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Israel Tour | June 2015

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Then said the Lord to him, Put off thy shoes from thy feet: for the place where thou standest is holy ground. Acts 7:33.

Boots on the ground, eyes straight ahead, ascending His Holy hill, physically encompassing His Jerusalem and The Land of the Covenant.  Join Pastor Bob Probert of Mission Endeavors June 15 – 28, 2015 on a 14-day, unique and in-depth tour of Israel. Pastor Bob has created an adventure to Israel’s Biblical activity that will give you fresh insight and excitement as you study The Word together.  You will be comfortable but moved!  You will be awestruck yet home!  Join us as we stretch our ideas of an Israel trip to gain knowledge and relationship together.

This in-depth journey will take you off the beaten path of the standard tour bus (yes, we will have a very small comfortable bus with WIFI!) as we explore interesting sites, take great hikes and view amazing sites as we study God’s Word.  We will visit Gamla, the Masada of the north and the highest waterfall in Israel and have a choice of hikes on Mount Tabor whose sheer elevation provides a breathtaking view of the valley of Armageddon below. We will go into a stroll through the streets of Bethlehem and view the site of our precious Savior’s birth, walk the fields where shepherds keep watch of their flocks, and even descend into the ground of Hezekiah’s tunnel.  We will also have the pleasure of staying in lovely hotels at the Jaffa Gate in Jerusalem, with access to the Ramparts Walk that will give us a one of kind view of the city below and lovely kibbutz along the way.   All this, and so much more as we fellowship alongside Pastor Bob.

The air inclusive price is only $3,799 with all tours, taxes and transportation.  Please take a look below at the unique itinerary Pastor Bob has designed for you!

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DayItinerary at a Glance
June 15Depart Los Angeles at 4:30PM
June 16Jaffa, Tel Aviv
June 17Valley of Elah, Timna, Wilderness of Zin, Tabernacle in the Desert, Red Sea
June 18 Masada, Ein Gedi, Dead Sea
June 19Jericho, Qumran, Beth Shean, Sea of Galilee
June 20Capernaum, Chorazin, Bethsaida, Mount of Beatitudes
June 21Caesarea Philippi, Tel Dan, Gamla
June 22Megiddo, Armageddon, Mt. Tabor, Lower Galilee
June 23Nazareth, Cana, Caesarea, Jerusalem
June 24Bethlehem, Shepherd’s Fields, Herodian, Jerusalem
June 25Mt. of Olives, Garden of Gethsemane, Hezekiah’s Tunnel, City of David, Pool of Siloam
June 26Western Wall, Temple Mount, Jewish Quarter, Upper Room
June 27Pools of Bethesda, Gates of Jerusalem, Ramparts Walk, Garden Tomb
June 28Return flights home, arrive Los Angeles at 2:35PM

YOUR INCLUDED HIGHLIGHTS ARE:

  • Round-trip airfare including all taxes, fuel surcharges and fees from Los Angeles
  • All meals as outlined on the below itinerary
  • Fully escorted and hosted tour throughout
  • All transfers and transportation
  • Unique hotels and kibbutz stays
  • All taxes and fees



DayChristian Israel Tour Itinerary
June 15Depart home cities.
June 16
And a voice came to him, “Rise, Peter; kill and eat.” But Peter said, “Not so, Lord! For I have never eaten anything common or unclean.” And a voice spoke to him again the second time, “What God has cleansed you must not call common.” (Acts 10:13 – 16).

After clearing customs, we will be met by our guide who will take us on a evening drive through Jaffa, the oldest port in the world. Jonah set sail for Tarshish from Jaffa but was swallowed by a large fish. Jaffa was also the home of Tabitha, who was raised from the dead by Peter. Peter had his vision here while lodging in the home of Simon the Tanner. It is also where King Solomon imported the cedars of Lebanon to build the Temple in Jerusalem. We then drive north to the city of Tel Aviv where we check into the Gilgal Hotel for dinner and overnight.  D (Dinner)

June 17Valley of Elah, Timna, Wilderness of Zin, Tabernacle in the Desert, Red Sea- This morning we drive south through the Philistine cities, starting with the area of Beth Shemesh. We stop in the Valley of Elah, where David encountered Goliath (I Samuel 17), and continue through the Philistine country to Beersheba, the city of the Patriarchs, where we will visit Abraham’s Well. We then drive south to view the stupendous wilderness of Zin and enjoy a hike. We continue through the Negev and dwell some time on the desert experience as we drive south towards Eilat.

