11/16 (Monday) We will travel from Jerusalem south and pass by the Jericho oasis, but will not be able to go into Jericho, until later.  We will continue down into the Dead Sea area to Qumran.


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Qumran is 1080 ft below sea level and is about 12 miles S of Jericho on the Israeli occupied West Bank of the Jordan. Qumran became famous when a young Bedouin found the Dead Sea Scrolls in a cave overlooking Qumran in 1947.


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Qumran is a monastery like settlement possibly of the Essenes. More than 500 Hebrew manuscripts have been found in the caves around Qumran. To date, there have been manuscripts discovered in 11 caves. These manuscripts were in the form of scrolls and were kept in pottery jars with lids. Almost all of them are made from parchment. Most of them date from the 1st Century BC. They are the oldest surviving manuscripts of the Bible. These manuscripts included all of the books of the Old Testament, except Esther. The Essenes were the third of the main Jewish religious parties, after the Sadducees and Pharisees. They began about 150 BC as a result of conflicts in Jerusalem over the Temple and the service at the Temple. The Essenes were against the union in one person of both royal and priestly power. They condemned the religious community in Jerusalem. The 4,000 members of the Essene sect were scattered all over Israel, with about 200 of them located in Qumran. We find them arriving at Qumran about 150 BC. The Essenes lived a very strict communal life and were committed to following with minute detail the requirements of the scripture as to cleanliness.

About 5 miles south of Qumran we will come toMetsukei Dragot, a wilderness camp that is 900 feet above the Dead Sea floor.   Next to Metsukei Dragot is the Wadi Darga (in Hebrew known as Nakhal Darga). The Wadi Darga runs from Jerusalem all the way down to the Dead Sea.  When there is a heavy rain in the Jerusalem area, one must really pay attention to the water coming down the Nakhal Darga because it will flood. Metsukei Dragot was an Israeli outpost when the Israelis were fighting the Jordanians. This particular area was called the Green Line and was the edge of their territory.

Our next stop is En Gedi—in Hebrew this means “goat’s spring”. After the Israelite’s occupation of the Promise Land, we find En Gedi referred to as a city of the tribe of Judah (Joshua 15:62). David fled from Saul to En Gedi (1 Samuel 24:2-23). En Gedi is referred to in the Song of Solomon 1:14 as a place of singular beauty. En Gedi has been occupied since the fourth millenium BC. The En Gedi Nature Park has a great deal of flora and fauna and is the home to Ibexes, leopards, hyenas, and many species of birds. The entrance to the park is on a road, which branches off from the lakeside road. En Gedi is 900 ft below Sea Level.

Masada, a few miles down the road, is a massive rock that rises 1400 ft above the level of the Dead Sea. It is a place where Jewish zealots held out against the Romans for three years after the fall of Jerusalem until AD 73. The first fortress built on Masada was built by Alexander Jannaeus about 100 BC. Alexander Jannaeus is the grandnephew of Judas Maccabeus. About 40 BC, Herod developed this fortress into a magnificent palace with tremendous defensive strength. Herod brought his family and his family and his wife-to-be, Mariamne, to Masada when he was seeking safety from the Parthians in 40 BC. We will take the cable car to the top of Masada and tour the site. The top of Masada is more than 20 acres and is surrounded by a 4,600-foot long casement wall that includes living quarters and guardrooms. The northern palace appears to hang off the very side of the mountain. Looking out at the floor of the Dead Sea area from the northern palace area, you can see where Silva made his camp. Silva was the Roman general that besieged Masada. In addition to the northern palace, there’s a bathhouse, a mitva (which is a ritual bath found on Masada), a synagogue, a Byzantine chapel and a western palace. We will be at Masada approximately 2 hours.

We will travel south from Masada to Ye’elim where we will spend the night.   Ye’elim is near Eilat.

11/17 (Tuesday) We will visit Eilat, Timnah Mines and journey north to Arad for overnight.

