Tour of Biblical Israel

May 19-30, 2022

Join us for a memorable and inspiring journey to the land where the events of the Bible took place! Picture yourself riding a boat across the Sea of Galilee as Christ did with his disciples, walking in the valley where David slew Goliath, entering the Upper Room where Jesus and his disciples shared the Last Supper, and pausing at the place where our Lord was buried and three days later was resurrected. This once-in-a-lifetime trip has something for everyone . . . inspiration, a deeper understanding of the scriptures, exploration, relaxation, and terrific fellowship.

Trip Cost

$4,900/person (double occupancy)
Add $1,420/person for single occupancy
Pricing confirmed

Deposit and Payment Schedule

$500 per person due with reservation
$1,000 per person due November 2, 2021
$1,500 per person due January 2, 2022
Final payment-in-full due March 2, 2022

Refund Policy

Until November 10, 2022, deposits are refundable less a $100 fee.
Until January 10, 2022, deposits are refundable less a $250 fee.
After February 10, 2022, deposits are refundable less a $750 fee.
After March 10, 2022*, no refunds will be given, except in cases of medical emergency.
* Refunds after this date are offered by the airline in accordance with its normal policies.

Map of Israel

Map of Route through Israel (view high-resolution map)

Provisional Daily Itinerary

May 19

Our fascinating venture to the Land of the Bible begins with a transatlantic flight from Chicago to Tel Aviv, Israel.

May 20

We arrive at the Ben Gurion International Airport in Tel Aviv and transfer to our hotel in nearby Netanya. Dinner and overnight at the West Lagoon Resort Hotel.

May 21

Today’s journey begins with a visit to the sprawling site of Caesarea Maritima, and is followed by our arrival on the summit of lofty Mt. Carmel. Next, our day will bring us to the installation city of Megiddo, one of the most militarily strategic points in all of the southwestern Fertile Crescent in every historical period, from which we will cross the Valley of Jezreel. Traveling to the north side of the Valley, we will pass by Mt. Tabor, and a place thought by some scholars to be the site of Jesus’s Transfiguration. Our final site of the day is Nazareth; From here we will drive across Lower Galilee and come to the city of Tiberias. Dinner and overnight at the Nof Ginosar Hotel.

Caesarea Maritima

Caesarea Maritima

May 22

The city of Tiberias on the western shore of the Sea of Galilee is our first stop today. Then, continuing around the Sea of Galilee, we will arrive at Magdala (hometown of Mary Magdalene), where we will see a New Testament boat that was discovered nearby on the shoreline. Following this, we will visit Tabqa, the location associated with Christ’s miracle of “feeding the 5,000” and will then make a stop at the Church of the Beatitudes. Following a stop at the ruins of Chorazin considerable time will be spent at the prominent seaside ruins of Capernaum. Impressive archaeological remains exhumed from Capernaum include a two-story, 4th century pillared limestone synagogue, carved stone cornices decorated with a menorah, a shofar, a hexagram star, and the ark of the covenant. Departing from Capernaum, we will take a boat ride across the Sea of Galilee to the eastern side, where we will come to the Golan Heights and view the remains of Bethsaida, Gergesa, Hippus. Following this we will return to the dinner and overnight at the Nof Ginosar Hotel.

Church of the Beatitudes

Church of the Beatitudes

May 23

The journey commences with a bus ride through the lush Hula Valley, flanked by the hills of Upper Galilee and the Golan Heights, with a stop at the Hula Papyrus Preserve. Near the northern end of this valley lies snow-capped Mt. Hermon, at the foot of which is Panias, renamed Caesarea Philippi, and a cave important to the Greek Myth of Demeter and Hades. We will also make a stop at Tel Dan, the northern fringe of Israel’s heartland. Following this, we will drive to the preeminent Old Testament site of Hazor, scene of the 4th battle of the biblical conquest. Our final stop today will be at the summit of the Arbel Pass, from which we will be able to survey the length and breadth of the land from the Jezreel Valley as far north as Mt. Hermon, and overview the entire Sea of Galilee basin and its surrounding terrain. Dinner and overnight will be at the Nof Ginosar Hotel.

