13 Days (12 Nights)
Land Only$3,890Land & Air$4,990
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Exploring Biblical Israel from Dan to Beersheba!

October 6–18, 2023

Greetings! The following is the handcrafted itinerary of the trip to Israel that Mary and I are leading in response to those who have asked us to put together a “not for credit” study tour.
I will be giving mini-lectures along the way both on the bus and on the sites, drawing from my studies. I have spent 16 years of my adult life living in, and guiding, academic groups in Israel, Jordan, Greece, and Turkey (including living, teaching, and guiding in Jerusalem for 7 years).

This specially planned itinerary is based upon my experience of leading/ guiding/teaching over 100 groups in Israel and is structured to include as many important biblical sites as possible as we study the Bible in the Land of the Bible.  We will literally Explore Israel from Dan to Beersheba.

I am Professor Emeritus of Old Testament at Bethel University in St. Paul, Minnesota. I received my PhD in Ancient Near Eastern Studies from Dropsie University. Currently I am an adjunct professor at the Jerusalem University College in Jerusalem and Bethel University in St. Paul, MN and have served as a consultant for a publisher and several media organizations. In 2010 Zondervan published a new, updated version of my Zondervan Atlas of the Bible. More recently, Zondervan published my Zondervan Essential Atlas of the Bible. In addition, I maintain the web site www.HolylandPhotos.org that features over 6,500 free, high quality and high-resolution images of Israel, Turkey, Greece, Jordan, and Italy.

Dr. Carl George RasmussenBiblical & Theological StudiesBethel University
Itinerary Details Hosts & Guide Policies Contact Useful Information

OCT 6 FRI         Depart New York (JFK) - Fly Tel Aviv

OCT 7  SAT       Arrive Tel Aviv 

Upon arrival at Tel Aviv Ben Gurion Airport, you will be met by TUTKU representative with a “TUTKU” sign. After collecting our luggage we will head to meet our Tour Guide Mr Ofer Drori thereafter drive to hotel in Tel Aviv for dinner and overnight. (D)

OCT 8 SUN        Caesarea, Mt. Carmel, Megiddo, Nazareth Overlook

After breakfast drive to the ruins of Caesarea, a large city port built by Herod the Great to honor Roman Caesar Augustus. His city included a theater, a hippodrome, and an aqueduct system stretching from the springs of Mt. Carmel to Caesarea. The book of Acts refers to Caesarea as the city Peter visited (Acts 10). Continue to Mt. Carmel where we visit the Carmelite Monastery of Muhraka to survey the site where God caused Elijah to defeat the priests of Ba’al and a wonderful view of the Jezreel Valley. On to Megiddo where archaeologists uncovered 20 civilizations built one upon another. At this site, King Solomon built his vast stables and, in 609 BC, good King Josiah died in battle. Drive to the Nazareth Overlook for fantastic views of the city of Nazareth and the Jezreel Valley. Continue on to the Sea of Galilee area for dinner & overnight. (D,B)

OCT 9  MON      Hazor, Dan, Banias/Caesarea Philippi, Golan Heights 

Today travel north to visit Hazor, the largest Old Testament site in Israel (a UNESCO World Heritage Site). We will then proceed to Dan, on the northern border of the biblical kingdom of Israel. There we will walk to one of the headwaters of the Jordan River and visit the extensive excavations. A short drive will take us to Banias/Caesarea Philippi, the place where Peter confessed that Jesus was the Christ (Matt 16:16). From there drive up on to the Golan Heights and view into Syria (if local conditions permit). Time permitting visit Katzrin where there is a well–preserved Synagogue and reconstructed houses. Dinner and overnight in Tiberias. (D,B)

OCT 10 TUE      Sea of Galilee, Jesus’ Ministries

Begin our day with a boat ride on the Sea of Galilee, visit the first century fishing boat that is now in a museum and continue on to the well–preserved, first century A.D. synagogue at Magdala and the excavations. We will continue on to visit the Mt. Of Beatitudes then Capernaum, Jesus’ “home” for a good portion of his earthly ministry. We will visit Chorazin with its reconstructed synagogue. If time permits we will visit Bethsaida. Return to Tiberias for dinner & overnight. (D,B)

