brief time.). Then we drove back to the northwest side of the lake where we visited Magdala. Here, we saw an impressive but simple 1st century synagogue. There are only seven (or eight, depending on how you count them) synagogues that date to the time of Jesus in the country. Magdala is only mentioned once in the Gospels (Matthew 15). We also saw a few ritual baths (mikveh or mikvot, plural).



Located on the NW corner of the lake is Capernaum. This Jewish town served as Jesus’ “home base” for His Galilean ministry. In the 5th century synagogue, we read from Mark 1, 2; Luke 7, 8; and John 4, 6. We also saw the Byzantine church, octagonal in shape, that dates to about the same time period. This ancient church surrounds a 1st century house structure suggested, by tradition and archaeology, to be Peter’s house. Down on the lakeshore, we read from Mark 9. Serving in Christ’s kingdom requires a heart of humility and servanthood.


Ancient Boat / Boat Ride

We completed our day by to Nof Ginnosar where the ancient boat (called the “Jesus Boat”) is displayed. This was a 1st century wooden vessel discovered in 1986 by two brothers of the kibbutz here. From here we walked out to the dock where we embarked on our own hour-long boat ride. Being out on the water at dusk/night was spectacular! We enjoyed a time of worship and praise. We also read Mark 4 and Matthew 14 about the two storm narratives. Jesus cares for us, especially when we encounter the “storms” of life.

Sailing back to the dock, we returned to the shoreline and drove back to our hotel in Tiberias. It was a great day of focusing upon Jesus!


Hill 713 Sea of Galilee Aug 23 Israel Tour John DeLancey
Magdala Aug 23 Israel Tour John DeLancey
Arbel Aug 23 Israel Tour John DeLancey
Jesus Boat Aug 23 Israel Tour John DeLancey
Yardenit Aug 23 Israel Tour John DeLancey
Arbel Sea of Galilee Aug 23 Israel Tour John DeLancey

Day 6 – Friday, August 11: Sachne, Jericho, Qumran, Dead Sea


We checked out of our hotel in Tiberias today. It’s been a great two full days here in the north end of the country. Following breakfast, we loaded the bus at 7:20 and departed at about 7:30. We read other portions of Matthew 5-7 as we left. Our final destination for the day would be Masada, located on the western side of the Dead Sea in the Judean Desert. The weather was hot today, with highs in the low 100s by afternoon.



Our first site of the day was an “extra” site we added as we drove south. Sachne (Gan HaShlosha) is a wonderful natural swimming pool fed by the Harod Spring (remember the Gideon story, Judges 6-7). We enjoyed about an hour here swimming in the water. We got pounded under the water falls too! It felt good! Sachne is an Israeli national park located just west of Beth Shean. There is no other natural swimming hole like it in all of Israel!



From Sachne we drove south through the Jordan Valley. We arrived at Jericho at the southern end of the Jordan Valley. We then climbed the site of ancient Jericho. We first looked east across the Jordan to recall a few biblical connections (e.g. Moses, Mt. Nebo, Dt. 31; Joshua crossing the river (Joshua 3), Elijah & Elisha (2 Kings 2), and Jesus’ baptism (Matthew 3). We then saw an old stone tower that predates even Abraham and a small portion of the city wall on the southern end. Mud-bricks and a burn level could also be seen in a few places. We recalled the Joshua 6 story how the city was defeated (and burned) by the Israelites. Praise God for the historicity of the Bible as it happened just as recorded and confirmed by archaeology! (Note: included in the photos is a picture of a portion of the mud-brick wall on the north end).



Following lunch at Jericho, we drove south to the northwest corner of the Dead Sea where Qumran is located. It was here at Qumran where the Dead Sea Scrolls were found! The discovery began in 1947, while the excavation took place through 1956. First, we all walked to the cliff area above the archaeological site. Here we could see Cave 6. We then walked back down through the ruins where a small community of Essenes lived (or retreated to from Jerusalem, as a new theory suggests). To date, over 900 scrolls and fragments of texts scrolls have been discovered in 12 caves. The scrolls/texts date primarily from the 3rd century BC – 1st century AD. At the small archaeological site we saw cisterns, ritual baths (mikvot), and the scriptorium. In front of “Cave 4” (where the majority of texts were found), we read from “Psalm 151,” and Psalm 19. We celebrated the perseverance of God’s Word!


