Biblical Israel Tour Experiences for our Egypt & Israel Tour


February 20 – March 1, 2021 (Egypt Tour Feb 15-21)


Wadi Qelt

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

Group Photos

Sakkara Stepped Pyramid Egypt Tour John DeLancey BIMT
Temple of Isis - Philae Aswan Egypt Tour John DeLancey
Temple of Hatshepsut Egypt Tour John DeLancey
Sea of Galilee Israel Tour John DeLancey
Wadi Qelt Israel Tour John DeLancey
Great Pyramid Egypt Tour John DeLancey BIMT
Kom Ombo Temple Egypt Tour John DeLancey
Caesarea Group Pic Israel Tour John DeLancey
Capernaum Israel Tour John DeLancey
Pool of Siloam Jerusalem Israel tour John DeLancey
Temple of Philae - Isis Egypt Tour John DeLancey
Valley of the Kings Egypt Tour John DeLancey
Precipice of Nazareth Israel Tour John DeLancey
Arbel Group Israel Tour John DeLancey
Temple Steps Jerusalem Israel Tour John DeLancey

360 Photos

(more will be added after the trip)

Day-to-Day Tour Experiences



The Egypt optional trip started today. Flying on two different flights through the night and into today, we all were finally able to make all connecting flights into Cairo. One group flew through Frankfurt, Germany and the other through Istanbul, Turkey. Both groups arrived in this city of 22 million in the evening. After all the procedures the 20 of us bussed to the Sheraton Hotel located on the Nile River. We enjoyed a late dinner together (11 p.m.) before retiring for the evening. We all all looking forward to our first full day here in Cairo tomorrow (the few pics are of the Nile River at dusk and at night form the hotel)

Cairo Nile River Egypt Tour John DeLancey BIMT
Cairo Nile River Egypt Tour John DeLancey BIMT
Cairo Nile River Egypt Tour John DeLancey BIMT


Today was our first full day here in Cairo. The weather was pleasant, with temps in the mid 60s, with hazy skies. We left the hotel at 7:30. As we headed to our first stop, we read from Genesis 47 about Joseph.



Driving to the Giza area of the city our first stop was Memphis. Among the few ruins displayed, we saw a well-preserved statue of Ramses II, a small sphinx, and a Stele of Apries (Hophna in the Bible). Incidentally, one new Stele of Apries was found by a farmer last year further north. We read from Jeremiah 44 and Isaiah 11. Memphis served as the capital of the Old Kingdom.



Closely was the necropolis of Memphis, the impressive Stepped Pyramid of Djoser (or Zoser) is here. It dates to around 2,650 BC, predating Abraham by almost 700 years! There are multiple other pyramids (mastabas) here as well, most in the group walked into the Unas Pyramid. To date, 114 pyramids have been found throughout all of Egypt.


Great Pyramids of Giza / Great Sphinx

Leaving Sakkara, we made a brief stop at a local carpet school en route to the Pyramids of Giza. We enjoyed a quick lunch at the bast of the pyramids before walking up to it. The Great Pyramid (also known as the Pyramid of Cheops or Khufu and constructe d around 2,600 BC), with the Pyramid of Khafre (or Chephren) and the Pyramid of Menkaure built shortly after. Two of them are just shy of 500 feet high. Most likely it took 200,000 men 10 years to build. The Great Pyramid was built with 2.3 million stones, with the average weight of each stone around 2 tons. Here we also enjoyed a panoramic view of the pyramids as well as a short camel ride. We also saw the Great Sphinx, some 240 feet in length and 66 feet high.


National Egyptian Museum

We ended the day by battling the heavy crazy traffic of Cairo to get to the National Egyptian Museum. While the new Grand Museum is still not complete yet, we saw many artifacts here. This included some of there King Tut collections, a few mummies, statutes of Ramses II, Amenhotep II (the likely pharaoh of the Exodus), and Thutmose III, the Merneptah Stele, the Amarna Letters, and the sphinx of Hatshepsut, to name a few.

We returned to our hotel for dinner and a restful evening. We wake early tomorrow for our flight to Aswan and the area of Upper Egypt. 