OCT 11  WED     Beth Shean, Jericho, Jordan River, Qumran, Float in Dead Sea

Morning drive to Beth Shean, one of Israel’s most ancient cities, which became Scythopolis under the Romans. We continue south through the Jordan Valley to Jericho, one of the world’s oldest cities. At Qasr el-Yehud we will see the traditional location of Jesus’ baptism by John the Baptist and where the Israelites entered the Land of Canaan. We continue to the Dead Sea area to see Qumran, where the Dead Sea Scrolls were found in 1947.   We will have a late afternoon float in the Dead Sea.  Dinner and overnight in Ein Gedi. (D,B) 

OCT 12  THR      Masada, Tel Arad, Tel Beersheba

Drive to Masada, visit the famous fortress built by King Herod and the site of the last stand of the Jewish zealots in the first Jewish War against Rome. Masada is also an UNESCO World Heritage site. Ascend by cable car then walk down the Western Roman ramp , meet our bus and  continue to Tel Arad to visit the well-preserved ancient Canaanite city. We will visit the Judean fortress and a reconstructed temple at the top of the Tel.  We will then drive to biblical Beersheba (Tel Sheva) and visit the extensive excavations there.  Dinner and overnight in Beersheba (D,B)

OCT 13  FRI       Lachish, Maresha, Azekah (Valley of Elah), Beth Shemesh

Our morning drive will take us to Lachish, mentioned 24 times in the Bible and the most important city of Judah—outside of Jerusalem. It is well excavated (your “host” excavated here) and was conquered by the Assyrians (Sennacherib) and Babylonians (Nebuchadnezar).  We will continue north to Maresha with its underground city and bell-shaped caves and well-preserved amphitheater.  Our next stop will be Azekah, an important site that towers over the Valley of Elah—where David fought Goliath!  We will continue north to nearby Beth Shemesh and the Aijalon Valley, the site and area associated with the exploits of Samson.  Dinner and overnight in Jerusalem (D,B)

OCT 14  SAT      Jerusalem: Mount of Olives, Gethsemane, Church of Holy Sepulcher, Garden Tomb 

We begin our day with a spectacular view of Jerusalem from the top of the Mount of Olives. As we walk down the mount, we will stop at Dominus Flevit, the church that commemorates Jesus weeping over Jerusalem, and the Garden of Gethsemane—the site of Jesus’ Passion. We will view of the Kidron Valley. Afterwards enter the Old City at the Lion’s Gate. We will visit St. Anne’s Church and Pools of Bethesda where Jesus healed a lame man.  Continuing to the Antonia Fortress, we will follow the Via Dolorosa to the Church of the Holy Sepulcher—the traditional site of Jesus’ crucifixion, burial, and resurrection. End our day at the Garden Tomb and Gordon’s Calvary. Dinner & overnight. (D,B)

OCT 15  SUN     Jerusalem:  City of David, Hezekiah’s Tunnel, Temple Mount, Jewish Quarter, Upper Room

We start our day at the City of David where we will visit Warren’s Shaft, Hezekiah’s Tunnel, and the Pool of Siloam (John 9). Be sure to bring a flashlight and water shoes to walk through the tunnel. Anyone wanting to stay dry can walk through the dry Canaanite Tunnel.  We will retrace our steps up to the Davidson Center and visit the extensive archaeological excavations there, including the steps that led up into the Temple Mount. Following that we will visit the Temple Mount, the site of the Solomonic and Herodian Temples and now the famous Dome of the Rock as well as the Western Wall.  In the afternoon we will continue into the Jewish Quarter of the Old City and visit the Wohl Museum where there are palatial houses from the New Testament Era (home of Caiaphas the High Priest?).  In addition we will visit the Zion Gate, the Cenacle, traditional site of the Pentecost event in Acts 2 as well as the area of the “tomb of David.” Dinner and overnight in Jerusalem. (D,B)

OCT 16  MON    Nebi Samwil, Shiloh, Mount Gerizim, Samaria/Sebastia

Today we will head north out of Jerusalem.  Conditions permitting, we will visit Nebi Samwil which may be the biblical “High Place of Gibeon” and from which we will have a spectacular view of the heart land of Benjamin in which so many Old Testament events occurred.  We will visit Shiloh that was home to the Tabernacle for around 300 years and where Eli and Samuel ministered.  We will have a chance to explore the remains of a Samaritan Temple on Mount Gerizim and visit Samaria/Sebastia—which was the capital of the Northern Kingdom of Israel for almost 160 years.  Dinner and overnight in Jerusalem (D,B)

OCT 17  TUE      Herodium, Yad Vashem, Israel Museum: Model of Jerusalem, Dead Sea Scrolls, and Archaeology Section

We will begin out day by visiting the edge-of-the desert Herodian Fortress called the Herodian.  We will have magnificent views of the Judean Wilderness, Bethlehem, and Jerusalem.