Dead Sea

We ended the day with a visit to the Dead Sea. This is the lowest place on earth. Most in the group enjoyed a “float”  in this unique body of water (33% salt and mineral). Though it reached above 100 here, it was a great experience. After a shower, we continued our drive south to the Guest House at Masada. Following check-in, we enjoyed dinner together and an early bedtime since we plan to get up for a very early pre-dawn/sunrise hike up the Snake Path tomorrow.

Sachne Aug 23 Israel Tour John DeLancey
Jericho Kissing Camel Aug 23 Israel Tour John DeLancey
Sachne with Mary Aug 23 Israel Tour John DeLancey
Qumran Aug 23 Israel Tour John DeLancey
Jericho Mudbrick wall Aug 23 Israel Tour John DeLancey
Dead Sea Aug 23 Israel Tour John DeLancey

Day 7 – Saturday, August 12: Early Morning Optional Hike – Masada, Dead Sea, Judean Desert, Mt. of Olives, Western Wall


Pre-dawn Hike up Masada

This morning started early again today, with a 4:45 departure from the hotel. Twelve in the group walked up the Snake Path for an incredible sunrise over the Moab mountains in Jordan today. It is about a 1.2 mile hike, with an elevation gain of 1,100 feet. After the sun peaked, we walked back down back to the hotel for breakfast.



Following breakfast, we packed up the bus and drove up to the Visitor Center. We all took the cable car up to the top. Mickey guided us around this significant site of Masada (metzada, in Hebrew, Psalm 18:1-2). This was built in the 30s BC as a palace-fortress by Herod the Great. We saw huge cisterns, the western and northern palace (Mary went down to see this!), the Roman Ramp, the synagogue, and the bathhouse. In 70 AD, this was the location where 967 Jews found refuge from the Romans following the destruction of the Temple. The holdout lasted about three years until all by five of these Jews (a few women and children) took their own lives. It is a story of bravery and courage! We all took the cable car back down.


Ein Gedi

We drove about 20 minutes north of Masada to get to Ein Gedi, one of only a few oasis here in the edge of the Judean Desert. We read from Song of Songs 1, 2 Chronicles 20 (the “Ascent of Ziz”) and 1 Samuel 24 (David hid from Saul here). A number in the group hiked back to the water falls at the end of the canyon. On the way many in the group enjoyed getting wet under one of the smaller water falls. It was amazing to see so much water here in the desert! The water brought refreshment to this very hot day (temps at this point were about 105).


Wadi Qelt

En route to Jerusalem (where it was about 10 degrees cooler), we made a brief stop overlooking the Wadi Qelt. We enjoyed a wonderful view over this “dry and desolate” unique region (Psalm 63). This is the heart of the Judean Desert! We heard “Isaiah, the prophet” proclaim the words, “Prepare the way for the Lord…” (Isaiah 40). Also, Psalm 23 was shared as we looked out to the context of this familiar psalm of David. The view was breathtaking!


Mt. Of Olives / Gethsemane

We continued ascending up the road that led to the Mt. of Olives. Cresting this range, we had our wonderful view of the Old City and the Temple Mount. Walking down to Domius Flavet, a small chapel, we read from Luke 19 and Zechariah 14 about the kingship of Jesus. On the Temple Mount today stands the Dome of the Rock. It is where both the First and Second Temples stood.


Garden of Gethsemane

Walking down the western slope of the Mt. of Olives we arrived at a private olive tree garden where we considered the passion of Jesus. The Garden of Gethsemane could have been located anywhere on this western slope of the hill. We read from Luke 22 where we heard, “Not my will but yours be done.”

We then boarded the bus and drove to our hotel. Following check-in, we enjoyed dinner at 6:30 followed by an optional walk to the Western Wall at 7:30. We are looking forward to the next three full days here in Jerusalem.

Sunrise Masada Aug 23 Israel Tour John DeLancey
Ein Gedi Aug 23 Israel Tour John DeLancey
Masada Aug 23 Israel Tour John DeLancey
Ein Gedi Aug 23 Israel Tour John DeLancey
Jerusalem Aug 23 Israel Tour John DeLancey

Day 8 – Sunday, August 13: City of David, Hezekiah’s Tunnel, Southern Wall Excavations, Western Wall, Moshe/Shorashim, Yad Vashem Holocaust Museum & Memorial


Today was another hot day, uncommonly reaching in the low 100s even here in Jerusalem (the average is high 80s-low 90s). The entire morning was visiting the City of David and the afternoon the Holocaust Museum. We left the hotel at 7:30, reading Psalm 48 as we departed the hotel.


