Tour Experiences of our 11 Day Biblical Israel Study Tour (with option to Jordan & Southern Israel)



November 1-15, 2022 





Sea of Galilee

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

Group Photos

Caesarea Nov 22 Group Israel Tour John DeLancey
Jordan River Baptism Nov 22 Israel Tour John DeLancey
Dan Nature Preserve Nov 22 Israel Tour John DeLancey
Mt. of Olives Nov 22 Israel Tour John DeLancey
Hezekiah's Tunnel Nov 22 Israel Tour John DeLancey
Southern Steps Nov 22 Israel Tour John DeLancey
Petra Jordan Tour Nov 22 John DeLancey
Arbel Nov 22 Israel Tour John DeLancey
Capernaum Nov 22 Israel Tour John DeLancey
Beth Shean Nov 22 Israel Tour John DeLancey
Gezer Water System Nov 22 Israel Tour John DeLancey
Siloam Pool Nov 22 Israel Tour John DeLancey
Mt. Nebo Nov 22 Israel-Jordan Tour John DeLancey
Wadi Rum Nov 22 Jordan Tour John DeLancey
Arbel Group Nov 22 Israel Tour John DeLancey
Sea of Galilee Boat Ride Nov 22 Israel Tour John DeLancey
Wadi Qelt Nov 22 Israel Tour John DeLancey
Yad Vashem Nov 22 Israel Tour John DeLancey
SW Corner Nov 22 Israel Tour John DeLancey
Machaerus Nov 22 Israel-Jordan Tour John DeLancey
Machtesh Ramon Nov 22 Israel Tour John DeLancey

360 Photos

(Will be added once the trip begins)

Tour Experiences

Days 1 & 2 – Tuesday-Wednesday, November 1-2: Depart U.S.A., Arrive in Tel Aviv, Israel, Netanya

Our trip began today! Various flights were used for the 29 of us to fly to the Ben Gurion Airport in Tel Aviv. We all arrived safely, with luggage in hand too (which is a blessing in today’s travel world). Most in the group met at the airport, while others who arrived early journeyed to the first night’s hotel on their own.



We met David (our Israeli driver) and Shlomo (our Israeli guide) as we loaded the bus. We made a brief stop in Jaffa (Joppa) en route to Netanya and our hotel. Biblical connections with Jaffa include Jonah (Jonah 1) and Peter (Acts 9 & 10). The traffic was heavy all the way, but we made in time for a late dinner.

We are all looking forward to our first full day tomorrow!

Welcome to Israel Ben Gurion Airport BIMT January 2022 Israel Tour
Jaffa Nov 22 Israel Tour John DeLancey
Tel Aviv Nov 22 Israel Tour John DeLancey

Day 3 – Thursday, November 3: Caesarea, Carmel, Megiddo, 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 ideal, with a mix of sun and clouds and highs in the mid 70s. After a wonderful full breakfast, we loaded the bus and left about 7:30. We read Psalm 44:8 as we drove north to our first site. We also learned the song, “Oh, the Sun’s Coming Up.” 🙂


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 from 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 saw a short movie about Herod the Great. Before leaving the site, we also saw a porphyry (purple) marble statue and the aqueduct that brought fresh water into Caesarea from the Carmel Range.


Mt. Carmel

Our next site was the Carmel Range (or Mt. Carmel). This range separates the Sharon Plain with the Jezreel Valley. We first enjoyed an early lunch at a Druze restaurant. We then drove to Muhraha, a Carmelite chapel located at the highest peak. In the chapel we read from Amos 1 and 9, Isaiah 35, Song of Songs 7 and 1 Kings 18 (the story of Elijah). After a time of singing in the chapel we ascended to the rooftop of the chapel for a wonderful view of the Jezreel Valley below.



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.


Precipice of Nazareth

We drove past Mt. Gilboa (1 Samuel 31), Jezreel (1 Kings 18, 21; 2 Kings 8), the Hill of Moreh (Judges 6-7) and Shunem (2 Kings 4) as we crossed the Jezreel Valley 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 sunset from here over the Carmel Range. 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 here!


