Israel with Dr. Gary Merritt March

On this tour we will visit much of the Land of Israel. At each key biblical site we will enjoy teachings from our hosts and experts along the way.

DAY 1 - Tuesday, March 07, 2023

Depart Miami International Airport to Tel Aviv

Day 2 - Wednesday, March 08, 2023

Arrive Ben Gurion Airport. After passing passport control and receiving our B2 Visa, proceed to the customs hall to collect our luggage. Once everyone is ready and together, proceed to the arrival hall where our guide and driver will be waiting. We will drive directly to our hotel on the Sea Shores of Netanya. Check into our hotel. Dinner and overnight.

  • Overnight: Netanya, Israel
  • Meals: Dinner

Day 3 - Thursday, March 09, 2023

Breakfast at your hotel. Drive north along the coastal road to Caesarea Marítima, where Gentiles first heard the Good News from Peter and were baptized.

We’ll see the Roman Amphitheatre, hippodrome, a film on the history and the remains of this famous port city, and aqueduct, and then journey on to Mt. Carmel, where Elijah challenged King Ahab and the prophets of Baal. Next, we travel through the Jezreel Valley to Megiddo, the Armageddon Battlefield, where archaeologists have unearthed 20 levels of civilization. We now make our way up to Mt Precipice, also known as Mount of Precipitation, Mount of the Leap of the Lord, and Mount Kedumim which is located just outside the southern edge of Nazareth, It is believed by some to be the site of the Rejection of Jesus described in the Gospel of Luke.

Time to make our way to the Sea of Galilee and check into our hotel at Kibbutz Nof Ginosar. Dinner and overnight

  • Overnight: Sea of Galilee, Israel
  • Meal: Breakfast , Dinner

Day 4 - Friday, March 10, 2023

After breakfast, we will walk over to the Igal Alon Museum to visit the ancient Fisherman Boat followed by a relaxing cruise on the Sea of Galilee.

A brief scripture reading and devotional on board bring to life the experiences of Jesus and the fishermen disciples. We will now drive to Capernaum, visit the second-century synagogue, and view Peter’s home. Next, we will visit the site of the miracle of fish and loaves at Tabgha. The Church of the Multiplication was built in the fourth century and has the most amazing mosaic floor that will take your breath away and the Church of St. Peter's Primacy. We now drive up to the Mount of the Beatitudes will hold significant importance; it is where Christ delivered the Sermon on the Mount, a message that resonated with his disciples for centuries.

Our final visit today will be to Magdala, the hometown of Mary Magdalene. The recent excavation of the First Century Synagogue and well-preserved village makes Magdala one of the most interesting Biblical sites in Israel. we now return to Ginosar for dinner and overnight.

  • Overnight: Sea of Galilee, Israel
  • Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 5 - Saturday, March 11, 2023

Following breakfast, our morning travels take us to two valuable northern sites. Dan is where the children of Israel fell to the depths of alternative sacrifice and Caesarea Philippi, the site of Peter’s Confession and pagan worship.

Drive up to the Golan Heights and to Har Ben Tal which is one of Israel’s favorite mountain peaks to visit, partly due to the great panoramic views of the Golan and even Syria but also because Mount Bental was the site of a courageous battle fought during Israel’s war for the Golan. A short drive up, the mountain-top provides both scenic beauty and a glimpse back at the past. Stop in Cafe Annon, owned by a Lebanese family that came to live in Israel after Hezebulah took over Southern Lebanon.

Driving back to the Sea of Galilee's southern tip for an opportunity to be baptized at the Jordan River Baptismal site. - Yardenit. Return to Ginosar for dinner and overnight.

  • Overnight: Sea of Galilee
  • Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 6 - Sunday, March 12, 2023

After breakfast, we travel southward to Beit-Shean/Scythopolis, the most magnificent archeological site in Israel, located at the strategic juncture of the Jezreel and Jordan valleys. Like Jericho, it has been almost continuously occupied throughout history. After defeating Saul and his sons on Mt. Gilboa, the Philistines hanged their bodies on the walls of Beit-Shean.

During the time of Jesus, Scythopolis was one of the chief cities of the Decapolis - a league of ten cities sharing Greek culture and government. Then you will stand over Gideon’s Spring, the site of where Gideon chose his army of 300 that defeated the Midianites. Then you’ll descend to the lowest place on earth, to the Land of the Dead Sea. Our first stop will be at the Qumran Caves, where the Dead Sea scrolls were found in 1947 by a Bedouin boy.

We now make our way to the Herbert Samuel Hod Hotel located on the Dead Sea beach. If there is time you can enjoy the amenities of the hotel spa before dinner.

  • Overnight: Dead Sea
  • Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 7 - Monday, March 13, 2023

Take time in the morning to relax and bathe in the Dead Sea, an experience like no other, or swim in the pool or spa or just relax. We will leave the hotel at about 11:30 AM and make our way to Masada. With a cable car ride to the mountain top fortress of Masada.

