10 Days Women of the Bible Holy Land Journey
Follow the Matriarchs, heroines and prophetesses of the Bible and the New Testament in this special tour of Israel
Day 1: USA - ISRAEL. Tour members gather at the ticket counter at the airport three hours prior to their evening departure to The Holy Land. Dinner and breakfast are served in-flight.
Day 2: Tel Aviv - Jerusalem. Upon our arrival at the Tel Aviv airport, we are met and transferred to our hotel. On our approach to Jerusalem we drive to the Mount of Olives for a spectacular view of the Holy City. Then to our hotel for check-in and time to rest before dinner is served.
Day 3: Jerusalem: city of prophetesses, heroines and queens. After a hearty breakfast we drive to the Mount of Olives and visit Huldah's Tomb – Huldah the prophetess (2 Kings 22:14; 2 Chron. 34:22) has been commemorated here since the Middle Ages. Eleona (Pater Noster) – one of the first churches to be founded on the Mount of Olives by Queen Helene, the mother of King Constantine. Queen Helene also identified Calvary and the birthplace of Jesus in Bethlehem. Russian Orthodox Church of Mary Magdalene – this beautiful 19th century church in its tranquil garden setting is the burial site of Princess Alice of Battenberg, Queen Elizabeth’s mother-in-law. The Tombs of the Kings – actually that of a queen – Helene of Adiabene –who was highly praised for her gifts to the poor and to the Temple. The Western Wall , a last remnant of the Second Temple, and as such, the holiest place in the Jewish world and a scene of fervent prayer. The Southern Wall Archaeological Park – a “still-life” of the original Herodian street. The Davidson Visitor Center – housed in an eighth-centurypalace, where beautiful displays and a virtual-reconstruction, high-definition interactive model bring Jerusalem’s history alive. The Bible Lands Museum Jerusalem – many displays relating to women, including jewelry, figurines, a bust of “Sarah the Matriarch,” a model of Esther’s palace in Shushan, a Byzantine woman’s decorated sarcophagus and more. Dinner and overnight at our hotel.
Day 4: Jerusalem: highlights of the Old City. The Jewish Quarter – including the Cardo, Jerusalem’s ancient main street; where a moving audiovisual presentation highlights questions of class, the place of women, and the tragic end of one ancient Jerusalem family. The Syriac Orthodox Church of St. Mark – where visitors can consider the part played by the servant girl Rhoda in the story of Peter’s return to the community and other female figures in Scripture. The Church of the Holy Sepulchre – Visit the Garden Tomb and Golgotha - Place of the Skull - for a worship service. Rachel’s Tomb – To this day, women come to Rachel’s tomb to pray for fertility and safe childbirth. Kibbutz Ramat Rachel (“Rachel’s Height”) – Ruth the Moabite changed history by braving the unknown to come to Bethlehem with her mother-in-law Naomi. The Church of Mary’s Seat – the Katisma (“seat”), a church where tradition says the heavily pregnant Mary rested on her way to Bethlehem. Return to our hotel for dinner and overnight.
Day 5: Jerusalem and northern environs: the women behind the men. The City of David – consider the story of David and Bathsheba and the role she played in Solomon’s life. Tel Shiloh – the location of the Tent of Meeting (Josh. 18:1), where Hannah came to pray for a son (1 Sam. 1:12-18). The Israel Museum – the Ethnography Wing reveals ways that customs involving women and families in traditional cultures can reflect those of the Bible. The Shrine of the Book and the Model of Second Temple Jerusalem. Return to our hotel for dinner and overnight.
Day 6: The Almog Tabernacle, Massada, Ein Gedi and the Dead Sea: sacred servants and heroic tales. Massada National Park – Herod’s magnificent fortress, with its palaces, bathhouses and ramparts was also the last stand of the Jews against the Romans. The ne Massada Museum reflects daily life, highlighting among its exhibits women at their many daily tasks. Ein Gedi National Park – a walk through the oasis, where the remains of Ein Gedi’s antiquities frame the story of Babatha, a woman of the town who fled the Romans. End the day with a dip in the Dead Sea and spa treatment. Dinner and overnight at the Dead Sea.
