Women in the Old & New Testament
A 10-Day Bible Tour through the Holy Land. Follow the Matriarchs, Heroines & Prophetesses of the Bible 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 Tel Aviv. Dinner and breakfast are served inflight.
Day 2: Tel Aviv. Upon our arrival at the Tel Aviv airport, we are met and transferred to our hotel – situated on the shores of the Mediterranean Sea. Dinner is served at our hotel.
Day 3: Jerusalem – City of Prophetesses, Heroines and Queens. Overview of Jerusalem from the Mount of Olives – this spiritually significant mountain is also the place for a bird’s-eye view of the mountains and valleys surrounding the city and the way it grew through the ages. Huldah’s Tomb –Huldah the prophetess (2 Kings 22:14; 2 Chron. 34:22) has been commemorated here since the Middle Ages. Queen Helene identified Calvary and the birthplace of Jesus in Bethlehem. Russian Orthodox Church of Mary Magdalene –is the burial site of Princess Alice of Battenberg, Queen Elizabeth’s mother-in-law. The Bible Lands Museum Jerusalem has many displays relating to women. 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. Visit the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, the Garden Tomb and Golgotha for a worship service. Rachel’s Tomb – To this day, women come to Rachel’s tomb to pray for fertility and safe childbirth. 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. Dinner and overnight at the hotel.
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. Dinner and overnight.
Day 6: The Almog Tabernacle, Massada, Ein Gedi and the Dead Sea – sacred Servants and Heroic Tales. The new 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.
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 well 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), and the Samaritan woman (John 4:7-29). Bedouin women’s craft center in Rahat; learn about crafts going back to the days of the Matriarchs. Visit the nearby home and tomb of David and Paula Ben-Gurion, Israel’s first prime minister and his devoted American-born wife. 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. On 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. 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. In 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. 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, and recalling 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. 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. 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.