Sea of Galilee

It took about an hour (past Cana, John 2 and 4) to arrive at our hotel (Nof Ginnosar) along the western coastline of the Sea of Galilee. We enjoyed dinner here followed by a gathering on the shoreline of the lake.

Caesarea Nov 22 Group Israel Tour John DeLancey
Nazareth Nov 22 Group Israel Tour John DeLancey
Jezreel Valley Nov 22 Group Israel Tour John DeLancey
Precipice of Nazareth Nov 22 Group Israel Tour John DeLancey
Megiddo Nov 22 Group Israel Tour John DeLancey
Jezreel Valley Nov 22 Group Israel Tour John DeLancey

Day 4 – Friday, November 4: Arbel, Magdala, Chorazin, Capernaum, Mt. of Beatitudes, Ancient Boat / Boat Ride

Today was another sunny day, with temps again in the mid to upper 70s. We spent the entire day all around the area of the Sea of Galilee. There were many biblical connections today, specifically with a focus on the life and ministry of Jesus. We left our hotel at 7:30, reading from Matthew 4 on the way to our first site.



We began the day by visiting Mt. Arbel, a mountain on the northwest corner of the Sea of Galilee. Nine 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 was spectacular. We can’t know for sure, but it could have been the top of this cliff where Jesus met His disciples after His resurrection (Matthew 28).



We drove to the southern end of the lake where the Lower Jordan begins. Here 10 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!


Kinneret Cemetery

Near by at the southern end of the lake is the Kinneret Cemetery. Many Jews who were pioneers to the land in the late 19th and early 20th century are buried here. This includes Rachel Bluwstone, an Ukrainian who wrote many poems. Shlomo shared with us about kibbutz life. He also read, sang, and played some of her poems now put to tunes. She died in 1931. Her picture appears on Israel’s 20 shekel bill today!



We drove back through Tiberias 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 16). We also saw a few ritual baths (mikveh or mikvot, plural).



After a wonderful St. Peter’s Fish lunch in Magdala, we visited 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.


Mt. of Beatitudes

Further up the hill from Capernaum is the traditional location of the Mt. of Beatitudes. We gathered on the hillside where we heard Matthew 5:1-9 read in both Hebrew and English. The kingdom proclamation of Jesus was His “go-to” message throughout His ministry!


Ancient Boat / Boat Ride

We completed our day by driving back to Nof Ginnosar where the ancient 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 our rooms to freshen up for dinner! It was a great day of focusing upon Jesus!

Arbel Nov 22 Israel Tour John DeLancey
Magdala Nov 22 Israel Tour John DeLancey
Arbel Nov 22 Israel Tour John DeLancey
Sea of Galilee Nov 22 Israel Tour John DeLancey
Rachel Grave Nov 22 Israel Tour John DeLancey
Jesus' Boat Nov 22 Israel Tour John DeLancey

Day 5 – Saturday, November 5: Hippos, Qatzrin, Syrian Border, Caesarea Philippi, Dan, Misgav Am

Today we headed north to the Golan Heights. Thankfully, the bike race around the lake that was supposed to take place today was postponed until next Saturday. So we left the hotel following breakfast at 7:30 a.m. this morning. We read from Matthew 13 & 14 as we departed.



We first drove around the northern end of the lake before turning south on the eastern side. We made a brief stop at the lone cliff area on the eastern side where perhaps the story of Mark 5 took place. From here we ascended to the top of the site of Hippos/Sussita, one of the Decapolis cites. This is an impressive archaeological sites with ruins that date from the 2nd century BC to the 8th century AD. The ruins we saw were primarily from the Late Roman period. A number of Byzantine churches were discovered here. With a stunning view of the entire lake below us, we read from Mark 5 as we concluded our visit.



We drove north 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 a 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!


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. Shlomo 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 here as well from a Druze farmer.


Caesarea Philippi/Banias

Driving through a few Druze towns, we could see 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 also passed by the Saar Waterfalls as we descended off the Golan Heights to 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 we saw what is left of 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.


