The Signatry Deluxe Expedition
June 15 - 26 2020
Expedition ID: 20-16
Travel to the land of the Bible with The Signatry. Study the Scriptures on-site with our expert Bible instructors. Experience the world, culture, and history of the Bible. Find yourself challenged and refreshed as you grow as a follower of the Lord. This expedition also has an optional extension for the El Araj excavation experience.
Sea of Galilee
Machne Yehuda (Jerusalem Market) Tasting Experience
This is a PRIVATE Deluxe Expedition
For information on creating your own private deluxe tour, please CONTACT US
Tour Costs Include:
Hotels (breakfast and dinners)
Dinners out in chef restaurants in Jerusalem
Biblical Expeditions Expert Instructor: Dale Brantner
English Speaking Local Tour Guide
AC Deluxe Bus and Driver
All Tips (hotels, guides, drivers, etc.)
VIP Assistance at Ben Gurion Airport on Arrival and Departure
All Entrances and Activities per itinerary
Biblical Expeditions devotional and learning resources and private concierge service
Dale Brantner serves as the Chief Catalyst Officer for The Signatry, a global Christian foundation https://thesignatry.com . His goal is to inspire new growth for The Signatry initiatives and inspire radical biblical generosity.
Dale served within the Office of the President at Museum at the Bible, and continues to work closely with MOTB, where he brings a rich set of skills and leadership experience, gained from a diverse career path both in the United States and internationally.
Prior to Museum of the Bible, Dale served as President and CEO of CURE International, after serving for many years as Senior Vice President, responsible for leading the organization’s spiritual ministry and development efforts.
Dale and his family have followed God’s calling to serve in numerous roles across three continents. Over the last thirty years, Dale has served as a pastor, professor of Hebrew Bible, President of the Theological College of Zimbabwe and even as a shepherd of the largest flock of sheep in northern Israel.
Dale has a master’s degree from Evangelical Theological Seminary and a bachelor’s degree from Messiah College. He has done both undergraduate and graduate work in Israel, as well as Ph.D. work at the University of Pretoria in South Africa. He has been leading people in Israel for over thirty-three years.
Dale is an outdoorsman who enjoys hiking, camping, hunting, and fly fishing. He loves to travel and experience other cultures and to lead small study treks in Israel. He is passionate about integrity in biblical studies, spreading the gospel holistically, and working among the poor in underserved regions of the world. Dale and his wife Dianne live in Lewisberry, Pennsylvania, and have three children, Jordan, Shirah, and Taliah.
Tour Itinerary - June 15-26, 2020
MONDAY JUNE 15
TUESDAY JUNE 16
Upon arrival to Ben Gurion Airport, you will be met plane side and escorted through passport control and assisted in retrieving your luggage. You will then be escorted to your transfer to your hotel in Tel Aviv. After checking into the hotel, you will have free time to relax until dinner. This evening our program officially begins with a group dinner.
After dinner, you are free to retire to your rooms to rest and have a good night's sleep.
WEDNESDAY JUNE 17
Children of the Desert
Our morning begins at the ancient port of Joppa. Here Jonah sailed for Tarshish to avoid obeying the word of the Lord (Jonah). Joppa is also where Peter received his vision that led him to go to the Gentile Cornelius (Acts 10).
Departing Tel Aviv, we drive to Israel's south, the biblical Negev, continuing to the ancient site of Beersheva (Tel Sheva). At Beersheva, Abraham made a covenant with Abimelech (Gen. 21:22-33). We visit the ancient Israelite site of Beersheva with its four-room houses, grain stores, and water system. We will see a replica of a four-horned altar discovered among the excavations of the site. From Beersheva, we visit En Avdat located in the biblical Wilderness of Zin (Numbers 20). While the children of Israel wandered in the Wilderness of Zin, Moses disobeyed God's command by striking the rock instead of speaking to it.
Our hotel tonight is Beresheet, which overlooks the Ramon Crater, one of Israel's great natural wonders. After dinner at the hotel, we venture out into the desert on a night-time jeep tour through the Negev desert to view, like Abraham (Genesis 15), the stars in the heavens.
Overnight at Beresheet.
THURSDAY JUNE 18
In the Footsteps of Kings and Prophets
Our journey today takes us through the Shephelah (Deut. 1:7), an area of rolling hills between Israel's hill country and the Mediterranean coast. Our first stop is the Elah Valley, the site of the famous confrontation between David and Goliath (1 Sam. 17). We will experience this Biblical landscape via ATVs.
We next visit the ancient city of Beth Shemesh. After the Ark of the Covenant was captured by the Philistines, it returned to Israel in the area of Beth Shemesh (1 Sam. 6). Across the Sorek Valley from Beth Shemesh sits Zorah, the hometown of Samson (Judges 13).
Our final stop of the day provides a unique experience learning about shepherds in the Bible at the biblical nature park, Ne'ot Kedumim. Here, participants learn about ancient shepherds by shepherding sheep and goats. While at Ne'ot Kedumim, participants encounter the flora and fauna of biblical Israel and see how the land of the Bible played a dynamic role in communicating the message of the Scriptures.