After our visit we will return to Jerusalem to visit the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial and Museum. Afterwards, continue on to visit the Israel Museum where we will see the model of Second Temple Jerusalem, the Dead Sea Scrolls, and archaeological highlights of the Israel Museum. Dinner and overnight in Jerusalem (D,B)

OCT  18 WED           Departure - You will be transferred to Tel Aviv Ben Gurion Airport for your flight back home.

Including
  • Roundtrip airfare from New York to Tel Aviv
    *Group departure is from New York JFK. Departures from other cities are available at extra cost. Please contact us for details.
  • 1 night at the Metropolitan Hotel, Tel Aviv (or similar)
  • 3 Nights at Maagan on the Sea of Galilee (or similar )
  • 1 Night at Ein Gedi
  • 1 Night at Beersheba
  • 5 Nights at Golden Walls Hotel
  • Daily open buffet breakfasts at the hotels (B: breakfast)
  • 11 Dinners at the Hotels
  • All entry fees to the sites and museums as per the Itinerary
  • St. Peters Fish lunch near the Sea of Galilee
  • Arrival & departure Transfers
  • Transportation by deluxe AC motor coach as per itinerary
  • Boat Tour on the Sea of Galilee
  • English Speaking licensed tour guide during all tours & transfers
  • Personal headsets (whispers)
  • Masada Cable Car
  • Service charges and local taxes

Excluding
  • Extras of personal nature
  • Lunches and drinks
  • Tips to guide & driver
  • Insurance of any kind


Including
  • Roundtrip airfare from New York to Tel Aviv
    *Group departure is from New York JFK. Departures from other cities are available at extra cost. Please contact us for details.
  • 1 night at the Metropolitan Hotel, Tel Aviv (or similar)
  • 3 Nights at Maagan on the Sea of Galilee (or similar )
  • 1 Night at Ein Gedi
  • 1 Night at Beersheba
  • 5 Nights at Golden Walls Hotel
  • Daily open buffet breakfasts at the hotels (B: breakfast)
  • 11 Dinners at the Hotels
  • All entry fees to the sites and museums as per the Itinerary
  • St. Peters Fish lunch near the Sea of Galilee
  • Arrival & departure Transfers
  • Transportation by deluxe AC motor coach as per itinerary
  • Boat Tour on the Sea of Galilee
  • English Speaking licensed tour guide during all tours & transfers
  • Personal headsets (whispers)
  • Masada Cable Car
  • Service charges and local taxes

Excluding
  • Extras of personal nature
  • Lunches and drinks
  • Tips to guide & driver
  • Insurance of any kind


Hosts
Dr. Carl George Rasmussen
Biblical & Theological Studies
Bethel University

Dr. Carl Rasmussen is Professor Emeritus of Old Testament at Bethel University in St. Paul, Minnesota. He received his Ph.D. in Ancient Near Eastern Studies from Dropsie University (now the Katz Center for Advanced Judaic Studies at the University of Pennsylvania). Dr. Rasmussen has spent 16 years of his adult life living in Israel, Jordan, Greece, and Turkey, where he taught and led academic study programs. Since his retirement from Bethel University, Dr. Rasmussen has continued to teach and lead adult study tours in Turkey, Greece, and Israel. Each year he spends time in Jerusalem, where is Adjunct Professor at the Jerusalem University College. He is the author of The Zondervan Atlas of the Bible (2010) and The Zondervan Essential Atlas of the Bible (2013). He has created and maintains the web site www.HolyLandPhotos.org that features over 5,150 free High Resolution images of Israel, Turkey, Greece, Malta, Jordan, Italy, etc.

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