In a desert land he found him, in a barren and howling waste. He shielded him and cared for him; he guarded him as the apple of his eye, like an eagle that stirs up its nest and hovers over its young, that spreads its wings to catch them and carries them on its pinions. The LORD alone led him; no foreign god was with him (Deuteronomy 32:10-12).

We stop at Timna Park, just 20 miles north of Eilat, in the Arava Valley. It is a region of startling beauty, including ancient copper mines, odd rock formations, and the remains of a Midianite tent-sanctuary related to that of the exodus. At Timna Park, a life-size replica of the biblical tabernacle has been constructed. While no original materials (e.g., gold, silver, bronze) have been used, the model is accurate in every other way based upon the biblical description. We continue to the southernmost Israeli city of Eliat, located on the northern shores of the Red Sea. We check in our hotel for dinner and overnight.  Eilat Astral Hotel. BD (Breakfast and Dinner)

June 18We retrace our way through the Negev, heading north along route 227, which follows a route opened by the British Mandate to connect Beersheba to Eliat. We then drive inland, heading west up Maaleh Akrabbim (the Ascent of the Scorpions), which is mentioned in Joshua 15:3, when tracing the border of the promised land. The Romans had a road here into which they cut very impressive steps, connecting Mamshit with En Hatseva in the Arava, whence it crossed up to Petra. We drive to nearby Arad and then walk up the Roman ramp to the top of Masada. The cliff’s remoteness and difficult approach made it a perfect fortress, and it was here that King Herod built two fortified palaces over 2,000 years ago.  After exploring the archeological ruins with our guide, we will walk to eastern slope of Masada and down the snake path to the base where we regain our bus.  We drive north along the western shores of the Dead Sea where we enter the nearby nature reserve of Ein Gedi, rich in flora and fauna, and hike to a lovely waterfall.  Here we can also try to imagine a possible cave that brings to mind the biblical reference

(1 Samuel 24:1-3), “Now when Saul returned from pursuing the Philistines, he was told, saying, “Behold, David is in the wilderness of En Gedi.” Then Saul took three thousand chosen men from all Israel and went to seek David and his men in front of the Rocks of the Wild Goats. He came to the sheepfolds on the way, where there was a cave; and Saul went in to relieve himself. Now David and his men were sitting in the inner recesses of the cave.”

After this, we check into the Kibbutz Ein Gedi Guest House for dinner and overnight.   BD

June 19Jericho, Qumran, Beth Shean, Sea of Galilee-

Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit in the desert, where for forty days he was tempted by the devil. He ate nothing during those days, and at the end of them he was hungry. The devil said to him, “If you are the Son of God, tell this stone to become bread.” Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man does not live on bread alone.’ (Luke 4:1-4).

Today we visit three major sites: Jericho, Ein Harod and Beth Shean. We drive north along the western shores of the Dead Sea to Qumran.  Here we view Cave #4, which contained the greatest quantity of Dead Sea scrolls. We continue driving north through the Jordan Valley to Jericho where we visit the Tel of this oldest city and view the traditional mountain of Jesus’ temptation. Further north we connect with Harod’s Valley and drive east into  a fantastic view filled with biblical history. From this location on Tel Jezreel looking east, one can imagine the crowned Jehu “driving like a madman,” on his way to killing the kings of Israel and Judah. We drive through the Jezreel Valley east to Ein Harod (Judges 7), which describes Gideon’s actions in thinning out his army. This is where he brought the men to the spring and sorted them on the basis of how they drank from the water.  We then continue east to the strategic crossing point between the Jordan Valley and the Jezreel which is located in the city of Beth Shean (aka Scythopolis). Here, we will climb the Tel to view the setting of Saul’s death (I Samuel 28 – II Samuel 1). We shall then survey the magnificent Roman and Byzantine ruins: theatre, bathhouses, ancient rest rooms, market areas, colonnaded streets. Driving north again through the Jordan valley we stop at Yardenit for a visit at the modern baptismal site at the point where the Jordan flows out of the lake. Here the group can end their day with the possibility of renewing the Baptismal vows before heading to check into a guest house on the shores of the Sea of Galilee for dinner and overnight. Kibbutz Ma’Agan, lovely!  BD

