Museum of the Bible Israel Tour

Optional Jordan Extension

Optional Excavation Experience 

July 1 - 11, 2020

July 11 - 13, 2020

June 25 - July 2, 2020

Expedition ID: 20-08

Discover Israel Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow!

Expedition Highlights
  • Jerusalem

  • Mount Carmel

  • Caesarea

  • Nazareth

  • Capernaum

  • Caesarea Philippi

  • Sea of Galilee

Tour Costs Include:

Israel

  • Hotels

  • 8 breakfasts, 8 lunches, 9 dinners

  • Licensed English Speaking Local Guide

  • BE Expert Instructor

  • Entrances and Activities per Itinerary

  • All Tips and Speaker Honorariums

  • BE Learning and Devotional Resources

  • BE Private Concierge Service

  • VIP deluxe coach and Driver throughout trip

Jordan (optional add-on)

  • Hotels

    • (Breakfast and Dinner Included)

  • Licensed English Speaking Local Guide

  • BE Expert Instructor

  • VIP deluxe coach and Driver throughout trip

  • All Tips

  • Departure Tax

  • VIP assistance at the boarder up on arrival and departure

  • Transfer to Ben Gurion Airport from the border

  • Camel ride in Wadi Rum

Excavation (optional add-on) 

  • Hotels

    • (breakfasts and dinner at all hotels)

  • Transportation daily to and from the dig

  • Dig cost

    • (includes daily breakfast at the dig site and the tour of June 27 to Arbel, el-Araj, and et-Tell)

  • VIP assistance at Ben Gurion Airport upon departure

  • Tips to the hotel

  • Transfer to the north to Tel Aviv after the dig is over

  • Transfer to Ben Gurion Airport on July 3

    • (group transfer)

Costs:
  • $8,295 ( Israel Land Cost)

  • $2,900 ( Jordan Extension)

  • $4,500 ( Excavation Extension)

(ALL travelers will be required to book airfare independently)

Payments Due By:
  • Payment Plan Available
  • Final Payment Due 3/23/2020
This expedition is available by invitation only. 
 

Tour Instructor

Dale Brantner

Dale Brantner has been leading people to Israel for over thirty-three years. He has done both undergraduate and graduate work in Israel. Dale has a master’s degree from Evangelical Theological Seminary and a bachelor’s degree from Messiah College, as well as Ph.D. work at the University of Pretoria in South Africa.

 

Living and studying in Israel gave Dale a passion for helping readers of the Bible engage the physical, historical, and cultural contexts of the Bible within the lands of the Bible. His studies and time in the land enable him to dynamically bring the Bible and its lessons to life.

 

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 currently 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 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.

 

Optional Excavation Itinerary

THURSDAY JUNE 25

For those participating in the el-Araj/Beitsaida excavation, depart U.S.A.

FRIDAY JUNE 26

Upon arrival to Ben Gurion Airport, our representative will meet you in the arrival hall to assist you with your luggage. You will meet your guide and bus and travel to your hotel, along the Mediterranean coast.

 

Welcome dinner and overnight at The Carlton Hotel in Tel Aviv.

SATURDAY JUNE 27

Travel north with the el-Araj/Beitsaida excavation team 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 - THURSDAY JULY 2

Travel north with the el-Araj/Beitsaida excavation team visiting the sites of Mount Arbel, et-Tell, and el-Araj.

 

Accommodations at U Boutique Kinneret Hotel in Tiberias on the Sea of Galilee.

Israel Expedition Itinerary

WEDNESDAY JULY 1

For those who do not participate in the el-Araj/Beitsaida excavation, depart U.S.A.

THURSDAY JULY 2

 

For those who participated in the el-Araj/Beitsaida excavation, afternoon transfer to Tel Aviv and your hotel on the Mediterranean coast. Welcome dinner.

Overnight at The Setai Hotel Tel Aviv.

 

For those who do not participate in the el-Araj/Beitsaida excavation, upon arrival to Ben Gurion Airport, our representative will meet you in the arrival hall to assist you with your luggage. You will meet your guide and bus and travel to your hotel, along the Mediterranean coast. Welcome dinner.

 

Overnight at The Setai Hotel Tel Aviv.

FRIDAY JULY 3

Kingdom and Cultures in Conflict

 

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 Megiddo we will view the excavations of 21 layers of settlement superimposed one on the other including remains from Solomon's days (1 Kings 9).

 

We then journey through the Valley of Jezreel to the ancient Jezreel, which gave its name to the valley. Elijah ran from his confrontation with the prophets of Ba’al on Mount Carmel to Jezreel, which also served as one of the palaces of Ahab and Jezebeel (1 Kings 18:45; 2 Kings 9).

 

Our day concludes visiting the ancient city of Beth Shean. Here the Philistines hung the bodies of Saul and his sons after their defeat on nearby Mount Gilboa (1 Samuel 31:8-13). The lower city boasts an impressive Greco-Roman city with its bathhouses, colonnaded streets, theater, and temples.

 

Dinner and overnight on the Sea of Galilee at the Setai.

SATURDAY JULY 4

The Galilee of Jesus

 

Our morning begins 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.