11/18 (Wednesday) Arad is 2100 feet above sea level. Tel Arad is 6 miles west of the modern city of Arad. It is a side road off the primary road that goes to Beersheba. The occupation of Tel Arad dates back to the 4th millennium BC. There was a large Canaanite town that was built at Arad in the 2ndmillennium BC. They repelled the Israelites in Numbers 21:1 and were captured by Joshua (12:14). Solomon further developed this town and built a temple to Jehovah on the height on this site about 920 BC. Arad is one of those locations referred to by the prophets as a high place that were an abomination unto God. Arad maintained its importance as a city in Israel until about the 7thcentury AD, when the Islamic campaign conquered this part of Israel. The most important building at this site, is the Jewish temple in the NW part of the citadel of the Israelite City of Tel Arad. Note that within this particular temple, there is a Holy of Holies that is fashioned after Solomon’s temple in Jerusalem (1 Kings 17:21). King Josiah destroyed these other high places and concentrated worship in the temple in Jerusalem.

We will visit Beersheva and then continue back towards Jerusalem stopping at Lachish, which is about 6 miles SE of Kiryat Gat.  This particular site was occupied in the 3rd Century BC and became a Canaanite town in the 2nd millennium. It is mentioned in letters found in Tel El Armana. Joshua defeated Lachish (Joshua 10) at the same time that he destroyed Mareshah. Solomon’s son, Rehoboam, fortified Lachish (2 Chronicles 11:11). King Amaziah of Judah was killed here, 2 Kings 14:19, in the 8thCentury BC and Lachish was captured in 701 BC by the Assyrian king, Sennacherib (2 Kings 18:13-17) In 588 BC, Nebuchadnezzar conquered the town. Today, Lachish is a moshav. A moshav is a cooperative where individuals own their own homes and property, but work together to produce agricultural goods. A kibbutz is a village, which is communally owned and run by all of the inhabitants. The members of the kibbutz contribute their labor, and in return receive board, lodging, and pocket money. The kibbutz also looks after the education of the children.

We will be on the road to Bet Guvrin, when we leave Lachish. We will see Crusader ruins along the road. We will leave the main road and travel 3 km, traveling around Bet Guvrin and a circular road that surrounds Tel Mareshah. Nothing is visible on the surface. From the Bible we know that the city that was fortified by Rehoboam had storehouses and an armory and that Sennacherib destroyed this city in 701 BC (Micah 1:15). Mareshah became part of Idumeah after this time. The Ptolemies established a colony of Sidonians in the city in the 3rd Century BC. It was a center for slave trade with Egypt. Mareshah may have been the birthplace of Herod the Great. This could be why the Parthians destroyed this city.   Early Christians used the Bell caves at Bet Guvrin as refuges.

We will continue our journey from Bet Guvrin towards Jerusalem, passing through the Elah Valley, and then by Tel Azekah, an ancient Israelite city, and then about 8-km north we will come to Bet Shemesh. At Tel Bet Shemesh we can observe the fields of Nahal Sorek. This is the area where Samson met Delilah (Judges 16). Bet Shemesh controlled access to the mountains of Judah through the Sorek Valley. The Philistines sent the Israelite Arch of the Covenant back to Israel through the Sorek Valley and by Tel Bet Shemesh (1 Samuel 5).

We will continue NE on Hwy 38 to Junction 395 where we will turn E and head into Jerusalem. This is the end of a very long day. We will have traveled more than 350 km this day. We will be staying at the St. George’s Cathedral Guesthouse in Jerusalem, about 4 blocks from the gates of the old city of Jerusalem for two nights (11/18 & 11/19).

11/19 (Thursday) We will visit the Damascus Gate and enter the Old City.  The gates and walls are an important element of the city of Jerusalem. Sultan Suleiman built the magnificent Damascus Gate. The walls around Jerusalem are 3 miles in length, with an average height of 40 ft. and a thickness of 9 feet. The current wall structure was built in 1537. The Damascus Gate is named because that is the highway that leaves this gate, heads north, through Nablus, to Damascus. Damascus Gate is the best-fortified opening in the Old City Wall. Below the Gate is the entrance to the ancient Roman City of Jerusalem.