City of David

We drove down through the Hinnom Valley, and then up the Tyropean Valley to get to the City of David. It is located outside the Old City today. We first got a great view of the area from the observation tower before we walked down through the excavations of Area G (where Dr. John dug for a month in 1982) and Warren’s Shaft. At the Gihon Spring is where some in the group accessed the entrance to Hezekiah’s Tunnel, a 1,710-foot tunnel chiseled in 701 BC. We walked in water through this amazing discovery mentioned in 2 Kings 20, 2 Chronicles 32, and Isaiah 8:6. Others walked through the “dry” Canaanite tunnel. Both groups converged at the Pool of Siloam where we read John 9 in dramatic fashion!


Southern Excavations

Following our reading, some in the group walked up the Drainage Channel (under a pavement dating to 30 AD), with the rest of the group bussing up to the Davidson Center to see the Southern Excavations of the Temple. Within the center, we saw the SW corner of the Temple (with massive Herodian stones), the Herodian pavement, and the southern steps that would have led into the Temple in Jesus’ day. We recalled the many times Jesus and the disciples (and Paul) used these steps. Whereas the Temple was a magnificent building (Mark 13:1-2), we are to be the Temple (1 Corinthians 3)!


Western Wall/Free Time

Close by is the Western Wall, the most holy place for Jewish people today! This western wall served as a retaining wall for the expanded platform of the Temple Mount above. We walked from the Western Wall (the Kotel) to Hurva Square, the heart of the Jewish Quarter. We enjoyed the free time for lunch, shopping, and exploring the Old City on our own.


Moshe / Shorashim

Following lunch time, we visited a shop called Shorashim. It is owned by two Orthodox brothers, Moshe and Dov. Moshe shared about his Jewish faith and practice. Everything in the shop has a biblical connection.


Yad Vashem

We then walked through the Jewish Quarter and out the Zion’s Gate. Here we met David and we drove to Yad Vashem, Israel’s Holocaust Museum and Memorial. It is named after Isaiah 56:5 (“To them I will give within my temple and its walls a memorial and a name…”). We first walked through the Children’s Memorial. 1.5 million children were killed. On our own, we walked through the Museum until closing. It was a somber experience.

We retuned to the hotel for dinner and an optional walk on the Promenade.

Hezekiah's Tunnel Jerusalem Aug 23 Israel Tour John DeLancey
SW corner of Temple Aug 23 Israel Tour John DeLancey
Siloam Pool Jerusalem Aug 23 Israel Tour John DeLancey
Southern Wall Jerusalem Aug 23 Israel Tour John DeLancey
Drainage Tunnel Jerusalem Aug 23 Israel Tour John DeLancey
Yad Vashem Jerusalem Aug 23 Israel Tour John DeLancey

Day 9 – Monday, August 14: Wadi Qelt, Herodium, Bethlehem, Free Mid-afternoon in Old City


This morning was quite the adventure! In order to beat the heat, we left the hotel at 7:15 and drove back east to the Judean Desert. It was another great day that included hiking, an archaeological site, and an olive wood factory and store in Bethlehem. We also had the opportunity to return to the Old City for shopping. We read from portions of Psalm 61-63 as we left the hotel. Weather-wise, it was another hot day (over 100 in Jericho and 96 at Herodium).


Wadi Qelt/St. George Monastery

We drove around the northern end of there Old City and then east, descending down to the Judean Desert and the Wadi Qelt. Following a narrow desert road, we arrive at the St. George Monastery.  We viewed this monastery (that was built directly into the cliff) from above. We then  hiked down to it at the bottom of the canyon. We then continued on the trail that leads to Herod’s winter palace in Jericho. The heat grew in intensity when we got to here. This was where Herod the Great had a winter palace. We primarily saw the ruins of the bathhouse area. Zacheaus and Bartimaeus were from this NT site of Jericho.



Following the hike and visit of NT Jericho, we returned to Jerusalem. We drove through the city to Herodium, a palace-fortress built by Herod the Great. Following a short movie about the “Reception Room” (complete with amazing frescoes), we climbed the steps (165) to the top of the site. We could see the area of Bethlehem to the west, Jerusalem to the north, Tekoa (the home of Amos) to the south, and the Judean Desert to the east. We then walked down through the cistern system. Herod the Great was buried here in 4 BC. Archaeologist Ehud Netzer found the grave prior to his untimely death.