Memphis Ramses II Egypt Tour John DeLancey BIMT
Great Pyramids Egypt Tour John DeLancey BIMT
Sakkara Stepped Pyramid Egypt Tour John DeLancey BIMT
Great Sphinx Egypt Tour John DeLancey BIMT
Great Pyramid Egypt Tour John DeLancey BIMT
Mummy Egypt Tour John DeLancey BIMT


It  was an early start today, with breakfast at 5:30. We left the hotel in Cairo at 6:15 in order to catch our flight at 8 a.m. to Aswan, 600 miles south. The weather in Aswan was beautiful, with full sun, no “Cairo haze,” and temps around 80. We read from Genesis 50 as we started the day. 


High Dam

We landed in the small Aswan airport around 9:40 a.m. We were greeted by our bus and driver. Once we loaded the bus, we drove to the High Dam of Aswan. This was completed in 1970 after a 10 year project. The dam is 12,000 feet long and 3,000 feet wide. On the south side, the dam creates Lake Nasser which extends 340 miles in length (the southern end of the lake is in Sudan). 14 ancient temples were covered by this lake. These sites (including the famous Abu Simbel Temple) have been reconstructed. The dam creates about 40% of Egypt’s electricity. Many Nubians live in Aswan today. Incidentally, Aswan is mentioned in Ezekiel 30:6.


Philae/Tempe of Isis

From here we drove to the the Temple of Philae, also called Isis. We actually had to take a small boat to the site since it was locate on an island. The Temple dates to the Ptolemaic Period and later. We saw many hieroglyphics, pillars, pylons, and reliefs of the pharaohs and Egyptian gods. The temple has a “holy of holies” and an altar in the middle.


Granite Quarry

Following another boat ride to the other side of the Nile for a buffet lunch, we boated back to the eastern side to see the Granite Quarry of Aswan. This was where the obelisks were chiseled out of the granite. One unfinished stone intended to be an obelisk weights 1,168 tons! Today, 13 ancient obelisks still stand in Egypt. 13 stand in Italy. A total of 34 Egyptians obelisks stand all over the world.


Felucca Ride

We ended the day with a delightful felucca ride. A Nubian man and his son operated this sailing boat with great skill. He even sang us a traditional song. Our final destination was the Movenpick Hotel where we checked in and enjoyed an incredible buffet dinner together! The hotel is located on Elephantine Island where there was once a Jewish presence most likely following Jews leaving Judah at the time of Manasseh. The Elephantine papyri was found here. This was a cache of legal documents and letters written in Aramaic dating to sometime in the 5th century BC.

Aswan Dam Egypt Tour John DeLancey
Granite Obelisk Aswan Egypt Tour John DeLancey
Temple of Philae Isis Egypt Tour John DeLancey
Felucca boat Nile River Aswan Egypt Tour John DeLancey
Philae Temple of Isis Aswan Egypt Tour John DeLancey
Felucca boat Aswan Nubian Egypt Tour John DeLancey


Today was another bright and sunny days, with highs in the 70s. We are grateful to be this far south here in Egypt since Cairo had a dusting of snow today!  Our ride north from Aswan to Luxor was an interesting cultural experience, driving through many small Egyptian towns and see how the common Egyptians live.


Kom Ombo Temple

We left the hotel at 8:30 after a relaxing morning and a great breakfast. We boated across the Nile River to get to our bus on the eastern side.  We drove about 30 miles north along the Nile to get to our first stop, the Temple of Kom Ombo. It was constructed during the Ptolemaic Dynasty of the 2nd Century BC. The crocodile god Sobek, a god of fertility and creator of there world, was honored here. Hathor and Knonsu were also honored here. Among the impressive pylons and pillars were hieroglyphs displaying medical instruments such as forceps and clamps still used to aid birthing today. A Nileometer was also uncovered here.


Edfu Temple

We boarded the bus again and drove another 30 miles or so to the Edfu Temple. Also built during the Ptolemaic Period (specifically in 258 BC), this is the best preserved temple in all of Egypt. This temple was in honor of Horus, the falcon god. The impressive pylons here tower 135 feet high. The great detail preserved in the hieroglyphs was incredible. Like other temples, this one had a “holy of holies” room as well.