June 20Capernaum, Chorzin, Bethsaida, Mount of Beatitudes. “Now when he saw the crowds, he went up on a mountainside and sat down. His disciples came to him, and he began to teach them saying:

“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven'”. (Matthew 5:1-3).

We drive up to the Mount of Beatitudes (Matthew 5-7). We hike down the hill to the lake and go to Tabgha where Christians have long remembered the first feeding of the multitude (Mark 6) and nearby, the breakfast of John 21. We continue walking to nearby Capernaum where Franciscan archaeologists believe they have uncovered the house of Peter (Mark 1 and 2). We drive the northern end of the Sea of Galilee heading east and we stop at Bethsaida, which is the fishing village of the Gospels. This village was the home town of Peter, Andrew, and Philip (John 1:44). Here, as well as Capernaum and Chorazin, Jesus performed most of his miracles, healed a blind man, and cursed all three towns for their failure to repent. In Luke’s account, the feeding of the 5000 occurred in the area of Bethsaida. We continue driving around the eastern shores of the Sea of Galilee heading south to Ein Gev where we can stop for a St. Peter’s Fish lunch. After lunch we drive further south and stop at Kursi in the “Gergesa” of Matthew’s Gospel, where the evangelist locates the miracle of the swine. Most likely, that is what early Christians were commemorating. We then drive full circle around the lake and end our day at the new site of Magdala where we visit the newly found first century synagogue and the newly excavated very important fishing Village from the time of Christ.  BLD

June 21Caesarea Philippi, Tel Dan, Gamla-

When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say the Son of Man is?” They replied, “Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” “But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?” Simon Peter answered, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” (Matthew 16:13-16).

We ascend the Golan Heights today, the biblical Bashan and ancestral home of the half-tribe of Manassah and in Jesus’ day, part of the territory of Herod Philip. Here we top for an overview of Gamla, also known as “Massada of the north” and hike down to the site. You’ll hear a heroic story of the few against the many, as the raptors that are protected here soar overhead in these magnificent natural surroundings. We will also visit the site of King Og near Gamla, which will be a new site for us!  We continue to Katsrin and visit its ancient Talmudic Village to understand aspects of daily life at the time of Jesus as they are reflected in Gospel stories. We then drive along Israel’s border with Syria and stop at the Kuneitra overlook and then onto a visit to Tel Dan, one of the most important biblical mounds in the country. Here archaeologists discovered an inscription with the words “House of David,” and you can see a gateway from the time of Abraham, as well as the High Place of Jeroboam and the Israelite gate. Next we continue to Caesarea Philippi, now known as Banias. Open your Bible among the ruins of pagan temples to consider the words Jesus spoke here: “Who do people say the Son of Man is?” (Matt. 16:13). As at Dan, you’ll also enjoy the natural beauty of Banias nestled on the flourishing banks of one the Jordan’s main tributaries. We end our day with an hour  on the lake in a wooden boat modeled on one from Jesus’ time. ( Mathew 14)  BD

June 22Monday. Megiddo, Armageddon, Mt. Tabor, Lower Galilee
This morning we drive west through Poriya

“O Land of Zebulun and Land of Naphtali, on the road to the sea, across the Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles! The people living in darkness have seen a great light, and for those living in the land and shadow of death, a light has risen.”(Matthew 4:15-16).

We arrive at the foot of Mt. Tabor:

“Lord, it is good for us to be here…˛” (Luke 9:33).