The Old City of Jerusalem is divided up into four quarters. The Christian quarter, The Armenian quarter, the Jewish quarter and the Moslem quarter. The Damascus gate leads to the entrance to the Moslem quarter, and the Moslem quarter covers the northeast side of the Old City. Suk Khan E-Zeit separates the Moslem quarter from the Christian quarter. It bisects the city north to south. David St. runs from Jaffa gate to Suk Khan E-Zeit and then changes name to Chain St. and runs on to the Dome of the Rock, or the Temple Mount area, also called Haram e-Sharif. It separates the Christian quarter from the Armenian quarter and then on the SE side of the old city is the Jewish quarter. Starting at the Damascus gate on the northern side of the Old City, and walking counter clockwise the next gate is the New gate. Jaffa gate is on the West Side of the city and the next gate is the Mount Zion Gate. About a quarter of a mile east is the Dung Gate, and on the E side is the Golden Gate and the Lion Gate (or St. Stephen’s gate). Turning around to the northern side of the city is Herod’s Gate, a couple of blocks down from the Damascus gate. One of the key sites that we will visit in the Old City will be the Western Wall in the Jewish quarter. We will also visit several sites in the Jewish quarter itself, including the Cardo, which is the Roman level city of Jerusalem.


On 11/20/97, Friday morning, after an Israeli breakfast, we will be on the road by 7 a.m. We will travel northwest to Caesarea on Hwy 4. Caesarea is located on the northern tip of the Sharon plain. Caesarea, is covered with restored Roman, Byzantine, and Crusader ruins. It is an interesting place to visit because of the majesty of some of the ruins that have been left there, and maintained over the years because they were covered up by the sand dunes. Herod the Great gave Caesarea its name. Herod called the port Sebastos, which was Greek for Augustus. Herod, who was appointed King of the Jews about 30 BC by Augustus Caesar, began construction of his city in 22 BC. Caesarea was an ancient Phoenician port called Stratos Tower. The city included palaces, temples, a theatre, a marketplace, a hippodrome, water and sewage systems, and a lot of other beautiful public structures, some of which are in the process of being restored right now. Caesarea became the seat of the Roman procurators after Herod’s death. The Romans preferred Caesarea to Jerusalem because of the predominantly Jewish population in Jerusalem. During the entire time of the Roman rule of Israel there were riots, revolts and irritating problems with the Jews. It was Caesarea where Peter converted the Roman centurion, Cornelius. It was Caesarea where the rebellion of AD 66 began.

We will begin our tour of Caesarea at the Roman theatre. Just inside the theatre is a monument with an inscription by Pontius Pilate. Herod built the original theatre. In subsequent centuries, many elements were modified, some added, some taken away. The semi-circular platform behind the stage is dated to the third century AD. The great walls with towers are part of a Byzantine fortress of the sixth century AD. There is a Herodian harbor here just north of the amphitheater, that is the reason for Caesarea’s existence. When Herod built the harbor he used many engineering methods that are surprising even today. One of the things they mastered was the ability to pour concrete undersea. It was a tremendous place of commerce! The Crusader City at Caesarea represents only a small fraction of the area that the Roman City covered. Both the Herodian City and the Byzantine City were much larger than the Crusader City. The walls that we see around the Crusader City were built approximately 1250 AD.

Leaving Caesarea, we travel north to Muhraqa. Just as we get to the Or Akiva junction and Hwy 4 we will stop for groceries, particularly water and fruit. Then turning north on Hwy 70 and NE on Hwy 672 we will travel to Muhraqa. Muhraqa is located 3 km out a bumpy dirt road. It is the location of a Carmelite Monastery that is the traditional location where the struggle between Elijah and the priests of Baal took place. Muhraqa is an Arabic word for a place of burning. It refers to the fire that consumed Elijah’s offering. This particular location is a peak that is 482 meters above sea level, and has a stunning view of the Jezreel Valley. The conflict between Elijah and the prophets of Baal can be found in 1 Kings 18.

We will now retrace our route back to Hwy 672 and turn S to Hwy 6953E to Hwy 66. We will turn SE on Hwy 66 and travel to Megiddo. Megiddo is the biblical site where the conflict to end all wars takes place in Revelations 16:16. It is at the head of the most important pass through the Carmel range. This location gives Megiddo control of the way of the sea.