Luxor / Night Show at Karnak Temple

About 60 miles north is Luxor. The 1.5 hour drive continued to open our eyes to the simplicity (and poverty) of the common life of Egyptians.  When we arrived at our hotel in Luxor, we enjoyed a late afternoon bite to eat. We also started working on completing our Entry Forms for Israel (we fly to Tel Aviv Monday morning). At 6:30 we drove to the Karnak Temple for a “sound and light show.” This temple is very large, with pylons, hypostyle pillars, and obelisks. The temple was built by a continuation of Pharaohs, including Thutmose III, Seti I, and Ramses II. A relief Pharoah Shiskak (1 Kings 11:40) is also displayed here.

Following the show, we returned to our hotel for a late 9 p.m. dinner and the completion of our Entry Form for Israel. We were supposed to get up early for a hot-air balloon ride over the Valley of the Kings, but incoming wind and weather canceled this. We’re all bummed but this is understandable.

Kom Ombo Temple Egypt Tour John DeLancey
Edfu Temple Egypt Tour John DeLancey
Kom Ombo Temple Medical Instruments Egypt Tour John DeLancey
Edfu Temple Egypt Tour John DeLancey
Southern Egypt Egypt Tour John DeLancey
Karnak Temple Egypt Tour John DeLancey


For those doing just the Israel portion of the trip, the trip began today as folks gathered at various airports en route to the Ben Gurion Airport in Tel Aviv. For those of us in Egypt, this was our last full day. We saw many incredible sites in Luxor. While the highly-anticipated hot-air balloon ride was canceled because of weather, we still had a full day. The sun was bright all day, with perfect temps in the low 70s. As we began the day, we read from Exodus 14.


Valley of the Kings

Following breakfast, we left the hotel at 7:30 and headed directly to the Valley of the Kings. 63 pharaohs have been buried here since the start of the New Kingdom. We went into three tombs: Ramses III (the last Pharoah of the 20th Dynasty), Tausert/Setnakht (a dual tomb of the last Pharaoh of the 19th Dynasty and the first Pharoah of the 20th Dynasty), and Ramses IX (8th Pharaoh of the 20th Dynasty, with the tomb built in 1111 BC). The well-preserved colors of the wall reliefs were stunning to see. The religious focus within the Egyptian belief system upon the after-life is plain to see in all these tombs! It took between six months and three years to build these tombs, some more complex than others. They were built while the Pharoah was still living. Nine of our went into the famous tomb of Tutankhamen. His mummy is on display here as well as his sarcophagus.


Alabaster Shop/Store

Close by are many alabaster shops. We went to one whose owner was quite the comedian. It was interesting to see how some of the vessels are made. The final products made from stone are impressive.


Temple of Hatshepsut

On the opposite side of the cliff of the Valley of the Kings is the Temple of Hatshepsut. The temple was built in 1470 BC. Hatshepsut was most likely the Pharaoh’s daughter who rescued Moses (Exodus 2). She was the daughter of Thutmose I and reigned for over 20 years. She was despised by those who succeeded her, with her image and cartouches eliminated and/or scratched away (perhaps both Thutmose III and Amenhotep II did this?).


Temple of Medinet Habu

The last temple on the western side we saw was the Medinet Habu. This was a dedicatory temple built in honor of Ramses III. Depicted on the pylons is the defeat of his enemies, including the Nubians and the “Sea Peoples” (i.e. the Philistines of the Bible). Ramses defeated the Sea Peoples in 1170 BC. The wall reliefs show Ramses holding the heads of his defeated enemies by the hair. He also cut off their hands and penises to humiliate them.


Colossi of Memnon

We passed by the Colossi of Memnon. These are two huge figures that are displayed at the Temple of Amenhotep III. They are about 60 feet high.


Temple of Luxor / Flight back to Cairo

In mid afternoon, we crossed back to the eastern side where we enjoyed lunch at our hotel before packing up and driving to the Luxor Temple. This temple is primarily in honor of Ramses II who reigned 67 years and lived until 91 years of age (1303-2113 BC). He was the great Egyptian pharaoh of the 13th century BC. From here we drove to the Luxor Airport for our flight back to Cairo.