Here we find the little village of Naim, where Jesus raised the only son of the poor widow from the dead (Luke 7:11-17). We hike up to the steep slopes to the top of Mt. Tabor and the elevation provides an utterly commanding view of all of lower Galilee, and the valley of the Armageddon. We hike back down the mount – a great time to reflect and prepare us for our next, most impressive visit. We come into the famed Jezreel Valley west to Megiddo – Ar-mageddon. In one fell swoop, from the heights of Tel Megiddo, you take in thousands of years of biblical history. You are surrounded by dramatic remnants of the more than two dozen civilizations that rose and fell here, which created the very mound on which you stand. The Canaanites knew it, and so did Solomon and the kings of Israel who built a major city here. We will explore Ahab’s amazing water system, and pay tribute to the ancient ingenuity that has brought worldwide acclaim to this site. From the first recorded battle in history, in 1468 BC, every army that crossed this land fought in Megiddo’s shadow. We remind ourselves the lesson we heard on this spot, about history’s last recorded battle: “They gathered the kings together to the place that in Hebrew is called Armageddon” (Rev. 16:16).After surveying the layered city we return back to the Sea of Galilee to our base for dinner and overnight. BD

June 23Nazareth, Cana, Caesarea, Jerusalem

“We are going up to Jerusalem.” (Matth. 20:18).

Today we drive up to Nazareth. On the way we stop at Cana of the Galilee where Jesus performed his first sign (John 2), commemorating Jesus’ transformation of water into wine. We proceed towards Nazareth and drive up to the Mt. of Precipi for a panoramic view of the Jezreel and see the connection with Mt. Tabor in the distance and the Carmel Range in the west and the connections to the town of Nazareth down the hill. It is also the location of the events mentioned in ( Luke 4:16-30). This story tells about how angry Jewish worshippers drove Jesus away from the Synagogue, attempted to throw him of the cliffs, and he disappeared before their eyes “in the midst of them”.   We drive down to Nazareth and spend the rest of the morning getting acquainted with Jesus’ home town, visiting its spring, where Mary would have done her family’s laundry, and walking through the present-day bazaar, over the site of the ancient village. We then drive to the mound of Megiddo, har megiddo in Hebrew, which gave its name to Armageddon.  We then ascend Mt. Carmel, site of Elijah’s confrontation with the prophets of Baal.  We will take a walk into the site of Antiparas and then drive towards the Mediterranean coast, south along the coastal highway to Caesarea – by the Sea. We enter Caesarea Maritima to explore this Roman bridgehead to the East, which became the Christian springboard to the West. After the visit this ancient harbor, we board our bus and  we head up the historic Beth Horon road (Joshua 10:10) to the Benjamin Plateau, passing ancient Gibeon and continuing on to Jerusalem. Finally, atop Mt. Scopus, we behold majestic Jerusalem. BD  Gloria Hotel– right next to the entrance of the ramparts walk and right inside the walls at Jaffa Gate…you will love it.  BD

June 24Bethlehem, Shepherd’s Fields, Herodian, Jerusalem-

I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. (Luke 2:10-11).

This morning we drive south to the region of Bethlehem passing Rachel’s Tomb on the outskirts. We drive to a hilltop for a view of Bethlehem, noting its relation to the rest of the central mountain range, including Jerusalem, as well as to the desert and the area of ancient Moab. Driving south, we visit Solomon’s Pools, Jerusalem’s main source of water for almost 2000 years and pass the monastery of Hortus Conclusus (“the sealed garden”) in Artas. From there we hike to the Herodion, the palace set in a conical mountain built by Herod to mark his tomb, which was recently in the news due to the discovery of Herod’s Tomb. We then drive to one of the possible sites for Shepherds’ Fields. We continue into Bethlehem itself, walking through the restored old town to the Church of the Nativity and visiting the manger. We will also walk into a site which could be the place of the inn where the wise men visited Christ Jesus. We drive back to Jerusalem and check into our hotel for dinner and overnight.