Historians have discovered that Megiddo was a strongly fortified city even before 3000 BC. We find the first discovery of its name, at the temple of Karnak, dated to May of 1468 BC. The Israelites in Judges 1:27, were unable to conquer Megiddo. David was probably the first Israelis conqueror of Megiddo. There are 20 different cities that have been built on the site of Megiddo. In the reception area, there is an excellent model of several of these ancient cities that were constructed at Megiddo. Megiddo has never been inhabited again after the Fourth Century BC. Probably we will complete our tour of Megiddo at lunchtime, and will have lunch in the cafeteria at the site.

When we leave Megiddo, we will travel Hwy 66 N to Hwy 722, turning right and traveling about 3 km toBeit Shearim. Beit Shearim is in the extreme NW corner of the Jezreel Valley. There are 31 catacombs cut into the hillsides. This place is a necropolis, a city of the dead. We know that in the time of Josephus, this particular estate belonged to Berniece, the great-grand daughter of Herod the Great. The Sanhedrin relocated to this particular site about 165 AD. Rabbi Judah Ha-Nasi was the rabbi that began this relocation process, even though he lived in Sepphoris. He planned for his burial to be at Beit Shearim, and in fact he is buried here. Jewish leaders had always desired to be buried on the Mt. Of Olives where the Messiah was expected to appear, but it became impossible for them to be buried in or around Jerusalem. Beit Shearim was the ideal alternative. This was because of the love of this area that Rabbi Judah Ha-Nasi had. For 100 years, Jews from throughout Israel and the Diaspora brought their dead to this place and buried them here. Services to the dead became the main industry of Beit Shearim. The City of the Dead ceased to be an active place of burial after 350 AD.

There are many pictures that have been carved into the Sarcophagi in Catacomb 20. These are pictures of Aphrodite, Nike, Amazons, and other pagan mythological figures. It indicates that the rabbis of the third century AD made a distinction between images that were intended for worship, and images that were intended as simply decoration. This mitigated the absolute character of the second commandment in Exodus 20:4-5 and Deuteronomy 5: 8-9, indicating that one should not have any images before you.

From Beit Shearim, we will travel to Mt. Tabor. Mt. Tabor is mentioned in Matthew 17:1-8 (The Transfiguration of Jesus). Deborah and Barak (Judges 5:4) fought the Canaanites here in 1125 BC. Hosea in 5:1 condemns Jewish worship on Mt. Tabor. Jeremiah mentions it in 46:18.

We will travel to the Sea of Galilee and check into Vared Ha Galil overlooking the Sea, where we will spend the next three nights.  We will have our evening meal at Nof Ginosar.  This is a kibbutz on the Sea of Galilee.

On 11/21/98, Saturday morning, after an Israeli breakfast, we will travel west to Nazareth.  Nazareth is the largest Arab community outside of Jerusalem. The Arabs in Nazareth are half Christian and half Moslem. This is the hometown of Jesus as a child. We will travel through Nazareth on Paulus VI St. and visit the Church of the Annunciation. Note that this Church of the Annunciation that we will visit is the Greek Orthodox Church of St. Gabriel. This is believed to be the site of the Annunciation, and is probably as close as the Catholic Church of the Annunciation. We will pass the Baptist Church just a few yards up the street from the Greek Orthodox Church and then we will travel from Nazareth toZippori, also known as Sepphoris.

This particular city is the location of the traditional birthplace of Mary. Zippori is a Jewish town from the 1st Century BC and had people living there up until  Middle Ages. There is significant evidence that the Jewish, Christian, and Pagan communities lived together at this site around the 3rd Century AD. The Jewish high court, the Sanhedrin relocated here about that same period. There have been extensive excavations at Zippori, and it is an excellent site to look at some of the early Roman remains, including the Mona Lisa of the Galilee.

Old Akko. Akko is spelled several different ways, sometimes several ways on one map. For example, you will find it spelled Acre often times. We will walk through the entire town of Akko, including back streets, the harbor walls and the marketplace. One of the things to note is that the Crusader fortress at Akko only accounts for 1/20th of the port of Akko. Indeed, when we find the Jews coming back to Israel during the early stages of WWII, we find them coming to the port at Akko.