Upon landing, we said goodbye to Max, our knowledgeable guide. After checking in to our airport hotel, we got the required Covid test as we fly to Tel Aviv later in the morning tomorrow. It was a great trip to Egypt! Now we look forward to traveling through Israel!

Valley of the Kings Egypt Tour John DeLancey
Temple of Hatshepsut Egypt Tour John DeLancey
Valley of the Kings Egypt Tour John DeLancey
Medinet Habu Temple Egypt Tour John DeLancey
King Tut Tomb Egypt Tour John DeLancey
Luxor Temple Egypt Tour John DeLancey


Arrival day for Israel finally came today for both groups. When we landed, the sun was bright, with temps in the upper 60s.


Ben Gurion Airport

Part of the group who did the Egypt optional trip flew from Cairo in the late morning. We arrived about noon here at the Ben Gurion Airport in Tel Aviv. Others flying from the States arrived around 2 p.m. We met Shlomo and Itai, our two Israeli guides for this trip, and our drivers, David and Abraham.



All of us upon arrival were required to get the Covid Test at the airport. We then drove to our hotel (via Jaffa/Joppa, Jonah 1, Acts 9,10). The Tel Aviv coastline was beautiful! Both buses arrived at the hotel in Netanya. It is located north of Tel Aviv on the coastline of the beautiful Mediterranean Sea. A light dinner was served in our rooms. We hope we all test “negative” so we can begin seeing sites. We are looking forward to our first full day here in Israel tomorrow.

Egypt Air Egypt Tour John DeLancey
Israel Welcome Israel Tour John DeLancey
Leaving Cairo Egypt Tour John DeLancey
Tel Aviv Coastline Israel Tour John DeLancey
Arriving in Tel Aviv Israel Tour John DeLancey
Sunset Med Sea Israel Tour John DeLancey


Today was our first full day in Israel. The day was filled with bright sun, and temps in the 70s. We traveled north all day, arriving in the region of the Sea of Galilee to end the day. We read from Psalm 44:8 – “In God we glory all day long; and you name we will praise forever, Selah.”


Caesarea Maritima

We left our hotel at 8 a.m. after we received our negative Covid test results. Unfortunately, one person missed the day because of a positive test. Praise God he is able to rejoin us for tomorrow. We arrived at Caesarea Maratima, a massive harbor city built by King Herod between 22-10 BC. Sitting in the theater, we read from Acts 10 (Pater & Cornelius), Acts 12 (Agrippa I), Acts 21 (Paul stayed with Phillip here), and Acts 26 (Paul sharing his testimony at the end of his two years of imprisonment here and before he would sail to Rome from here). Almog the other ruins, we saw the palace (pretorium), the hippodrome (amphitheater), the Crusader walls and gates, the area of the harbor, and the aqueduct that brought water from the Carmel Range.


Mt. Carmel

From Caesarea we drove through the Sharon Plain to the Carmel Range. Following a great lunch (falafels), we visited Muhrakah located on top of the range. We gathered in the small chapel where we read from Isaiah 35, Amos 9, Songs of Songs 7 (all passages that mention Carmel), and 1 Kings 18 (the primary story involving Elijah vs. the prophets of Baal). The view from the rooftop of the Jezreel Valley below was fair with the hazy skies, but good enough to see most of the valley below.



Located on the edge of the valley is the site of Megiddo. This was a Canaanite and Israelite city. The site was about 25 layers of occupation that span about 2,500 years. After seeing the model of the site, we climb the tel (ancient mound) where we saw chambered gates (one but by Solomon, see 1 Kings 9), stables and storehouses, and a grain silo. We left the site by descending down the incredible water system that was engineers to bring water safely into the city.


Precipice of Nazareth

We drove across the Jezreel Valley to the Precipice of Nazareth. From here we could see Mt. Tabor (Judges 4-5), the Hill of Moreh (Judges 6-7), and Mt. Gilboa (1 Samuel 31). We enjoyed a marvelous view of Jesus’ “backyard” with the city of Nazareth located on the ridge. We read from Luke 4 and reflected upon God’s redemptive plan fulfilled by Jesus.


Nof Ginnosar

Driving through modern Cana, we arrived at our hotel for the next 2 nights. Nof Ginnosar is located on the western shoreline of the Sea of Galilee. We enjoyed a great dinner together, followed by an optional walk down to the water’s edge. We look forward to a full day in this area of the lake!