Dan Nature Preserve & Archaeological Site

Our next 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 heard Shlomo play a song on his recorder. We also enjoyed reading and singing Psalm 42 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. Leaving the site of Dan we saw the Israelite gate and where the famous Dan Inscription was found in July, 1993.


Misgav Am

We added an extra stop on our way back to the hotel. We drove up the hills of Naphtali to Misgav Am, a kibbutz on the border with Lebanon. We could see directly across the border here into the country of this northern neighbor of Israel. Shlomo shared some of the history and current situation with us.

We drove back to the hotel along the Sea of Galilee from here. We past by Hazor on the way (Joshua 11). At the hotel we enjoyed dinner together followed by a free evening.

Sea of Galilee from Hippos Nov 22 Israel Tour John DeLancey
Caesarea Philippi Nov 22 Israel Tour John DeLancey
Katzrin Nov 22 Israel Tour John DeLancey
Dan Officials Seat Nov 22 Israel Tour John DeLancey
Syria Border Nov 22 Israel Tour John DeLancey
Misgav Am Lebanon Border Nov 22 Israel Tour John DeLancey

Day 6 – Sunday, November 6: Beth Shean, Shiloh, Jericho, Dead Sea

Today after breakfast we loaded the bus and headed south. Visiting three sites along the way, our ultimate destination tonight would be the southern end of the Dead Sea. The weather was once again sunny, with highs in the 80s. We read from portions of Matthew 5-7 as we departed at 7:30 a.m.


Beth Shean

To begin the day, we drove south of the Sea of Galilee through the Jordan Valley to Beth Shean, the only city of the Decapolis on the west side of the Jordan. This is a massive archaeological site, primarily Roman. Here we saw the bathhouse, walked the colonnaded street, sat in the public latrenes, and sang in the impressive theater. Some in the group hiked up 190 steps to the top of the Old Testament site where Saul’s body was hung on the walls of the town square (1 Samuel 31, 1 Chronicles 10).



We continued south along the Jordan Valley about 20 minutes before ascending into the Hill Country of Samaria. We saw a few shepherds with their flocks on our way to Shiloh (located about 20 miles north of Jerusalem). This was the location of Tabernacle for over 300 years until it was destroyed by the Philistines (1 Samuel 4). At the site we saw an impressive video presentation. By the ruins we read from 1 Samuel 3 (“Hineni” – “Here I am” was said here by young Samuel!), and Jeremiah 7.


Judean Desert & Parath

We continued our drive south towards Jericho. To get there we took a unique windy road down through the Judean Desert and specifically to the area of the Pareth (Parat in Hebrew) where Jeremiah once hid a linen belt (Jeremiah 13). The views were incredible. We spotted a number of gazelles along the road.



We arrived at Jericho at the southern end of the Jordan Valley in time for a late lunch. 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!


Ein Bokek/Dead Sea

In the late afternoon we made our way along the western shoreline of the Dead Sea to Ein Bokek. We first stopped as a Hebron glass store within Jericho before driving south. We passed Qumran, Ein Gedi, and Masada along the way (we’ll see these sites tomorrow). Once we arrived at our hotel, most in the group enjoyed dinner while others ventured down to the Dead Sea for a “float”  in this unique body of water. Others chose to wait until early morning tomorrow to experience this.

Beth Shean Nov 22 Israel Tour John DeLancey
Shiloh Nov 22 Israel Tour John DeLancey
Beth Shean Nov 22 Israel Tour John DeLancey
Gazelle Nov 22 Israel Tour John DeLancey
Beth Shean Nov 22 Israel Tour John DeLancey
Jericho Nov 22 Israel Tour John DeLancey

Day 7 – Monday, November 7: Masada, Ein Gedi, Qumran, Wilderness of Judah, Jerusalem

Today was a “desert day,” with warmer temps and hazy sun. This region is sure different than the regions in the north. Before breakfast most in the group enjoyed a “sunrise float” in the Dead Sea. Following breakfast, we loaded the bus and drove north to our first site. We read Psalm 18:1-2 as we left the hotel.