The first mention of Akko is in Egypt in the 19thCentury BC. When the Israelites come into the land of Israel in Judges 1:31 that they did not acquire control of Akko. It remained in the hands of the Phoenicians. Akko was one of the best harbors on the Eastern Mediterranean. It was a harbor of strategic importance, both militarily and commercially. Alexander the Great favored Akko over Tire and Sidon, and in 333 BC built a port in Akko that functioned for 600 years. At Alexander’s death, the Ptolemies of Egypt gained control of Akko and changed its name to Ptolemais. They lost control of Akko in 200 BC to the Selucids of Syria.

Pompey conquered Akko in 63 BC, and the city stayed under the control of the Romans for two centuries. After the founding of Caesarea, Akko began to wane in importance. Paul spent a day in Akko, noted in Acts 21:7. Saladin captured Akko in 1187. The entrance to the underground city is just across from the mosque of El-Jazzar. The Subterranean Crusader City closes at 1pm on Friday.

When we complete our visit at Akko, we will return to Hwy 4 and travel N to Rosh Hanikra on the border of Lebanon. We will not take the cable car ride down to the grottos below the cliffs at Rosh Hanikra, but you can still see the route of the railway line that was built through the caves to extend the Cairo railroad all the way to Beirut. There are two tunnels at the mouths of the grottos below. We will travel S on Hwy 4 to Hwy 899, turning E to travel to Goren Park, which is approximately 10km, to an overlook of the Medieval Castle of Montfort. The journey takes about one hour in our physical condition. We will not take that walk. Montfort was built in the 12th Century by French Crusaders. It was sold to the German Knights of the Teutonic Order in the 13th Century AD. The Germans used this castle as a place to house their archives and treasury.


On 11/22/98, Sunday morning after our Israeli breakfast and a devotional time, we will depart Vared Ha Galil at 8am and travel just a few km toKorazim. Korazim is a well-excavated site that includes a synagogue and several fairly well excavated homes. Korazim is a small Jewish town that is mentioned by Jesus for their lack of faith in Matthew 11. The most important building in Korazim is the black basalt synagogue.

We will now travel back down to the lake, to the town of Capernaum. The Bible tells us in Matthew 4 that Jesus left Nazareth and came and dwelt in Capernaum. Here Jesus calls his first disciples, Simon Peter, Andrew, James, and John. He preached in the synagogue at Capernaum in Mark 1:23 –26. He healed many that were lame, blind, dumb, and maimed in Matthew 15:29-31. In Luke 7:1-10, Jesus cured the Centurion’s servant. In Mark 5:35-42, Jesus raised Jairus’ daughter from the dead. Capernaum is not mentioned in the Old Testament, and was established in the early 2nd Century BC. It was a small town that took no part in the Jewish uprisings against Rome in the 1st and 2nd Centuries. Capernaum was a prosperous town, evidenced by the fact that the synagogue was made of imported limestone.

Next we will visit St. Peter’s Church. This is a chapel that was built in the 4th Century. The Franciscans reconstructed the present chapel in 1933. This chapel building commemorates the appearance of the risen Christ to his disciples on the shores of the lake mentioned in John 21:15-16 and the admonition of Jesus to Peter to “feed my lambs.”

Just a short way from the primacy of Peter, we will visit Tabgha. This is the place of the seven springs. In Hebrew, it’s En Sheva. This is the traditional site of the multiplication of the loaves and fishes in Mark 8: 1-9. The German Holy Land Association of Cologne, Germany completed the current church at this site in 1982. We will leave Tabgha, also known as the Heptapagon, and travel up the side of the hill, to theMt. of the Beatitudes. It is located on the northern shore of the Sea of Galilee and is just above the ruins at Tabgha and Capernaum. This is the location of the place where tradition says Christ preached the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 5-7.

When we complete our time at the Mt. of Beatitudes, we will return to Hwy. 90 and travel N to Rosh Pina, with a stop at McDonald’s for coffee. We will continue our journey up Hwy 90 to Tel Hatzor. Across the street from Tel Hatzor is the Tel Hatzor Museum. We will visit the museum. Tel Hatzor is currently under excavation and has 21 separate occupation levels, the latest one being dated to the 2nd Century BC, while the oldest occupation level is dated back to 2600 BC. Joshua 11:10 says that Hazor was the head of many pre-Israelite kingdoms. Joshua defeated the last king of this Canaanite kingdom, King Jabin, in the 13th Century BC. Solomon developed a large fortified city at Hazor. Ahab increased the size of Hazor, even though his capital city was in Samaria.