Caesarea Israel Tour John DeLancey
Megiddo Israel Tour John DeLancey
Muhrakah Israel Tour John DeLancey
Megiddo Water Tunnel Israel Tour John DeLancey
Carmel Range Israel Tour John DeLancey
Mt. Tabor Israel Tour John DeLancey


We spent all day in the Sea of Galilee area, retracting the footsteps of Jesus! It was a wonderful day, with great weather (low 80s and full sun), and with many connections with the life and ministry of Jesus.


Boat Ride/Ancient Boat

The day started early (7:15), with a boat ride on the Sea of Galilee. We enjoyed a time of worship and reflection. We read from Mark 4 and Matthew 14, the two storm narratives when Jesus calmed the waters and the waves. Upon disembarking, we saw the 1st century wooden boat that was discovered here in 1986.



Located on the NW corner of the lake is Capernaum. This town was Jesus’ “home base” for his ministry in this area. We enjoyed the entire place to ourselves! We gathered in the 5th AD century synagogue (built over the 1st century one) where we read from Mark 1, 2, 9; Luke 8, 9; and John 6. Jesus displayed His s’mekah (authority) here in his teaching and healing. We enjoyed a time on the shoreline where Jesus called his initial talmidim (disciples).


Mt. of Beatitudes

Located on the hill above Capernaum is the traditional Mt. of Beatitudes. We gathered on a few rocks situated to listen to portions of Matthew 5 read in both Hebrew and English. Jesus’ primary message was the kingdom, specifically about inviting people to yield to the reign and rule of God in their lives.


Mt. Arbel

Overlooking the Plain of Genesseret are the high cliffs of Mt. Arbel. Twenty in the group hiked the 1.5 miles trail (ascending 1,100 feet) while others bussed around the other side and walked up the back trail to the top. The view was incredible of not only the lake and surrounding area, but we could even see the snow-capped mountain of Mt. Hermon (Psalm 133) 40 to the north! Could it be that Arbel was the Mt. of Beatitudes or the “high mountain” where Jesus met His disciples following the resurrection (Matthew 28)?



Following a wonderful fish lunch, we visited Magdala, a city that is mentioned once in the Gospels (Matthew 16) and the home town of Mary Magdalene. Here we saw a 1st century synagogue (one of only 7 or 8 in the entire country). Perhaps 40-60 people could have gathered in this modest synagogue. Recently, a possible second 1st century synagogue may have been unearthed on the other side of the modern road.


Yardenit/Jordan River Baptism

Yardenit is located at the southern end of the lake. This is where 22 in the group entered the “very cool” waters of the Jordan River to re-affirm their faith in Christ and to re-commit their service in ministry. It was an inspiring time together.


Kinneret Cemetery

On the drive back to Nof Ginnosar, we made a brief stop in the Kinneret Cemetery. This is where many of the early Jewish pioneers are buried. This includes a certain “Rachel” (Rachel Bluwstein). She was a Ukrainian/Russian immigrant at the turn of the 20th century. She wrote many poems which have been put to song now. Shlomo sang and played on his recorded a few of them. Today, her picture appears on the 20 shekel bill. She died in 1931.

Upon arriving back at our hotel, we enjoyed dinner together and a free evening. What an impactful and inspiring day!

Sea of Galilee Arbel Israel Tour John DeLancey
Valley of the Doves Israel Tour John DeLancey
Capernaum Israel Tour John DeLancey
Magdala Israel Tour John DeLancey
Arbel hike Israel Tour John DeLancey
Baptism Jordan River Israel Tour John DeLancey


Today we left the Sea of Galilee area and drove south to the the areas of Jericho and the Dead Sea. The weather was once again comfortable, with temps in the 70s. We had a mix of hazy sun in the morning and then partly cloudy in the afternoon. We read from portions of Matthew 13 and 14 as we loaded up the bus after breakfast and departed for our first site.