Masada (metzada, in Hebrew, Psalm 18:1-2) was our first site and only a 15 minute drive from our hotel. This was built in the 30s BC as a palace-fortress by Herod the Great. We took the cable car to the top and began seeing the ruins from the 1st century. We saw huge cisterns, the western and northern palaces, 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! Most of us took the cable car back down, while 12 in the group walked down the Snake Path.


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). We also saw a long snake (the first seen here by Dr. John in 30 years!). 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!



Continuing about 30 minutes north we arrived at Qumran. We enjoyed lunch here before seeing this most important site. 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!


Wadi Qelt

En route to Jerusalem, we made a brief stop overlooking the Wadi Qelt. We enjoyed a sunset here 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), and Psalm 23 sung by Shlomo. The view was breathtaking! 



We continued ascending to Jerusalem, passing Bethany and Bethpage on the way! We checked in to our hotel, enjoyed a wonderful dinner, and an optional walk to the Western Wall to end the evening! We are looking forward to our first day in Jerusalem tomorrow!

Masada Nov 22 Israel Tour John DeLancey
Ein Gedi Brad Nov 22 Israel Tour John DeLancey
Masada Nov 22 Israel Tour John DeLancey
Ein Gedi Brad Nov 22 Israel Tour John DeLancey
En Gedi 2022 Israel Tour John DeLancey
Wadi Qelt Nov 22 Israel Tour John DeLancey

Day 8 – Tuesday, November 8: Mt. of Olives, Old City, Pool of Bethesda, Holy Sepulcher Church, Shephelah: Gezer, Beth Shemesh, Socoh/Elah Valley, Bethlehem

Today was our first day in the Jerusalem area. We actually spent the entire morning in Jerusalem, first on the Mt. of Olives, and then walking through the Old City. In the afternoon we dropped down to the Lowlands of Judah (Shephelah) before ending back in the Hill Country at Bethlehem. Skies were overcast today, with a few showers in there morning. We enjoyed partly sunny skies in the afternoon. High temps were in the 60s.


Mt. of Olives

We left the hotel at 7:30 and drove around the north end of the Old City enroute to the Mt. of Olives. The view of the Old City and Temple Mount was stunning from here. 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. In the days of the Bible, the 1st and 2nd Temples stood there.


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.”


Eastern Gate

From here we walked up to the Old City to get a close-up view of the Eastern Gate. According to some, this gate has been closed since 810 AD, and perhaps a few times during the Crusader Period. We read from Ezekiel 44 about how the Messiah will walk through the Easter Gate of the city.


Holy Sepulcher Church

Walking through the Lion’s Gate (or St. Stephen’s & Jericho Gate), we entered the Old City. We 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 ate a falafel or shawarma lunch in the Christian Quarter before walking out of the Old City through the Jaffa Gate.


Gezer/Aijalon Valley

We drove westward from Jerusalem to the Shephelah (lowlands). We passed by three proposed places for biblical Emmaus. Our first site of the afternoon was Tel Gezer. It is located in the Aijalon Valley. Dr. John excavated here in 2017. This was a Canaanite and Israelite/Judean city. We saw city walls and gates, including one built by Solomon (1 Kings 9). We descended the impressive water system. Leaving the site we saw the standing stones most likely from the Canaanite Period.


Beth Shemesh/Sorek Valley

Further south is the Sorek Valley where the city of Beth Shemesh is located. We climbed the tel (ancient mound) to see the view of the valley. The stories of Samson (Judges 13-16) and the return of the Ark of the Covenant (1 Samuel 6) unfolded before our very eyes!


Socoh/Elah Valley

Socoh was last next site of the day. Located along the Elah Valley, we climbed this unexcavated site to see where David and Goliath battled. David was armed only with five stones but he found his confidence in the Lord. We read the story from 1 Samuel 17. We could see the story happening right before our eyes!

We returned to the Hill Country of Judah to Bethlehem. Here we ended the day at Nissan Brothers, an olive wood shop and store. We returned to our hotel in Jerusalem for a late dinner and a free evening.