Beit Sahour / Shepherds’ Fields

Following a really good lunch in Beit Sahour (and eastern suburb of Bethlehem), we visited the Chapel of the Shepherds. We recalled the words from Micah 5 and Luke 2 about the birth of Jesus. We enjoyed singing a few Christmas carols too. The echo was amazing! We celebrated what Paul said in Galatians 4:4, “For just at the right time God sent His Son…”



Lastly, we visited an olive wood factory and store in Bethlehem. Owned by the Nissan Brothers, we saw how the wood is cut and carved into beautiful pieces of art. We enjoyed his store as well.


Old City

We returned to Jerusalem and our hotel. Some decided to end the day and rest back at the hotel, while others went into the Old City at the Jaffa Gate. We enjoyed dinner and a free evening. It is hard to believe that our last day is tomorrow!

Wadi Qelt St. George Aug 23 Israel Tour John DeLancey
NT Jericho Aug 23 Israel Tour John DeLancey
Wadi Qelt St. George Aug 23 Israel Tour John DeLancey
Herodium Guest Room May 23 Israel Tour John DeLancey
Wadi Qelt Judean Desert Aug 23 Israel Tour John DeLancey
Shepherd's Field Aug 23 Israel Tour John DeLancey

Day 10 – Tuesday, August 15: Garden Tomb, Old City, Rampart Walk, Free Time, Israel Museum


It was a later departure today (at 8:15) on this last day in Jerusalem. Once again, our breakfast was complete with many options! We’ve eaten well on this trip for sure. As we left the hotel, we read Psalm 137.


Garden Tomb

Our first stop of the day was the Garden Tomb. This is an alternative location for the crucifixion and burial site of Jesus. We saw the rocky scarp (Golgotha) and the proposed tomb. A special time of worship and Communion followed. We worship the Person, not the place.


Old City

We got back on the bus and drove a short distance to the NE corner of the Old City. Entering the Stephen’s Gate (also called Lion’s Gate), we visited the St. Anne’s Crusader Church and the Pools of Bethesda (John 5). The 7 second echo in the church was incredible. On the same grounds is located the ruins of the pool where Jesus healed the lame man. The original steps of the pool can be seen below the much later ruins.

We then walked to the Holy Sepulcher Church, the probable location for the crucifixion and burial site of Jesus. The church was built in 325 AD, but rebuilt over the centuries since then. Entering the church we saw the Edicule that encloses the proposed tomb of Jesus.

We then enjoyed some free time for lunch and shopping. Some in the group then walked the Rampart Walls from the Jaffa Gate to the Zion’s Gate. It was a unique experience. David picked us up here.


Israel Museum

Located in the west section of Jerusalem is the Israel Museum. This was the last stop of the day. We saw three things here: A 1:50-scaled model of 2nd Temple Period Jerusalem, the Shrine of the Book (where some of the Dead Sea Scrolls are on display), and the archaeological wing of the museum itself. In the museum we saw highlights of artifacts, such as the Dan Inscription, the incense shovels from Tel Dan, the silver amulet from a Hinnom tombs, the Arad Holy of Holies, the Pilate Inscription, Herod’s bathhouse and sarcophagus, and many more. We ended with seeing a 1,900 year old “pie plate.” 🙂

We came back to the hotel to freshen up before dinner. Then 13 of us were taken to the airport for our 11:30 p.m. flight back the States. Others in the group are extending their stay and/or will fly home on their own. It was a great trip!

Garden Tomb John DeLancey March 23 Israel tour
Holy Sepulcher Aug 23 Israel Tour John DeLancey
Eastern Gate Aug 23 Israel Tour John DeLancey
Rampart Walk Aug 23 Israel Tour John DeLancey
St. Anne's Church Aug 23 Israel Tour John DeLancey
Israel Museum Aug 23 Israel Tour John DeLancey

Day 11 – Wednesday, August 16: Arrive Home

Hike Up Arbel

One of our optional hikes is to the top of Mt. Arbel. Located on the NW corner of the Sea of Galilee, the hike offers a wonderful view of the region. We ascend 800 feet to the top (for those not inclined to hike the bus takes people to the top from the other side).

The cliffs of Arbel has historical significance too. Jews during both the 1st century BC and later in 66 AD found refuge in these caves.

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