Driving around the northern end of the lake we passed by Bethsaida, the home of Peter, Andrew, and Phillip (John 1). This road took us to the eastern side where we made a brief stop at the possible cliff area where the demon-possessed boar/pigs ran into there lake (Mark 5). Close by is Hippos/Sussita, one of the Decapolis cities. The site is perched high on a hill overlooking the lake below. We walked through the site that began in the Hellenistic Period and saw a few Byzantine churches (4th-6th century AD). The ruins were impressive. Overlooking the lake (with only a hazy view), we read from the transformational story from Mark 5.


Beth Shean

Driving from here south of the Sea of Galilee and within the Jordan Valley, we came to Beth Shean. This massive Roman Decapolis city was the only one on the western side of the Jordan River. Upon arriving we saw many things from the Roman Period (e.g. the bathhouse, mosaics, colonnaded streets, the public latrenes, and the theater. Some in the group climbed up to the OT site where Saul’s body was hung in the town square (1 Samuel 31, 1 Chronicles 10). We walked to lunch from here.



We drove about 75 minutes south along there Jordan Valley to Jericho. Located just north of the Dead Sea, we climbed this small site. Looking east towards the valley, we recalled the crossing of the river by the Israelites (Joshua 3-4), Elijah’s ascension to heaven and Elisha’s succession (2 Kings 2), and Jesus’ baptism (“Bethany Beyond the Jordan” – John 1). Looking westward, we recalled Jesus’ temptation in there Judean desert (Matthew 4), and Jesus’ encounters with Zacheaus (Luke 19) and Bartimaeus (Mark 10) at “New Testament” Jericho about 2 miles south of the OT site of Jericho. We then recalled the story of Joshua 6. We saw some of the mud bricks and the double retaining walls at the southern end. We rejoiced in the historicity and truth of God’s Word!

Pig Cliff Sea of Galilee Israel Tour John DeLancey
Beth Shean latrenes Israel Tour John DeLancey
Hippos Israel Tour John DeLancey
Jericho Walls Israel Tour John DeLancey
Beth Shean Israel Tour John DeLancey
Dead Sea Israel Tour John DeLancey


The entire day today was spent in the Judean Desert. We even encountered some unusual weather (a brief heavy and cool rain shower at Ein Gedi). However, most of the day was partly sunny and warm, with highs in the 70s. We read from Ezekiel 47 and Zechariah 14 (about the Dead Sea) as we began the day.



After breakfast and checkout, our drive from Al Mog to Masada took about 50 minutes. Masada was one of the palace-fortresses built by Herod the Great. We all took the cable car up. Once on top we saw Herod’s palaces, the synagogue, casemate wall, and bathhouse. Remarkably, 967 Jews found refuge from the Romans here between 70-73 AD. All by 5 took their own lives to spare them from falling to the Roman sword. For all Israelis today, Masada represents both courage and honor.


Ein Gedi

We drove about 20 minutes north to Ein Gedi. This is one of only a few natural springs in this region. The weather was ominous here, with dark clouds and winds. We were only allowed to walk back to the first water falls. We read from Song of Songs 1, 2 Chronicles 20 (“Habu l-Adonia ki tov, ke le-olam hasdo…Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good, His mercy/love endures forever.”), and 1 Samuel 24. This was where David hid from Saul. David retreated to there “stronghold” (perhaps the undeveloped site of Masada).



The sky cleared once we drove to Qumran. In 1947, the Dead Sea Scrolls were  found here. Some 903 fragments of texts, both sectarian (of the Essenes) and biblical texts, were found between 1952-1956. We saw many ritual baths (mikveh), cisterns, the scriptorium, and a few of the caves where the scrolls were found. In front of Cave 4, we read from “Psalm 151” and Psalm 19.


Judean Desert / Wadi Qelt

We drove into Jericho again to have lunch. We then began our ascent towards Jerusalem. We made two stops overlooking the Judean Desert (Wadi Qelt). We heard Isaiah 40 read, and Psalm 23 sung. Close by we drove to overlook the St. George Greek Orthodox Monastery built into the cliff of the desert. Some hiked down to see the monastery. The climb back up was challenging. 

We drove the rest of the way to Jerusalem where we checked into our hotel and enjoyed a wonderful “Shabbat” dinner. Some walked to the Western Wall. It rained during the walk and is supposed to rain much of the day tomorrow.