Tel Dan is the next site that we will visit. Tel Dan is located on the River Dan, which is one of three sources of water for the Jordan. Tel Dan was the location of the Canaanite city of Leshem Joshua 19:47. It was also called Laish. The Jewish tribe of Dan in Judges 18 conquered it and renamed the city Dan. Jeroboam the First set up one of the two golden calves here at Dan, which was the northern limit of his empire. The other calf was at Bethel, 1 Kings 12:28-30. There is also a very large kibbutz located at Tel Dan next to the Dan nature reserve.

Caesarea Philippi is the next location that we will visit. Caesarea Philippi is mentioned in Matthew 16:13-20. It is located near the village of Banias. It is in the middle of an extraordinarily beautiful nature reserve. Banias is a place of pagan worship that dates back to the Greek times. At this site, there were many different groups that came and worshipped various gods, especially the Greek god, Pan. Phillip, the son of Herod, established his capital here at Caesarea Philippi and named it in honor of the Roman emperor.

From Caesarea Philippi, we will travel south and head back down to the Sea of Galilee. We will journey around the Sea of Galilee to the modern city ofTiberias. Tiberias is 696 ft. below sea level. Herod Antipas, the son of Herod the Great, founded Tiberias in 17 AD, naming it after the Roman emperor Tiberias. Pious Jews regarded this city, as unclean and originally only pagans would live here. In the 2ndCentury AD, Rabbi Simon Bar Yohai declared Tiberias clean, and it became the seat of the Sanhedrin. From the 3rd Century AD, Tiberias became the spiritual center of Judaism. The Jews renamed Tiberias, Teverya, which means navel, for they considered it the navel of the world. It was here that the Mishna (200BC) and the Talmud (400 BC) were completed. Tiberias is a beautiful location. There are quite a number of excellent restaurants that overlook the Sea of Galilee here.

11/23, Monday morning, we will leave Vared Ha Galil about 8am and travel S to Belvoir, off of Hwy 90. Belvoir was built by the French Knights, Hospitallers, and has a spectacular view of the Jordan Valley. Its Hebrew name is Kokhav Ha Yarden. That means, “Star of the Jordan.” Belvoir was built in 1130 AD and was increased in size in 1168. Saladin conquered the French Knights in 1191 AD. They regained Belvoir in 1241,but it only lasted for a very short period. The castle is located 500 m above the Jordan Valley.

Beth Shean is just a short distance S of Belvoir on Hwy 90. Beth Shean was a Philistine town and was conquered by David. The Philistines defeated Saul and Jonathan near Mt. Gilboa in 1010 BC and hung Saul’s body on the walls of Beth Shean (1 Samuel 31). Beth Shean has a beautiful Roman theatre built in the late 2nd Century AD. It would seat 6,000 spectators and had a second level, which was an engineering marvel. Beth Shean is the most important Roman period site in Israel. There is a significant amount of development that’s gone into this site, and indicates, from what’s been found, the level of importance that this city was in the Roman Empire. Beth Shean has been continuously occupied over 5000 years. It is mentioned as a city of Solomon’s empire (965-928 BC) in 1 Kings 4:12.

We will continue our drive south down the Jordan Valley until we turn inland from the Dead Sea to Jerusalem. The River Jordan flows out of the Sea of Galilee and into the Dead Sea. The Jordan is not deep or wide, but is extremely important for the Christian faith. The three main sources for the Jordan are in the northern part of Israel. Stream number 1 is the Hazbani, which comes out of Lebanon. The Dan comes out of the Dan Nature Reserve. The Banias comes out of the village by that same name. These three streams join together at the Hula basin and the Jordan River flows through a narrow valley into the Sea of Galilee and then out the end of the Sea of Galilee some 37 miles later.

Tuesday-11/24-Friday 11/27

We will spend the remainder of our time in Jerusaelm.  Our residence will be St. Georges Cathedral Guesthouse.  I’m not sure when we will get on the Temple Mount area. On the Temple Mount we will visit the El Aksa Mosque, the Dome of the Rock, and the backside of the Golden Gate. The Temple Mount is the holiest place on earth for the Jewish nation. Jordan currently controls it, but of course the Palestinians would like very much to control it. It is the most important Islam shrine after Mecca and Medina. It was at the Temple Mount that the infant Jesus was presented in the Temple (Luke 2:22) and again where the 12yr old boy talked with the scribes (Luke 2:46) and then later cast out the merchants and moneychangers (Matthew 21:12). It was the pinnacle of the temple where Jesus was tempted by the Devil (Matthew 4:5).

