WALKING THE ANCIENT PATHS
A Spiritual and Educational
Israel – The Land of the Bible
May 24 - June 2, 2024
Old Testament prophets and their literature provide the backdrop for the arrival of the Messiah and the birth of the New Testament church. An understanding of the historical context of all scripture is critical to interpretational accuracy. On-site study and experiencing geo-political landscape, as well as the archaeological evidence, will reveal the drama that drove the second-century church. Standing on the holy land, the prophets, Jesus, and the apostles come alive.
Suggested reading in preparation for the Israel tour include the following items:
Rasmussen, Carl, Zondervan Atlas of the Bible,
Zondervan Academic 2010
ISBN 978-0310-52126-6 (ebook)
ISBN 978-0-31027050-8 (hardcover, printed)
Hoffmeier, James K., The Prophets of Israel, Walking the Ancient Paths
Kregel Academic 2021
Kaiser, Walter C., Jr. and Wegner, Paul, A History of Israel Revised Edition,
B & H Academic 2016
*A map of Israel and Jerusalem will be provided by your Epic Tours host.
*As the students move from site to site, they will complete a map study designed to familiarize them with the area and its sites.
*Three quizzes will be held during tour, evaluating the students’ grasp of the lectures and on-site instruction. Study questions will be given to help in preparation for the quizzes.
*Before leaving Israel, students will write a ??? word summary of their experiences in Israel.
*The professors will provide the criteria for credit for the tour/course. The course work will be weighed accordingly.
*Bibliography to be developed by professors.
By the end of the tour, students should be able to:
Understand and describe the geography of the Middle East and the flow of historical events that occurred there.
Identify biblical sites and regions on a map and the roles which those sites played in biblical text.
Research the facts surrounding the travels of the prophets, Jesus and the apostles. Seeing the actual routes will add to the students’ ability to place events in rich context. The study tour will lead to correct interpretation and application of biblical text.
Today, we board our flight for the land of the Bible, Israel!
Arrive at Ben Gurion Airport, Tel Aviv, Israel where we are greeted, assisted, and transferred to our hotel by the EpicTOURS staff. Overnight on the shores of the Mediterranean Sea! Open your Bible and let your mind drink in the Biblical history you are about to personally experience. You are in the Holy Land! A sumptuous Israeli dinner is served then we rest from the long journey to prepare us for our first day of touring.
Dinner and overnight Netanya near Tel Aviv
Day 3 -- Jaffa/Caesarea/Mt. Carmel/Tel-Megido/Nazareth Village/Mt. Precipice/Tiberias
We awake in the Holy Land to a sumptuous Israeli breakfast buffet, then we transfer by deluxe motor coach to tour Jaffa (Joppa), in the southern, oldest part of Tel Aviv-Jaffa, an ancient port city in Israel. Jaffa is famous for its association with the biblical stories of Jonah, Solomon, and Saint Peter as well as the mythological story of Andromeda and Perseus. We head north on the Coastal Road to view the stately, ancient ruins of Caesarea, visiting the Roman amphitheater where Paul stood trial. It was here that the Holy Spirit first fell on the Gentiles as Cornelius, the first Gentile of the Church-age, met Peter. http://www.bible-history.com/archaeology/israel/3-caesarea-ancient-bb.html Next, we drive up the Mediterranean Coast to Mount Carmel, Elijah’s Cave, the place where the Prophet Elijah defeated the false prophets of Ba’al and where God answered by fire. We continue today by driving through the Valley of Jezreel (Google Valley of Jezreel for information) - the prophetic future site of the battle of Armageddon. The archaeological site of Megiddo is one of Solomon’s chariot cities where twenty civilizations can be observed stacked up in the ruins. Driving toward Nazareth, we stop to visit an extraordinary site called Nazareth Village, where we step back in time to see a day in the life of the first century Jews who lived in Nazareth. We will visit Mt. Precipice which is located south of Nazareth, on the cliffs of Mt Kedumim (397M), overlooking the Yizrael Valley and view Mount Tabor. This is considered by some to be the place where 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”.