Mt. of Olives Nov 22 Israel Tour John DeLancey
Gezer Nov 22 Israel Tour John DeLancey
Mt. of Olives Nov 22 Israel Tour John DeLancey
Gezer Nov 22 Israel Tour John DeLancey
Holy Sepulcher Nov 22 Israel Tour John DeLancey
Elah Valley Nov 22 Israel Tour John DeLancey

Day 9 – Wednesday, November 9: Judean Desert – Wadi Qelt Hike, Israel Museum, Yad Vashem, Jerusalem

Today we began in the Judean Desert and then returned to Jerusalem to visit two museums. While the rained hard during the night (and a few showers this afternoon), we enjoyed partly sunny skies most of the day, with nice high temps in the 60s. We read Psalm 137 (about how special Jerusalem was to those in exile in Babylon) as we left the hotel at 7:30 after breakfast.


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.  Some viewed this monastery (that was built directly into the cliff) from above, while others hiked down to it at the bottom of the canyon. We then continued (out and back) on the trail that leads to Herod’s winter palace in Jericho. We then hiked back up the steep pathway to the bus.


Yad Vashem

We returned to Jerusalem in the mid morning. We drove through a few Ultra Orthodox communicates in making our way 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 entered the Valley of the Communities, marking all the towns and cities where Jews were killed throughout Europe. We then heard Shlomo’s testimony about how he lost 12 family members in Vilna, Poland. We also walked through the Children’s Memorial. 1.5 million children were killed. On our own, we walked through the Museum. It was a somber experience. We enjoyed lunch in the cafeteria here before we left.


Israel Museum

Also located in West 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 returned to the hotel for dinner, followed by an optional walk on the Promenade on the south end of the city. We enjoyed a beautiful evening and view.

Wadi Qelt St. George Nov 22 Israel Tour John DeLancey
Shlomo Family 2022 Israel Tour John DeLancey
Wadi Qelt St. George Nov 22 Israel Tour John DeLancey
Yad Vashem 2022 Israel Tour John DeLancey
Yad Vashem June 2022 Israel Tour John DeLancey
Israel Museum 2022 Israel Tour John DeLancey

Day 10 – Thursday, November 10: City of David, Hezekiah’s Tunnel, Southern Wall Excavations, Western Wall, Free Time, Garden Tomb

Today was our last day in Jerusalem. The weather was once again sunny in the morning, with mixed clouds in the afternoon, with highs in the mid 60s. We experienced a lot, with many Old and New Testament connections! We left the hotel at 7:30, reading Psalm 48 as we departed.


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, we all got a peak at the southern end of the stone pavement that descends south from there area of the Temple. In the days of Jesus, this street was lined with shops. Since the planned walk up the Drainage Channel was closed, we all then bussed up to the Davidson Center to see the Southern Excavations of the Temple. Many Bar Mitzvah celebrations were happening here! 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! The area of buzzing with excitement with the many Bar Mitzvah kids reading the Torah passage of the day. 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. 


Garden Tomb

At 3 p.m. we gathered to walk to 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.

We returned to our hotel for our Farewell Dinner. We shared in good conversation, thankful to God for the great experiences we encountered. Six in the group return home tomorrow, while the rest in the group cross the border into Jordan tomorrow morning.

City of David Nov 22 Israel Tour John DeLancey
SW corner Temple Nov 22 Israel Tour John DeLancey
Hezekiah's Tunnel 2022 Israel Tour John DeLancey
Western Wall Nov 22 Israel Tour John DeLancey
Pool of Siloam Nov 22 Israel Tour John DeLancey
Garden Tomb Nov 22 Israel Tour John DeLancey

Day 11 – Friday, November 11: Allenby Bridge, Mt. Nebo, Machearus, Petra

Today was a transitional day. Those in the group who did not choose the Jordan optional tour flew home either today or tonight while 23 of us crossed the border into Jordan. Following breakfast and loading the bus, we we left the hotel at 7:15. We read from Joshua 2 as we departed the hotel. The weather was sunny today in Jordan, with highs around 70.