Caesarea Philippi

Caesarea Philippi

May 24

As Jesus did on frequent occasions, today we travel from Galilee to Judea. Our first stop along the way will be at the site of Beth-shan, later known as Scythopolis, the only city of the Decapolis located west of the Jordan River. Continuing our southward journey, we will pass Mt. Gilboa and traverse the Jordan Valley, where we will be able to see the Jordan River and the eastern edges of Samaria, before arriving at the site of Jericho. Continuing, we arrive at the site of Qumran, where the Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered in the mid-20th century. Journeying farther south, through the biblical oasis En-gedi, where David lived for a period of time when he had to flee from Saul’s hostile intentions and also had an opportunity to slay his rival, our day ends in the modern Israeli site of En Boqeq on the shoreline of the Dead Sea. Here, everyone will have ample opportunity to float or swim. Dinner and overnight will be at the Herod’s Dead Sea Hotel.

Dead Sea

Dead Sea

May 25

The lofty, isolated fortress site of Masada, a mesa built by Herod the Great begins today, followed by an ascent into the Judean highlands towards Jerusalem and a stop at Bethany. Before arriving at today’s destination, we will visit the overview of St. George’s Monastery, perched amid the lifeless, haunting remains of Wadi Qelt. From here we will proceed to Jerusalem, where we will visit the Shrine of the Book [where the Dead Sea Scrolls are housed today] and the Israel National Museum. Following this, we will spend time exploring the scale model of New Testament Jerusalem, and then will climb by bus to the summit of the Mt. of Olives, where we will have a spectacular overview of the city of Jerusalem from the east. After visiting the Garden of Gethsemane, we will end our day in the Kidron Valley, where the Gihon Spring and the En-rogel fountain are located. Dinner and overnight at the Leonardo Plaza Jerusalem Hotel.

Mount of Olives

Mount of Olives

May 26

Going south from Jerusalem, we begin with an overview of the Hinnom Valley, which skirts the Holy City on the west and south sides. Continuing south, we arrive in Bethlehem. We will visit Manger Square, the Church of the Nativity, and a cave identified as early as the early 2nd century AD as the birthplace of Christ. We then journey a short distance east, to the edge of the Judean Wilderness, and visit the Herodium and Herod’s tomb, which has only recently been discovered by an Israeli archaeologist. As we wind our way the short distance back to Jerusalem, we will make a final stop at what is sometimes referred to as the “Hill of Evil Counsel,” from which we can gain a wide overview of Jerusalem from the south and enjoy half a day of free time. Dinner and overnight at the Leonardo Plaza Jerusalem Hotel.

Church of the Nativity

Church of the Nativity

May 27

Today provides an initial opportunity for a first-hand visit of Jerusalem itself. Our day will begin at the Southern Archaeological Park [sometimes called the “Ophel”], where several Roman inscriptions are found and where the stairs to the Temple are situated. From there we will proceed to the Western wall [“Wailing wall” in Jewish tradition]. Just beyond Warren’s Arch to the north, we will visit the newly-discovered Western Wall Tunnels, where some Herodian retaining stones weighing upwards of 500 tons each are located. Entering into the Temple precinct, we will visit the el-Aqsa Mosque [an Islamic house of prayer] and the Dome of the Rock [an Islamic house of apologetics]. As we depart the Temple area to the north, we will visit the Church of St. Anne and the nearby Pool of Bethesda. From there we will walk the Via Dolorosa as far as the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, thought to be the place of Jesus’s crucifixion. As we exit the Old City through the Jaffa Gate, there will be some opportunity actually to walk atop the Old City Walls. From here we will proceed to the top of Mt. Scopus and have a northern panoramic vista of Jerusalem. Dinner and overnight at Leonardo Plaza Jerusalem Hotel.

The Wailing Wall

The Western Wall

May 28

The Holocaust Museum and the Citadel of David are the first two stops today. Then, going back into the Old City, we will pass through the Jewish Quarter, see the Broad Wall, and come to the Wohl Archaeological Museum [sometimes called the “Herodian Estates Museum”]. Next we will visit the recently-discovered Pool of Siloam, where Jesus healed a blind man (Jn 9:7). Following this, we will make a stop at “city of David,” a splendid archaeological site that features Warren’s Shaft, the Gihon Spring, and a large terraced structure though by some to be related to the activities of David and Solomon. From there we will proceed to New Testament Zion, where we will visit the “tomb of David” and the site traditionally identified as the “upper room” of the Last Supper. Today’s visit will conclude at the Garden Tomb, the so-called “Gordon’s Calvary,” where we will remember Christ’s crucifixion and celebrate his resurrection. The rest of the day is free time before dinner and overnight at the Leonardo Plaza Jerusalem Hotel.