Solomon built the first temple about 950 BC. Additionally, he built his palace on or near this location (1 Kings 5:6). Solomon’s temple stood for 400 years, until its destruction by Nebuchadnezzar in 587 BC. After the period of captivity, the second temple was built by Ezra, and then was again destroyed during the Maccabean rebellion. Herod rebuilt the temple the third time during his period of rule in Israel between 37-4 BC. The Romans destroyed this third temple in 70 AD. This was the last Temple Structure on the Temple Mount area. The Wailing Wall is a place for prayer and is located at the closest site to what would have been the Holy of Holies on the Temple Mount area. The Dome of the Rock on the Temple Mount area is built over the Rock of Moriah, which is the point from which Mohammed ascended to the 7th heaven and then returned to Mecca. The Dome of the Rock was built in 680 AD and the El Aksa Mosque was completed in 715 AD.

We enter on the Western side of the Old City at Jaffa Gate. This particular gate is the link between the new Jewish town to the west and the old city to the east. The opening in the walls and the gate area was done in 1898 to allow the German Emperor and Empress to drive into the Old City. It is now a motor traffic entrance. Immediately inside the Jaffa Gate is the Citadel, known as David’s Tower. It has no connection to David, but was built by Herod and named after his brother Phasael. It houses a museum on the history of Jerusalem. Opposite the entrance to the Citadel is Christ’s Church, which was built in 1849. Approximately 100 yards south, on the left, on Armenian Patriarchite St. is the Armenian Tavern. Hopefully we will get there to eat at least once. We will continue down Armenian Patriarchite St., bearing to the left into the Jewish Quarter. We will see Hurva Synagogue arch, which is all that is left of the Synagogue. It was destroyed in the conflict of 1948. The Cardo was excavated between 1976 and 1985, and it runs for 220 yards, lying 20 ft below the modern ground level. This is a reproduction of a Roman avenue, as it would have been in ancient times. We will visit the Herodian House and Burnt House in this area also. Both of these houses relate to the early Roman period of control in Israel. Traveling on through the Jewish quarter we will visit several shops and ultimately come out at theWestern Wall, or the Wailing Wall. Note that we are again at the Temple Mount area.

As we continue our journey in the city, one of the things to see is the Golden Gate on the eastern side of the Temple Mount. This particular gate was walled up by the Arabs and for good measure they laid out a cemetery outside the gate.

Within the Old City we will travel the Via Dolorosa. It begins at St. Stephen’s Gate and continues across the Old City to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. The Church of the Holy Sepulchre is one of the most sacred places in Christendom. Tradition has it that it is built on the site of Christ crucifixion and tomb. Note that there is considerable conflict, or doubt, as to where the actual crucifixion took place.

General Gordon, a British general, in the 19th Century suggested that the crucifixion and burial were at another location right up from the Damascus Gate area. We will visit Gordon’s Calvary and the garden tomb quite frequently while we are in Jerusalem. Archaeological evidence does not prove out the Gordon tomb site, but it is a very quiet and restful place for prayer and reflection. Outside of the Old City, and on the eastern side, is the Garden of Gethsemane. This is the place of the oil press. (Matthew 26:36 & Luke 22:41-44)

We will visit the Church of All Nations across Kidron Valley from the Golden Gate. St. Peter in Gallicantu is on the southern side of the old city, and would have been on the pathway that Jesus would have taken from the Last Supper location on Mt. Zion to Gethsemane. This is the location that commemorates the three denials of Christ by Peter (Matthew 26:69).

The Church of the Dormition is up the hill on Mt. Zion. The Upper Room where Christ celebrated the Last Supper with his disciples (Matthew 26:17-30, Mark 14:12-25, and Luke 22:7-20); and also the place where the Holy Ghost descended on the Apostles at Pentecost (Acts 2). The tomb of King David has been revered on Mt. Zion since the 12thCentury.