Allenby Bridge Border Crossing / Mt. Nebo

We drove east out of Jerusalem to the Jericho area. Slightly north of Jericho is the Allenby Bridge border crossing into the Hashemite country of Jordan. Crossing the border required patience (as always), but we made it across. We met our Jordanian driver (Mohammed) and our guide (Sammy). Following the usual passport procedures, we ascended from the Plain of Moab to Mt. Nebo, part of the Pisgah Range. The visibility was fairly good. We read from Deuteronomy 31-34 and Joshua 1 about the transition of leadership from Moses to Joshua. A Bronze Snake monument is erected here (Numbers 21, John 3). We also saw the newly renovated church here built upon the Byzantine Church from the 4-5th centuries AD.



On the way to Machaerus, we stopped at a mosaic store to see how they are made. When we arrived at Machaerus, we read from Matthew 14 (also recorded in Mark 6) about how John the Baptizer was beheaded here (Josephus tells us the location). Most in the group climbed to the top of this palace-fortress built by Herod the Great. We saw the suggested throne area of the palace (where Herod Antipas received the head of the Baptizer) as well as a few ritual baths and columns. The view across the Dead Sea was really good, allowing us to see the high-rises of Jerusalem! Later, Machaerus fell to the Romans in 71 AD.



From Machaerus, we had a long drive to Petra. For the most part, we used the newly-paved Desert Highway before exiting on to the King’s Highway (Numbers 21-22). We arrived at our hotel for a late dinner. We rise really tomorrow for Petra, one of the 7 Wonders of the World!

Mt. Nebo Nov 22 Israel-Jordan Tour John DeLancey
Machaerus Nov 22 Israel-Jordan Tour John DeLancey
Mt. Nebo Nov 22 Israel-Jordan Tour John DeLancey
Machaerus Nov 22 Israel-Jordan Tour John DeLancey
Mt. Nebo Nov 22 Israel-Jordan Tour John DeLancey
Machaerus Nov 22 Israel-Jordan Tour John DeLancey

Day 12 – Saturday, November 12: Petra, Wadi Rum

Today was an incredible day, with two spectacular sites highlighting the beauty of God’s creation. Petra and Wadi Rum are two of the highlights within Jordan. The weather was perfect too, with clear sunny skies, and highs around 70.



We left the hotel at 6:50, following an early breakfast. We prayed and sang our song (“Oh, the Sun’s Coming Up”) as we walked to the entrance of Petra. This ancient Nabatean city was built within the Seir Mountains, the land of the Edomites (Deuteronomy 2, 33; Ezekiel 35). We all thoroughly enjoyed the spectacular scenery and tombs/ruins of this red-rose ancient city that is one of the 7 Wonders of the World. Once we entered the site, we all walked through the Siq (canyon) which brought us to the first monument, “The Treasury” (“Al-Khazneh”). This well-preserved monumental tomb appeared in the movie “Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.” It was the tomb of the Nabatean King named Aretas III (Paul mentions his son, Aretas IV in 2 Cor. 11:32). His daughter (or granddaughter – depending on dating) was the former wife of Herod Antipas, see Matthew 14).

From the Treasury we now began our walk into the city. Besides passing by many of the Nabatean tombs, we walked by a 3,000-seat theater carved into the sandstone, one of the largest theaters in Jordan. From here, some in the group walked to the Monastery Tomb at the far west side of Petra, while others explored on their own (e.g. the Royal Tombs). The Aravah and Negev of Israel could be seen in the haze to the west from the area of the Monastery. Four in the group also hiked to the High Place far above the site. We all made it back by 1:35 to the hotel where we loaded the bus to begin our drive to Wadi Rum.


Wadi Rum

Driving on portions of the King’s Highway and then again accessing the Desert Highway lead us down to Wadi Rum in southern Jordan. Upon arriving in this area made famous by Sir Lawrence of Arabia during WWI (this British officer helped the Bedouin fight against the Turks), four jeeps (pickup trucks) were awaiting us to take us through the desert. It was a lot of fun driving through the sand. The views were amazing as well. We stopped by a Bedouin tent for tea and coffee. We made it to a rocky hill where we enjoyed a wonderful sunset. The jeeps then took us to Captain’s, our “Bedouin-style camp” for the night. Following a unique dinner (prepared underground), we enjoyed a bonfire before retiring for the evening.