Dinner and overnight at our hotel along the Mediterranean coast.
FRIDAY JUNE 19
The Galilee of Jesus
Our morning begins at the port-city of Caesarea built by Herod the Great (Matt. 2). This was the second largest harbor in the Roman Empire during the first century. At Caesarea, Peter visited the gentile centurion Cornelius (Acts 10), and he and his household became the first gentile followers of Jesus. The Apostle Paul remained under house arrest in Caesarea for two and a half years. Here he stood before Felix, Festus, and Agrippa II (Acts 23-25). From the harbor of Caesarea, Paul sailed to Rome, leaving Israel for the last time. While at the site, we will visit the ancient theater, with its magnificent view overlooking the Mediterranean Sea. We will see Herod the Great's palace that served as the residence of the Roman officials in the land, like Pontius Pilate. We will remember Pilate's governorship of Judaea by looking at a replica of a stone inscription mentioning Pilate dedicating a temple to the Roman Emperor Tiberius. Our visit takes us through the ancient stadium and harbor and ends looking at the ancient aqueduct of Caesarea that supplied the city with its water.
After departing Caesarea, we travel to Mount Carmel, where Elijah challenged the prophets of Ba'al (1 Kings 18). We drive from Mount Carmel to Megiddo. At Megiddo, we will view an important ancient site: 21 layers of settlement superimposed one on the other, including remains from Solomon's days (1 Kings 9). This site guarded one of the most important highways of the ancient world that connected Egypt with Damascus and Mesopotamia.
Our day concludes driving through the Valley of Jezreel, to the ancient site of Jezreel, the winter palace of Ahab and Jezebel.
Dinner and overnight at the U Boutique Kinneret Hotel in Tiberias on the Sea of Galilee.
SATURDAY JUNE 20
"Who do men say that I am?"
Today we travel into the Golan Heights and the upper Jordan Valley. Our day begins at the nature reserve of Dan. The ancient city of Dan, which formed the northern boundary of biblical Israel, sits on the Dan Spring, one of the three tributaries of the Jordan River. In addition to walking through the beautiful nature reserve, we will visit the ancient site of Dan seeing its high place (1 Kings 12:29), Israelite gate, and the Middle Bronze Age gate from the time of Abraham (Gen. 14:14).
Next, we travel to Banias, ancient Caesarea Philippi (Matt. 16:13; Mark 8:27). In the vicinity of Caesarea Philippi, Jesus asked his disciples, "Who do men say that I am?" From Banias, we drive up into the foothills of Mount Hermon (Ps. 133) and into the Golan Heights At a high overlook on the Israel-Syrian border, we look into Syria towards Damascus.
Dinner and overnight at the U Boutique Kinneret Hotel on the Sea of Galilee.
SUNDAY JUNE 21
The Faith of Jesus
Our journey today focuses upon the ministry of Jesus around the Sea of Galilee. Our morning begins at the archaeological excavation of el-Araj/Beitsaida, situated in the Beitsada Valley where the Jordan River flows into the Sea of Galilee, and where Jesus fed the 5,000 (Luke 9:10-17).
Our journey takes us to the Mount of Beatitudes, then continues with an opportunity for people to be baptized in the Jordan River. From the baptismal, we visit the ancient town of Capernaum, where Jesus made his home around the lake (Matt. 4:13). Here he healed the centurion's servant (Matt. 8:5). In our visit, we will see the modern church built over an ancient church, which was built over a first century home, identified as the home of Peter. The magnificent limestone synagogue of the fourth century AD has been partly reconstructed and looms over the site.
From Capernaum, we travel to the small museum at Kibbutz Ginnosar that houses an ancient boat discovered in the 1980s in the Sea of Galilee. This boat dates to the first century and was a boat used by fisherman on the lake.
Our touring day concludes with a visit to one of the most exciting and important ongoing archaeological excavations in Israel, Magdala. Here we will visit one of the few excavated first century synagogues in the land of Israel. Its date coincides with the time of Jesus' ministry in the area. We will also see wealthy homes from the village, as well as the first century harbor.
Our day concludes with an evening boat-ride on the Sea of Galilee. The ancient fishermen fished the lake at night. Riding on the waters of the lake in the evening offers a unique opportunity to connect with Jesus and his disciples on the lake.
Dinner and overnight at the U Boutique Kinneret Hotel on the Sea of Galilee.
MONDAY JUNE 22
Today we drive from the Sea of Galilee, the lowest freshwater lake in the world, through the Jordan River Valley, to the Dead Sea, the lowest place on Earth. Our first stop is the desert palace-fortress built by Herod the Great, Masada. During the First Jewish Revolt (AD 66-73), Jewish rebels lived on Masada until they were surrounded by the Tenth Roman Legion. According to the first century Jewish historian Josephus, the rebels chose to commit suicide instead of slavery and death at the hands of the Romans. While visiting the site, we will see the palaces of Herod the Great, his bath houses and store-rooms. We will also see buildings converted by the Jewish rebels for their use, like the synagogue. Evidence of the Roman siege can be seen in the siege ramp and Roman camps that surround Masada.