Dinner and overnight in Tiberias
Explore The Galilee- Lake Kinerret/ Mr. Arbel/Magdala/Boat ride on the Sea of Galilee/St. Peter’s Fish Lunch/Capernaum/Mount of the Beatitudes/Tabgha/Bethseda/Kurazim/Kursi (Pig Jump)
After another great Israeli breakfast, we start our day with a service on the Galilee. Stepping aboard a Galilee boat for a calm cruise on the sea, we enjoy an incredible worship service, which will be life changing. For many pilgrims to the Holy Land, this is one of the most memorable. Later, we disembark at Ginosar for a short trip to Capernaum, where we visit the home of the Apostle Peter where Jesus healed his mother-in-law. Visit Tabgha where Jesus multiplied the fishes and loaves. We lunch on the shores of the Sea of Galilee and enjoy a special feast of St. Peter’s Fish. A short bus ride takes us to the Mount of Beatitudes where we hear the words of Jesus on the mount where the greatest sermon ever was preached. We proceed to our baptismal site located on the Jordan River, Yardenit, for those who wish to be baptized or renew baptism. After baptism, we return to the hotel where another Israeli buffet presents an amazing variety of food for our dinner.
Dinner and overnight in Tiberias
The Jordan Valley
After breakfast, we travel to Beit Shean https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beit_She%27an to visit one of the best preserved Roman Amphitheaters in Israel. Extensive excavations have uncovered eighteen layers of civilizations. Ancient Beit Shean is also where King Saul’s body was retrieved by the brave men of Jabesh Gilead. We travel south passing Jericho, the “City of Palms” spreading out on the west side of the Jordan River at 825 feet below sea level. The biblical site of Tell es-Sultan is in the distance, as is the location of city Joshua destroyed. In Jesus’ day a new center had been constructed on the wadi banks by the Hasmonean rulers and Herod the Great. Continuing south, we see Qumran, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Qumran where the famous Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered by a little shepherd boy and Ein Gedi where David fled from Saul. Continuing south through the wilderness of Judea, we will ascend by cable car to Masada, the fortress built by King Herod the Great. Step back in time to 66 CE when a group of Jewish rebels overcame the Roman garrison of Masada http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/masada-desert-fortress and settled on the top of Masada until 73 CE when the Roman governor laid siege. The view of the Roman camps can still be seen from atop Masada, as well as a spectacular view of the country of Jordan and the Dead Sea. Visit the remains of Herod’s Palace, the Apartments, Baths, Storehouses and Cisterns. It was here the Jewish Zealots made their last stand against the Roman Legions from 70-73 AD. Descend from Masada with a stunning view of the Dead Sea. We continue north along the shore of the Dead Sea and leave the lowest point on earth which is 1360 feet below sea level. Ending our day, we arrive in Jerusalem to feast our souls and eyes on the most sacred place on earth. Jerusalem, Jerusalem, lift up your voice and sing, Hosanna to our King!
Dinner and Overnight - Jerusalem
Jerusalem/Temple Mount/Mt Olives/Garden of Gethsemene/Hulda Gates/Southern Steps excavations https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jerusalem
A breathtaking view of the Temple Mount (Mt. Moriah Genesis 22:2) is seen from the Mount of Olives. The Mount of Olives is where Jesus will return and the Temple Mount is where the 3rd Temple will be rebuilt prior to His appearing. After enjoying the view of Jerusalem from the Mount of Olives, we visit the Church of All Nations and pray and worship in the Garden of Gethsemane with a grand view of the Eastern Gate and the Kidron Valley. Here, we read the Scriptures of Jesus’ prayer and take time for personal reflection where we literally walk where Jesus walked. Crossing the Kidron Valley, we begin a tour of the old city of Jerusalem. As we begin the tour of old Jerusalem, we visit St. Ann’s Church and hear the marvelous acoustics as we sing. Visit the Pool of Bethesda where the angel stirred the waters for healing. Continue to the Antonio Fortress and the Lithostrotos, the scene of the trial of Jesus. See the etchings in the stone where the Roman soldiers played the Game of the King and mocked Jesus with the crown of thorns and the purple robe. Following the path from Pilate’s Judgement Hall through the old city, we experience the sights and sounds of old Jerusalem as we journey toward the Western Wall to arrive before sunset. We walk the Via Dolorosa, the route that Jesus took between his condemnation by Pilate and his crucifixion and burial. Just below the Temple Mount, on the western side we will pray at the Western Wall (Kotel) which is the closest wall to where the Holy of Holies was located when the Temple was in use during the 1st Century. Visit the Western Wall Tunnel which will take you underground. A large portion of the Western Wall is inaccessible, otherwise. You will see stones, models and actual structures which provide clues as to how the Second Temple was constructed. In addition, these artifacts help explain the history of this area through the eyes of all the great empires that once ruled Jerusalem.