Masada Israel Tour John DeLancey
Judean Desert Wadi Qelt Israel Tour John DeLancey
Ein Gedi Israel Tour John DeLancey
St. George Monastery Qadi Qelt Israel Tour John DeLancey
Qumran Israel Tour John DeLancey
St. George Monastery Wadi Qelt Israel Tour John DeLancey


Today was our first full day in Jerusalem and it was a rainy one. The temps hovered around 50. We managed to see everything on our program except for the view from the top of the Mt. of Olives (which we’ll see on Monday).

Garden of Gethsemane

Because of the showers and low visibility, we drove directly from the hotel to the bottom of the Mt. of Olives. We walked to a private area where we read from Luke 22. Somewhere on the western slopes of this area Jesus prayed, “Not my will but yours be done.” We also went inside the Church of All Nations, the traditional location for Gethsemane.

Pools of Bethesda

We walked into the Old City through St. Stephen’s Gate (also called Lion’s and Jericho Gate) to the Pools of Bethesda. We read from John 5 about the healing that took place here. Also here is St. Anne’s Church (from the Crusader Period). We enjoyed the incredible 7-8 second echo while singing a few songs.

Eastern Gate

We walk back out of the Old City to the area in front of the Eastern Gate. This gate has been closed for over 1,300 years (opened only a few times). An archway below the present gate was discovered here in 1969. Ezekiel 44 mentions that some day the Messiah will walk through the eastern gate of there Temple.

Garden Tomb

Walking through the Muslim Quarter of the Old city and out the Damascus Gate took us directly to the Garden Tomb. Here we enjoyed a tour of the proposed tomb where Jesus was buried. This site serves as an alternative location for the Holy Sepulcher Church. We also enjoyed a brief worship and communion service.

Old City/Church of Holy Sepulcher

We walked back through the Old City for lunch in the Christian Quarter. Nearby is the Church of the Holy Sepulcher. Archeologically, this location better preserves the location of the crucifixion and burial site of Christ. We walked into the church on our own.

Israel Museum

We walked out through the Jaffa Gate where we met our buses. We drove to the Israel Museum across from the Knesset (government building). At the museum we saw a marvelous 1:50-scale model of Jerusalem as it looked prior to 70 AD. We also walked through the Shrine of the Book (where some of the Dead Sea Scrolls are displayed) en route to the archaeological wing of the museum. We saw many artifacts here that connected us to the Bible.

We returned to our hotel for dinner and a free evening. Tomorrow’s weather is supposed to improve.

Garden of Gethsemane Israel Tour John DeLancey
Garden Tomb Israel Tour John DeLancey
St. Anne's Church Jerusalem Israel Tour John DeLancey
Israel Museum Israel Tour John DeLancey
Eastern Gate Jerusalem Israel Tour John DeLancey
Hazael Israel Museum Israel Tour John DeLancey


We were greeted with bright sun this morning, a nice change from yesterday. Temps were in the low 60s by afternoon. It was a day filled with emotion (at Yad Vashem), fun, and more adventure. We read Psalm 48 as we left at 7:30.


Yad Vashem

Located in west Jerusalem is Israel’s Holocaust Museum and Memorial, Yad Vashem. We first visited the Valley of the Communities where Shlomo shared his personal story of losing 12 family members in the 1940s in Vilna, Poland.  We also walked through the Avenue of the Gentiles (those who helped save Jews, e.g. Oscar Schindler, Corrie ten Boom), and the Children’s Memorial. On our own, we spent about an hour in the museum itself. It was a moving experience.


Shepherds’ Fields & Bethlehem

We drove from Yad Vashem to Beit Sahour where the Shepherds’ Fields are located. Descending into a small cave, we recalled the wonder of the birth of Jesus. We read from Luke 2 and sang a few carols. Moving to the Shepherds’ Chapel, we sang a few more carols. The harmonious worship was wonderful! Following a great lunch, we drove to Bethlehem and enjoyed an olive wood shop and store.


Socoh/Elah Valley

In mid-afternoon, we descended down to the Shephelah (Lowlands) of Judah. This is a region characterized with rolling hills and west-to-east valleys. We climbed the unexcavated site of Socoh where we saw the whole battle between David and Goliath unfold (1 Samuel 17). As a bonus, we enjoyed the gorgeous blue lupins in bloom on top of the site.