The Garden Tomb

The Garden Tomb

May 29

We bid Jerusalem farewell and journey west towards Tel Aviv and the Mediterranean Sea. Along the way we will make a stop in the Elah Valley, scene of the slaying of Goliath. We will then visit the site of Beth-shemesh, where a calamity was inflicted upon the Israelites because of their disobedience of looking into the Ark. Proceeding on, we will come to our hotel, situated adjacent to the Mediterranean Sea and very near the biblical site of Joppa, a port associated with Jonah and the Apostle Peter. You will have your afternoon free to take in any of these sites, to relax in the warmth of the Mediterranean, or to become more familiar with the modern Israeli city of Tel Aviv, with dinner and overnight at the Herod’s Tel Aviv Hotel.

May 30

Today we will transfer to the Ben Gurion International Airport for an afternoon arrival in the United States and the conclusion of a truly memorable experience.

Joppa

Joppa

Hosts

Dr. Barry J. Beitzel

Dr. Beitzel serves as Professor Emeritus of Old Testament and Semitic Languages at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in Deerfield, Illinois. He is a noted Bible scholar and cartographer who holds a Ph.D. in Ancient Near Eastern Studies from Dropsie University in Philadelphia and obtained a postdoctorate in Ancient Near Eastern Geography from Université de Liège, Belgium. Dr. Beitzel also engaged in postdoctoral archaeological work through UCLA in eastern Syria. He is the author of the widely acclaimed New Moody Atlas of the Bible, which has been translated into seven different languages, and his mapwork has been published in Bibles such as the NIV Study Bible, the NLT Study Bible, and the ESV Study Bible. He served as the general editor for the Lexham Geographic Commentary on the Gospels, which Christianity Today named as the winner of their 2019 Book Award in Biblical Studies. Dr. Beitzel and his wife Carol have led more than 50 tours through the Middle East.

Barry and Carol Beitzel

Barry and Carol Beitzel

“I’ve had the privilege of traveling to Israel and Greece with Dr. Beitzel three times. You will never read your Bible the same, your faith will grow and your love for Christ will deepen. Barry’s knowledge of the Bible, geography and culture is vast and only outdone by the Bielzels’ kindness and warm hospitality that immediately makes one feel at home. Don’t miss this trip of a lifetime. You won’t regret it!”

Pastor Marc Maillefer
Wisconsin

Dr. Paul J. Maurer

Dr. Maurer is the eighth president of Montreat College. As a visionary and result-driven Christian leader, he believes deeply in the value of Christ-centered higher education, drawing from more than 25 years of leadership in nonprofit and higher education administration. Dr. Maurer earned his Ph.D. in political science from Claremont Graduate University, where he was an H.B. Earhart Fellow and a John M. Olin Fellow. He earned his B.A. from the University of Cincinnati and his Master of Divinity from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary. Dr. Maurer and his wife, Joellen, have been married since 1989, and have four children: Jon, Liz, Daniel and Sarah. Joellen is a real estate broker and serves at many local non-profits.

Paul and Joellen Maurer

Paul and Joellen Maurer

Tour Includes

  • 4 and 5 star luxury hotel reservations
  • Breakfast and dinner for each day
  • Professional tour from Dr. Barry Beitzel

Cost Includes

International round-trip airfare from the United States; tour planning and guide; hotel accommodations; all breakfasts and dinners; two lunches; luxury air-conditioned bus with driver or silent guide; airport transfers; luggage transfers; entry visas; entrance fees to all listed sites and attractions; tolls; taxes; all tips to driver, silent guide, hotels, and hotel porter personnel; entry visa and departure tax

Cost Does Not Include

Domestic round-trip airfare to Chicago*; travel expenses associated with the information meeting in April 2022, should you choose to attend in person; passport fee–incurred as the result of having to obtain any peculiar travel documentation; COVID-19 vaccination certificate; excess baggage/weight/size fee; most lunches (2 lunches are included); extra beverages at evening meals; travel insurance; health insurance**; trip cancellation insurance; and personal souvenir purchases

*Departure city will be determined by late summer 2021.
**Irrespective of secondary health insurance, Medicare does not cover medical needs outside the U.S.

Contact Information

advancement@montreat.edu
828-419-2094