Day 7: The Negev: meeting the Matriarchs. Be'er-Sheba – the city that Abraham founded (Gen. 21:31) when he moved here with Sarah. The landmark wl outside the gate is a backdrop for the many stories about women’s encounters at the well, including Rebecca (Gen. 24:13-26), Rachel (Gen. 29:9-12), the Samaritan woman (John 4:7-29) and others. Bedouin women’s craft center in Rahat - learn how crafts going back to the days of the Patriarchs and the Matriarchs. David and Paula Ben-Gurion’s home at Sde Boker – the modest home of Israel’s first prime minister and his feisty and devoted American-born wife, Paula. Visit the nearby tomb of the couple. Walk through the Avdat Canyon to the Avdat Spring. Dinner and overnight at the Dead Sea.
Day 8: From the Mediterranean to the Sea of Galilee: women in their public and private lives. Caesarea – the showcase Roman port built by Herod the Great, figuring centrally in both Jewish and Christian history. Caesarea, as the home of the four daughters of Philip (Acts 21:8-9). Visit the Hannah Senesch Museum at adjacent Sdot Yam to hear the moving story of a modern-day heroine. Mount Hermon – to Mt. Hermon (Psalm 89:12) the probable site of the Transfiguration (Matthew 17:1-8). Sepphoris – traditional birthplace of Mary; Joanna, the wife of Cuza, might have lived here. Visit the restored theater, the “Mona Lisa of Galilee” mosaic, the Nile House, the Cardo and the sixth-century synagogue that tells a story of redemption and reveals an unusual representation of Sarah. Nazareth – most of the monuments in Nazareth, the town where Jesus grew up, are devoted to Mary and this is where the Annunciation (Luke 1:26-38) took place. Visit the Nazareth Village and learn about the daily life of women in Jesus’ day. Cana – the scene of Jesus’ first miracle, the changing of water into wine at a wedding (John 2:1-11), in which Mary played a role with great theological implications. Dinner and overnight at Tiberias on the Sea of Galilee.
Day 9: Around the Sea of Galilee: spirits of protection and the pioneering spirit. Tiberias – this ancient city on the lake is the location of the tomb of another Rachel, who loved and supported her husband. The tomb of Rachel the poetess – the passionate verses of Israel’s pioneering poet laureate are some of the best-loved in modern Hebrew literature. A first-century Herodian palace has been discovered, including a room with a marble floor where visitors can imagine Salome, the daughter of Herodias, dancing for the head of John the Baptist (Matt. 14:3-11). A boat ride on the Sea of Galilee – emulating the experience of Jesus and the disciples, andrecalling the story of “Miriam’s Well”: according to legend, a miraculous spring appeared that nourished the Children of Israel everywhere in their hour of need and eventually found its way to the Sea of Galilee. The Mount of Beatitudes – an overview of the Sea of Galilee from the place where Jesus preached the Sermon on the Mount. Capernaum – scene of many miracles and teachings, and known as Jesus’ “own town” (Matt. 9:1), including the house of Peter – (Mark 1:29) and the Ancient Synagogue – built over the site where Jesus preached. Healings of women figure centrally in Jesus’ Galilee ministry and the Capernaum synagogue is an excellent place to delve into these stories. The Tabgha Benedictine Monastery Multiplication of Loaves and Fishes – the site of the feeding of the 5,000 (Matt. 14:13-21). Job's Spring – a warm spring surrounded by an old stone tower, where local women came seeking healing in days gone by. According to tradition, Job's wife, who had sold her long hair to support the family when they became destitute, was reunited with her husband here. Bethsaida – the home of Peter, Andrew and Philip (John 1:44; 12:21). David himself may have come to the throne room of the palace to ask Talmai King of Geshur for the hand of his daughter, Maacah (2 Sam. 3:3). Mount Arbel National Park – with an ancient story of its own and a magnificent view of the entire region, particularly old and new Magdala, the hometown of Mary Magdalene, at its foot. Delve more deeply into the story of this “proclaimer.” Dinner and overnight at our hotel.
Day 10: Israel - North America. Early morning departure for the airport and our flight home - the end of a memorable journey of the Women in the Bible.