Dinner and Overnight - Jerusalem
Jerusalem, Old City
We will visit one of the most incredible sites in all of Judaism: The Temple Mount. It is here where Temple era came to an abrupt halt as it was destroyed by the Romans in 70 AD. Leaving the Temple Mount, we drive to the City of David, at the Gihon Spring, where we learn of how the original city of Jerusalem was established. by King David, overtaking from the Jebusites. Next we’ll visit Hezekiah’s Tunnel: A 1750-foot tunnel carved during the reign of Hezekiah to bring water from one side of the city to the other, Hezekiah’s Tunnel together with the 6th c. tunnel of Euphalios in Greece are considered the greatest works of water engineering technology in the pre-Classical period. The Pool of Siloam is a rock-cut pool on the southern slope of the City of David, the original site of Jerusalem, located outside the walls of the Old City to the southeast. The pool was fed by the waters of the Gihon Spring, carried there by two aqueducts. Traveling to Bethlehem in the afternoon, we will visit the Church of the Nativity and the Shepherds Fields. We will eat lunch at a local restaurant with a Bedouin flavor, enjoyable by all who have visited! Great shopping opportunities in Bethlehem!
Dinner and Overnight - Jerusalem
Begin the day at the Garden Tomb where we view the Hill of the Skull and walk into the empty tomb. A communion service provides an opportunity to reflect on Jesus’ sacrifice and His victory over death. Ministers from your group will lead the service.
After visiting the room of the Last Supper, also known as the site of the Upper Room, and the traditional site of the Tomb of King David, we take a short walk through the Jewish Quarter to visit the Temple Institute. www.templeinstitute.org The Temple Institute's goal is to see Israel rebuild the Holy Temple on Mount Moriah in Jerusalem, in accord with biblical commandments. Finally, a short walk through the Roman Cardo. Traveling to the Israeli Museum we will visit the 2nd Temple model of Jerusalem and the Dead Sea scrolls (discovered in the caves of Qumran) among other antiquities. We’ll view the Knesset Menorah which is a bronze Menorah weighing 4 tons. It is located opposite the Knesset. It was presented to the Knesset as a gift from the Parliament of the United Kingdom on April 15, 1956 in honor of the eighth anniversary of Israeli independence. Finally, we will end our day at the Clal Building, the Epic Tours office, the International Biblical Institute of Jerusalem (IBCJ) and the offices of the UPCI representatives and saints in Israel. The classroom provides an opportunity for the group to reflect on the tour and hear from each of our Bible college professors. The facility overlooks the city of Jerusalem. The spectacular view is an awesome spiritual experience as we contemplate our journey thus far. Return to the hotel for dinner.
Dinner and Overnight - Jerusalem
Jerusalem, The City of Our King
After breakfast, check out of the hotel. Spend the afternoon in Yad Vashem, the holocaust memorial. Late afternoon, enjoy a farewell dinner and arrive the Ben Gurion International Airport, Tel Aviv four hours prior to the return flight departure. The airline will depart shortly after midnight. (Flights to be determined)
Arrive USA and clear immigration and customs. Re-check bags and arrive at the gate for your departure to the destination city.
NOTE: Sequence of sites visited may be adjusted to accommodate local openings and/or closing time limitations. Epic Tours reserves the right to change the Itinerary or hotels and/or omit sites based on schedule requirements or local conditions.
256 Blue Heron Road
Dover, DE 19904
Your all-inclusive cost will provide:
Round trip airfare from Newark NJ Liberty International Airport – EWR
Epic Tours Rep and the guide will meet your group and escort them throughout the entire tour beginning at Ben Gurion airport upon arrival and departure
Escorted group transfers from/to Ben Gurion airport on arrival and departure
Hotel accommodation - double occupancy. Epic Tours LLC will try to match roommates, however, ET cannot guarantee a roommate will be available. Roommates will be assigned as late as 30 days prior to departure and, if one is not available or you request a single room, the single charge will apply.
All Meals: Breakfast and dinner in the hotel throughout the tour, as well as lunch during site tours
8 day's sightseeing in deluxe motor coach and English-speaking guide per the Itinerary
Porterage at the hotels upon arrival and departure
Entrance fees at all sites per Itinerary
Tips throughout for the following: dining room, housekeeping, front desk services, guide and driver prior to departure
Rate does not include:
Meals not mentioned above
Anything that is not mentioned above or listed in the Itinerary
Miscellaneous fees such as passports, laundry, beverages at meals and excess and/or overweight baggage fees Baggage allowed: One checked bag per person, one carry-on, one personal item such as purse or back-pack – maximum!