June 25Mt. of Olives, Garden of Gethsemane, Hezekiah’s Tunnel, City of David, Pool of Siloam-

“If you, even you, had only known on this day what would bring you peace” (Luke 19:42)

We start on the Mt. of Olives for an orientation to the city. We will visit the church of Pater Noster, a church dedicated to the Lord’s Prayer with depictions in several languages of the world inscribed on colorful ceramic plaques covering the walls of the Church. We will have an opportunity to read the Lord’s prayer in Aramaic, the language that Christ taught his disciples. We then descend the traditional Palm Sunday Road stopping at the church of Dominus Flevit – The Lord Weeps. We continue down to the Church of All Nations in the Garden of Gethsemane (Matthew 26) with a visit to the garden and the church where we will have some quiet time. We then walk down along the new path into the Kidron Valley and down the part of the Kidron called the Valley of Jehosafat, where God will judge the nations of the world (Joel 3:12). Another name for the valley is the Vale of the King; it was once intensely cultivated and the revenues went to the king. We continue walking along the path to the City of David. You will understand the timeline of the geography of the City of David from the original settlement to present day. We then descend into the ground to Hezekiah’s tunnel built somewhere near 700 B.C. and was needed to bring fresh water from outside the fortified City of David (from the Gihon Spring) to the inside (deposited into the Pool of Shiloam) so that the city would have drinking water during any siege (the tunnel’s construction is referred to in Isaiah 22:9). You will have a choice in doing the 40 minute walk in knee-high water from the Gihon Spring to the Pool of Siloam. At the end of the tour, we will have a great viewpoint into modern day Silwan below us with its pending new archeological discoveries.

June 26Western Wall, Temple Mount, Jewish Quarter, Upper Room-

Walk about Zion, go around her, count her towers, consider well her ramparts, view her citadels, that you may tell of them to the next generation. For this God is our God for ever and ever; he will be our guide even to the end. (Psalm 48:12-14)

First thing this morning, we take the ramparts walk on the Old City Walls from Jaffa Gate to the Western Wall. We descend from the Old City Wall and take the time to examine the ruins near the south side of the Temple complex, which includes steps where we may be certain that Jesus taught and He and his disciples walked. We then walk up to the Western Wall, Judaism’s holiest site. We walk up to the Dome of the Rock and the al-Aqsa Mosque, the third holiest site of Islam, located on the site of the ancient Temple Mount. We spend some time walking around the Jewish Quarter. Walk along the Cardo, the ancient Roman road and view the Broad Wall.  While in the Jewish Quarter take the opportunity to visit the Temple Institute, the Herodion Mansion  Walk out through Mt. Zion Gate to visit the King David Tomb and the Upper Room. From there we take a short hike to the church grounds called Peter in Gallicantu, which affords the best view of early Jerusalem from the west. Here, the Assumptionist Fathers propose, was the house where the High Priest Caiaphas interrogated Jesus and where Peter denied Jesus three times. We return back to our hotel for the dinner and overnight.  BD

June 27Pools of Bethesda, Gates of Jerusalem, Ramparts Walk, Garden Tomb-

“He has risen!” (Mark 16:6 )

Again we take the walk on the Old City Ramparts, but this time we walk in the opposite direction walking towards, Damascus, Gate and the Kidron Valley. We get off the wall at St. Steven’s Gate or the Sheep’s Gate and enter the city. Here we find. the Pools of Bethesda (John 5) and St. Anne’s Church, which has been perfectlypreserved from the Crusader period  and which has remarkable acoustics. We then follow the Way of the Cross (Via Dolorosa) back as far as the Holy Sepulcher. From there we walk through the Arab Souks to Damascus Gate and then walk leisurely for a special visit and private communion on the grounds of the Garden Tomb.  Free late afternoon prior to driving to the Tel Aviv airport.  B

June 28Return flights home, arrive Los Angeles at 2:35PM.


Pastor Bob Probert

Israel Tour with Bob Probert of Mission EndeavorsBob is the founder and director of Mission Endeavors. He also founded Survival Ministries in 1982, which later became Calvary Missions. Bob has a heart for worldwide missions and worship. He is currently leading Study and Ministry tours to Israel and Weekend outreaches to Mexico. Bob serves as a staff pastor at the Packinghouse in Redlands.

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