Beth Shemesh/Sorek Valley

Driving north, Beth Shemesh was our last site of the day. Walking to the top of the site, we recalled the life of Samson who grew up in Zorah on the north side of the Sorek (Judges 13-16). How first wife was from Timnah, just 4 miles west in the valley. We then read from 1 Samuel 6 about the return of the Ark of the Covenant from the Philistine city of Ekron. This was yet another story we could see happening before our eyes!

We drove back to our hotel in Jerusalem for dinner and an optional walk on the Promenade. Tommorrow is our last full day here in Israel!

Fog Jerusalem Israel Tour John DeLancey
Shepherds' Fields Israel Tour John DeLancey
YAD VASHEM Israel Tour John DeLancey
Elah Valley Israel Tour John DeLancey
YAD VASHEM Israel Tour John DeLancey
Beth Shemesh Israel Tour John DeLancey


Today was our last day here in Israel, and it was a good one. We actually started the day early with getting the required Covid test for our night flight tonight, The weather was perfect, with a bright sun once again, and with temps in the low 60s. We also enjoyed some free time in the afternoon after battling abnormally heavy Jerusalem traffic.


Western Wall & Tunnels

We left early for the Western Wall & Tunnel. This “Wall” was one of the four retaining walls built by Herod in 20 BC that allowed him to double the size of the platform of the Temple! The stones were massive, some weighing 100s of tons! The Temple and its surrounding structures were indeed impressive! We also spent some time for prayer at the Wall.


Southern Wall Excavation

We walked to the southwest corner of the Temple Mount were we saw the continuation of large stones. No wonder the disciples marveled themselves at the size of these stones (Mark 13). This corner may have been the pinnacle of the Temple where Jesus was tempted (Matthew 4). We walked on the Herodian pavement from 2,000 years ago. On the south side we walked up the temple steps used by commoners, including Jesus and His disciples. We paused to recall the many who used these steps to enter the Temple. We are now the living temple (2 Corinthians 3).


City of David

Outside and to the south of the Old City is the City of David. From the observation tower, we could see the Temple to the north, the Mt. Of Olives to the east, and the length and width of the City of David to the south. We walked down through the ruins (Area G) and through Warren’s Shaft until we reached the Gihon Spring (the primary water source of the ancient city and where Solomon was initiated into kingship, 1 Kings 1-2). Some then walked through “wet” Hezekiah’s Tunnel (1,700 feet long) or the earlier “dry” Canaanite Tunnel. We convened at the Pool of Siloam where we read John 9 in dramatic fashion.


Mt. of Olives

Since the rained two days ago preventing a good view, we drove to the Mt. of Olives for a great view of the Temple Mount and Old City. We battled heavy traffic primarily because of an Arab holiday. The view from the top is truly stunning, with the Temple Mount and Old City in full view. We recalled the Palm Sunday story (Luke 19), and Jesus’ return (Zechariah 14).


Free Time: Mahane Yehuda & the Old City

Driving from the Mt. Of Olives, people from one bus entered the Old City through the Jaffa Gate. We grabbed a late bite to eat. Some enjoyed meeting Moshe, an Orthodox Jew and owner of the biblical shop called Shorashim. Those on the other bus enjoyed walking through the Mahane Yehuda, the Jewish marketplace.


Farwell Dinner & Airport

The buses convened for our farewell dinner. It was a great “last supper” for all of us. We then drove to Tel Aviv for our various night flights home.

NOTE: At present (10 p.m. Israel time), we are awaiting our flights back home! Photos will be added tomorrow.



Western Wall Jerusalem Israel Tour John DeLancey
Hezekiah's Tunnel Jerusalem Israel Tour John DeLancey
Western Wall Jerusalem Israel Tour John DeLancey
Siloam Pool Jerusalem Israel Tour John DeLancey
Temple Steps Jerusalem Israel Tour John DeLancey
Mt. of Olives Jerusalem Israel Tour John DeLancey



Today we arrived home following a night-flight from Tel Aviv. We made our connection flights back to our own area. Thanks be to God for a great trip and a wonderful group God brought together!

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