After Masada, participants will have an opportunity to float in the Dead Sea. After lunch, we drive past the site of Qumran. In caves around the site, the world-famous Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered. Qumran was the settlement of the community that produced many of the Dead Sea Scrolls.
Our day ends with an overlook of the Wadi Qilt, the ancient road between Jerusalem and Jericho. This was the setting for Jesus’ story of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:25-37). On Jesus’ final journey to Jerusalem, he used this road as he came from Jericho to Jerusalem (Luke 19:1-11).
Dinner at Angelica. Overnight at the Waldorf Astoria in Jerusalem.
TUESDAY JUNE 23
Our morning in Jerusalem begins with a visit to the Israel Museum. Here we will see a scale model of Jerusalem on the eve of its destruction in AD 70. We will visit the Shrine of the Book, which houses some of the Dead Sea Scrolls, including some of the oldest copies of the Old Testament. Our tour of the museum concludes with a walk through the archaeological wing to visit the two galleries dedicated to Israel in the Old and New Testament periods. We will see original artifacts found in sites we visited, as well as other artifacts found in sites we visited, as well as other artifacts that make the Bible come alive.
Our lunch today is a tasting tour of the Mahaneh Yehudah market of Jerusalem where we will have the opportunity to sample many cuisines.
Our day concludes with a walking tour of the Old City of Jerusalem and free time.
Dinner at Adam. Overnight at the Waldorf Astoria in Jerusalem.
WEDNESDAY JUNE 24
Our morning begins at the City of David, the oldest part of Jerusalem, the city David conquered and made his capital. From David's capital, we travel to David's hometown, Bethlehem. In Bethlehem, we remember the birth of Jesus and visit the Church of Nativity, the oldest church in the Holy Land, built over the traditional site of Jesus' birth.
From Bethlehem, we return to Jerusalem for free time.
Dinner at Eucalyptus. Overnight at the Waldorf Astoria in Jerusalem.
THURSDAY JUNE 25
Our morning begins with a beautiful view of the city of Jerusalem from the Mount of Olives. We walk down the mountain following the modern path used by pilgrims on Palm Sunday visiting the church of Dominus Flevit, which remembers Jesus' weeping over the city as he rode into it, and the traditional location of the Garden of Gethsemane.
We cross the Kidron Valley into the Old City and visit St. Anne's Church built over top of the Pools of the Bethesda (John 5) where Jesus healed the lame man. We will take the opportunity to sing in the beautiful Crusader church on the site.
Our journey continues at Jaffa Gate where in the first century, Herod's palace stood. Here the story of Jesus begins (Matt. 2) with the visit of the wisemen to Herod, and here his story ended because at Herod's palace, Jesus stood before Pontius Pilate (Mark 15:16). From Jaffa Gate, we walk into the Jewish Quarter and visit the Herodian Quarter, a series of priestly homes from the first century. We then walk along the Byzantine Cardo and see the walls of Jerusalem from the eighth century BC and the first century BC. Passing the Gennath Gate, we follow the historic route Jesus traveled from Pilate to his place of execution at the Church of the Holy Sepulcher.
Our day ends along the southern wall of the Temple Mount. On the first century street, we see the shops and markets around the Temple, a possible location for the money changers (Luke 19:45-48). We then proceed to the southern entrances of the Temple, where we walk the steps ancient pilgrims took to ascend to the Temple.
A farewell dinner at Satya. For those not going to the el-Araj/Beitsada excavation, your tour is over and we will arrange transfers to Ben Gurion Airport for your return to your home country refreshed, challenged, and renewed in your faith.
For those participating on the el-Araj/Beitsada excavation, overnight at the Waldorf Astoria in Jerusalem.
El Araj Excavation Extension
FRIDAY JUNE 26
For those not going to the el-Araj/Beitsada excavation, arrive U.S.A.
For those participating on the el-Araj/Beitsada excavation, transfer to Tel Aviv to meet the dig team for dinner and overnight.
Dinner and overnight at The Carlton Hotel in Tel Aviv.
SATURDAY JUNE 27
Travel north, visiting the sites of Mount Arbel, et-Tell, and el-Araj.
Dinner and overnight at U Boutique Kinneret Hotel in Tiberias on the Sea of Galilee.
SUNDAY JUNE 28 - WEDNESDAY JULY 1
Participate at the excavations of el-Araj/Beitsada and field school.
Accommodations at U Boutique Kinneret Hotel in Tiberias on the Sea of Galilee.
THURSDAY JULY 2
Complete excavations at el-Araj/Beitsada. Transfer to hotel in Tel Aviv.
Dinner and overnight at The Setai Hotel in Tel Aviv.
FRIDAY JULY 3
Depart Israel and arrive home.
***Please note Visits, excursions, mentioned in the program are subject to change due to unforeseen circumstances