Here our guide will treat us to the history of the famous zealot stand. Afterward, we proceed to Ein Gedi, "Spring of the Goat", an oasis on the western shore of the Dead Sea. Because of its warm climate and abundant supply of water, the site developed a reputation for its fragrant plants and date palm groves. This is where King David hid from Saul, and where God defeated the enemies of the Israelites by praise and worship led by King Jehoshaphat. It is time that we make our way up to Jerusalem. Stopping atop Mt Scopus we have our first view of the "Golden City". Time permitting we will visit the Israel Museum prior to checking into the Ramada hotel. Dinner and overnight.

  • Overnight: Jerusalem Hotel
  • Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 8 - Tuesday, March 14, 2023

After breakfast, we will make our way to the Old City and begin in the Jewish Quarter. Walking also the Roman Cardo road – Walking exploration of the rich history and culture of the Jewish people. As we walk through the Jewish Quarter we arrive at the Broad Wall-Hezekiah's Wall which was built to protect those outside the city walls by King Hezekiah.

Walk down the Kotel steps to the Plaza, and begin with a visit to the Davidson Center - Southern Wall excavations. This southern side of The Temple was the main entrance for the common folk, whereas the Priests and Levites had their own entrance from the higher eastern side. Parts of the giant stairs, which led to the Temple Mount from the courtyard have been unearthed along with the purification pools.

From here Jesus entered the Temple Mount and drove out the vendors and money exchangers who were exploiting the people. It is also likely that this is the place that Peter stood and preached and where thousands were saved and baptized on the Day of Pentecost. We will walk over to the Western Wall also known as the Kotel. This is the holiest place for the Jewish People and you will notice that the men and women are separated for prayers following the Orthodox rituals. It is now time to go under the Western Walls fascinating Rabbinical Tunnels leading us through the Second Temple era. The tunnel and exhibit give a clear understanding of the amazing construction of the Temple Mount, giant stones, water supply, and Roman street where our Lord was led to judgment. We now make our way back to the hotel for dinner and overnight.

  • Overnight: Jerusalem
  • Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 9 - Wednesday, March 15, 2023

This morning, our guide will take us to an overview of the city from the hillside overlooking Jerusalem and the Gehenna Valley. This meaningful teaching time will bring together the many things that you have seen to date. We continue our sightseeing just outside the Dung Gate on the southeastern hill below the Temple Mount in the City of David. It was during the time of Solomon that the city limits extended past this part of Jerusalem. We visit Gihon Springs, the original water source for Jerusalem, and view new excavations including a typical Israelite four-room house, and the lower city wall. A highlight today will be a water walk through the incredible Hezekiah's Tunnel to the pool of Siloam, the place of Jesus' miracle in John 9. We now make our way to the Jerusalem Bethlehem crossing.

Our guide will leave us here and we continue with our driver to pick up our Palestinian guide who will take us to the Church of the Nativity and Shepherd's Field before we drive to the Valley Elah, where David defeated Goliath. We then drive to where battles were fought at Mareshah and Lachish, then thru the land of the Philistines, passing the city of Gath and stopping at the river bed in search of smooth stones for our sling. Return back to Jerusalem for dinner and overnight

  • Overnight: Jerusalem
  • Meals: Dinner

Day 10 - Thursday, March 16, 2023

After breakfast, we will walk where Jesus walked; beginning the day with a panoramic view of the city, Mount Moriah and the Dome of the Rock from atop the Mount of Olives and the Palm Sunday Road stopping in the Garden of Gethsemane.

Walk between the ancient olive trees, read the scriptures of Jesus' prayer, and take time for personal reflection is important here. We make our way back to the Old City entering the St. Stephen's Gate - Lion's Gate and arrive to the Church of St. Anne and the Pools of Bethesda where Jesus miraculously healed a paralyzed man. Antonia Fortress is the first station of the cross on the Via Dolorosa, the path that Jesus is thought to have taken from his trial to his crucifixion.

We will walk along the Via Dolorosa one of the gates that will exit the city. Our final visit today will be a tour and communion at the Garden Tomb Return to the hotel for dinner and overnight.

  • Overnight: Jerusalem
  • Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 11 - Friday, March 17, 2023

After breakfast, we will make our way to the Israel Museum (if we did not have time upon arrival in Jerusalem to visit the Museum). Walk through collections of century-old Israeli artifacts including the Dead Sea Scrolls, and then a guided walk through an accurately detailed model of Biblical Jerusalem. This model will help put into perspective all that you have seen over the previous days touring. We will now make our way to Bridges for Peace, Jerusalem Assistance Center. After our visit, you will have time to shop, or just relax and pack. We will be heading to the airport after dinner

  • Overnight: Jerusalem
  • Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 12 - Saturday, March 18, 2023

Arrive at Miami International Airport

  • Overnight: Jerusalem
  • Meals: Breakfast, Dinner