Friday- 11/27- 10:00 p.m. DEPART ISRAEL FOR USA
Saturday – 11/28 – Arrive at various locations in USA


We will be in Israel during the change of season. Expect rain, mid-70’s day and mid-50’s night. Pack rain gear and a coat.  We will experience a little cool weather and a little warm weather.

Bring $300 spending money, a credit card that works on the Cirrus and/or Plus networks and a telephone card.  The shekel/dollar rate is about 3.5 shekels per dollar.  The country code for Israel is 972.

The electrical system for Israel is 220. Few places will have 110V, so for specific things you will need a multi-voltage converter. Camcorders & Video-recorders often have the worldwide AC Adapter charger, so you will also want to check that. For your camera, I would suggest that you bring all of the film that you want to use in Israel, with you. It is fairly expensive to buy film in Israel. If your film is below ISO400, you shouldn’t have any problem with the x-ray machine. There shouldn’t be any problem for your camcorder videotape. Also, the videotapes in Israel are very expensive, so I would not suggest buying any videotape in Israel.

Make sure that you have a health insurance card or some other evidence of insurability in case of an accident. 

We will be in Israel for 13 nights and traveling 2 nights.  All of our activities will be casual.  Jeans or sweat pants will be adequate. I generally take with me t-shirts, a light jacket, rain slick, 2 sweatshirts, 3 pair of slacks, 15 pair of socks, and a travel vest. I will layer with the travel vest. A couple of the days will be windy and chilly, so you will need to bring a  coat.   Please remember to bring an extra pair of comfortable shoes.  Try to pack all of your stuff in one bag and they will check it thru to Tel Aviv.  I would suggest a travel wallet for money and important documents.  You will have to keep your passport with you at all times.  The watch word is pack light.  Bring any medications that you need, with prescriptions and this should include Imodium and aspirin.

We will leave New Orleans at about 10am on Saturday morning and arrive in Tel Aviv the next afternoon about 3:30 p.m. When we get to the airport, check into the rental car agency, and leave we should have about an hour  trip to St. George’s Cathedral Guest House where we will be staying for the evening.

Each day we will be doing a lot of walking. The total amount of mileage that we will drive over the 14 days will be about 1800 miles. Our longest driving days will be on 11/16 (day two in country) and 11/17 (day three in country).

Places we will stay while in Israel:
St. George’s Cathedral Pilgrim Guest House  (11/15, 18, 19, 23-27)
20 Nablus Road,  P.O. Box 19018, Jerusalem, 91190
Tel- 011-972-2-628-3302; Fax- 011-972-2-628-2253

Margoa Arad Hotel  (11/17)
PO.B. 20, Moab Street, Arad 89100
Tel- 011-972-7-995-1222; Fax- 011-7-995-7778

Vared Hagalil Guest Farm  (11/20-23)
M.P. Korazim 12340, Israel
Fax- 011-972-6-693-4964

Tom Brimmer will be our Israel Contact.  
(H) 011-972-2-676-0862; cellphone 011-972-052-874-285

Summary Schedule:
11/14/98- Arrive airport approx. 9:00a. Depart New Orleans 
11/15  -arrive Tel Aviv 3:50p.  It will take us about an hour to get luggage, cash, clear customs and retrieve the van for our 1 hour trip to Jerusalem.   We should  arrive at St. George’s approx. 6-6:30p and supper at 7p
11/16 – depart Jerusalem for day trip down Dead Sea to Ye’Elim (near Eilot) where we will overnight at Ye’Elim Holiday Village
11/17 -travel through Negev and overnight at Margoa Arad
11/18 -follow ancient routes from Arad into Jerusalem where we will overnight at St. George’s 
11/19 Jerusalem all day.  St. Georges for overnight
11/20 Depart Jerusalem for the Galilee along the coastal route.  Our residence will be at Vared Hagalil for three nights
11/23 Depart the Galilee for our return to Jerusalem via the Jordan Valley.   We will stay at St. George’s for the remainder of our time in Israel.  Our time will be spent in touring in Jerusalem
11/27 Depart Jerusalem approximately 10p for Tel Aviv
11/28 Depart Tel Aviv 1:05a arrive New Orleans 1:24p (TWA group)


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