 

From Magdala, we travel into the Galilee visiting the capital of the Galilee when Jesus was growing up, Sephhoris. Here we will see one of the cities of Jesus’ Galilee with its theater, mosaics, and paved streets.

 

Next, we travel to Nazareth, the boyhood home of Jesus. We visit the Church of the Annunciation, built over the traditional place where the angel Gabriel announced to Mary that she would be the mother of Jesus (Luke 1:26-37). The church is built on top of the ancient village of Nazareth, and we will visit a small museum that shows some of the finds and homes from the village. We will end our visit in Nazareth with an overlook of the Jezreel Valley from Mount Precipice. From this vantage point, we will see the settings for a number of biblical stories.

 

Our day concludes with a visit to the Arbel Cliffs, where we will overlook the Ginnosar Valley and the northern shore of the Sea of Gailee.

 

Dinner at Magdalena. Overnight on the Sea of Galilee.

SUNDAY JULY 5

Northern Israel and the Golan Heights

Today we travel into the Golan Heights and the upper Jordan Valley. Our day begins at the ancient site of Hazor, the largest Old Testament/Hebrew Bible site in Israel (a UNESCO World Heritage Site).

 

We then proceed to 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).

 

We next 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 at Galiano. Overnight on the Sea of Galilee.

MONDAY JULY 6

The Ministry of Jesus

Our journey today focuses upon the ministry of Jesus around the Sea of Galilee. Our morning begins at Yardenit, which provides an opportunity for people to be baptized in the Jordan River.

 

Next, we journey to Chorazin one of the three cities cursed by Jesus (Matt. 11:21; Luke 10:13). At this site, we see the ancient homes and Jewish ritual immersion pools, as well as the magnificent basalt synagogue from the fifth century AD. Inside the synagogue is a replica of a Seat of Moses (Matt. 23:2).

 

Our journey continues with a stop at the Mount of Beatitudes, a traditional site overlooking the Sea of Galilee where we reflect upon Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount (Matt. 5-7).

 

We travel next to 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 party 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. We return to the hotel in the afternoon for some leisurely and relaxing down time.

 

Our day concludes with an evening boat-ride on the Sea of Galilee (from Ein Gev to Tiberias). 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 at Decks in Tiberias. Ovrnight on the Sea of Galiliee.

TUESDAY JULY 7

Jerusalem

Today we drive from the Sea of Galilee, the lowest fresh water lake in the world, through the Jordan River Valley, to Jerusalem. Our tour of 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 have a private tour of the Shrine of the Book, which houses some of the Dead Sea Scrolls, including some of the oldest copies of the Old Testament, guided by the curator of the Shrine of the Book.

 

Our tour of the museum concludes with a walk through the archeological 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 that make the Bible come alive.

 

Our lunch today is a tasting tour of the Mahaneh Yehudah market of Jerusalem where we will have opportunity to sample many cuisines. Our day concludes with a walking tour of the Old City of Jerusalem, where we will visit the Western Wall and have a private tour of the Western Wall Tunnels with the chief archaeologist in charge of the excavation.

 

Dinner at Angelica. Overnight in Jerusalem.

WEDNESDAY JULY 8

In the Footsteps of Kings an Prophets

Our morning begins at the City of David, the oldest part of Jerusalem, the city David conquered and made his capital. We will be led through the City of David by one of the archaeologists who excavated the site and see areas not open to the general public.

 

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 travel to the west entering the Shephelah, into the Elah Valley, the site of the famous confrontation between David and Goliath (1 Sam. 17). We will experience this biblical landscape via ATVs.

 

Dinner at the rooftop restaurant of Notre Dame. Overnight Jerusalem.

THURSDAY JULY 9

Jesus' Jerusalem

 

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 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.

 

Dinner at Eucalyptus. Overnight in Jerusalem.

FRIDAY JULY 10

Desert Refuge

Today our travel takes us to the Dead Sea, 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. ENDING ENDING ENDING?!?!?!

SATURDAY JULY 11

For those returning home, you will be transferred to Ben Gurion Airport to meet your departure flights. (You can also depart Friday July 10.)

Jordan Extension

SATURDAY JULY 11

Those continuing on to Jordan:

Our morning begins leaving Jerusalem and crossing into Jordan at the Allenby Border Crossing. Our first stop is Mount Nebo, where Moses looked into the Promised Land before he died (Deuteronomy 32). We then proceed to Heshbon, the capital of the Amorite king Sihon (Numbers 21; Deuteronomy 2). From Heshbon, we travel to the town of Maedeba (Joshua 13; Isaiah 15) where we will visit the Byzantine Church with its fifth century AD mosaic floor (map) of the Holy Land. Dinner and overnight at the hot springs of Zarqa Ma’in.

SUNDAY JULY 12

This morning we drive to Petra, the Nabatean city, with its magnificent, rock-cut edifices and tombs. After touring Petra, we drive to the stunning desert of Wadi Rum.

 

Dinner and overnight at our luxury camp.

MONDAY JULY 13

This morning we explore the breathtaking desert of Wadi Rum with a jeep tour and an optional camel trek. After our morning excursion, we travel to the border where we cross back into Israel and journey to Ben Gurion Airport for your departure home.

***Please note Visits, excursions, mentioned in the program may have slight changes in the time or order they are to be visited.

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