Petra, Jordan Tour Nov 22 John DeLancey
Petra, Jordan Tour Nov 22 John DeLancey
Petra, Jordan Tour Nov 22 John DeLancey
Wadi Rum, Jordan Tour Nov 22 John DeLancey
Petra, Jordan Tour Nov 22 John DeLancey
Wadi Rum, Jordan Tour Nov 22 John DeLancey

Day 13 – Sunday, November 13: Southern Border crossing into Israel, Red Sea, Timnah, Machtesh Ramon, Tel Aviv

Today was our last day of the tour. We crossed back over to Israel and enjoyed a more leisurely day that included travel and a few sites. The weather was very nice again, with full sun and highs around 80. We read Obadiah 1 (about a condemning word about Edom) as we left the Bedouin camp at Wadi Rum.


Rabin Southern Border Crossing

It took about 50 minutes to arrive at the border crossing. Located at the northern end of the Gulf of Aqaba, we cross from Aqaba, Jordan to Elat, Israel. The border here is named after the late Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin. The border crossing was extremely easy and quick, only taking no more than 30 minutes!


Coral Beach/Red Sea

Once we cross, we met Benjamin (our Israeli guide accompanying us for the day) and Shai (our driver). We drove through Elat, Israel’s most southern city, to Coral Beach. Here, we enjoyed the beautiful waters of the Red Sea. The clarity of the water and the color of all kinds of fish was stunning! It was a fun time of swimming and relaxing.


Timnah/Tabernacle Model

From here, we drove north through the Aravah (Rift Valley) to Timnah. In ancient days (13th-12th century BC), this was a copper mine of the Egyptians. We hiked up and over Solomon’s Pillars where we saw a Temple of Hathor (the Egyptian goddess of fertility. We also walk through a full-size replica of the Old Testament Tabernacle. Ariel, a Messianic Jew, offered a teaching on how all aspects of the Tabernacle was fulfilled by Yeshua-Jesus. As we left the site, we read from Hebrews 9.


Machtesh Ramon

Heading northwest now, we drove through the Southern Highlands past a few military areas used by the Israelis (e.g. tank maneuvers are practiced here). Eventually, we drove through the Machtesh Ramon, Israel’s “Grand Canyon.” We made a brief stop on the north rim to gain a wonderful view of this “crater.” This geological phenomena was most likely created as a result of  the Noahic flood a few thousand years ago.



The drive north continued from here. We past the Desert of Zin (Numbers 13, 20) on our way through the western Shephelah. We drove past Tel es-Safi (biblical Gath) as we made it to the coastline of the Mediterranean. In Jaffa, we enjoyed another “Farewell Dinner” at a very nice Arab restaurant. Following an excellent mear, most in the group were transported to the Bern Gurion Airport for their flight home. Six in the group were taken to a nearby hotel for overnight before their flight tomorrow morning.

This brings us to the end of this 14 day Israel-Jordan tour. Praise be to God for the wonderful group God gathered and for all of our experiences here in the lands of the Bible!

Wadi Rum Nov 22 Israel-Jordan Tour John DeLancey
Tabernacle Timnah Nov 22 Israel Tour John DeLancey
Red Sea Nov 22 Israel Tour John DeLancey
Machtesh Ramon Nov 22 Israel Tour John DeLancey
Tabernacle Timnah Nov 22 Israel Tour John DeLancey
Tank Crossing Nov 22 Israel Tour John DeLancey

Day 14 – Monday, November 14: Arrive Home

Most in the group flew home on a night flight last night, arriving in the morning back in the States. Others arrived this evening. We thank God for a great trip with a wonderful group of people!

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 (hiding from Herod while he was governor of the Galilee) and later in 66-67 AD found refuge in these caves.

Pin It on Pinterest