Good Battle Tours
 
 

itinerary

We visit many of the famous sites, including all of the major locations where Jesus did his ministry. However, the emphasis of the itinerary is the wars and conflicts that have taken place over thousands of years in the land of Israel, from Biblical times until modern. 

 
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Day 1

En Route

Depart the USA to Tel Aviv, Israel.


Day 2

Arrive Tel Aviv

Upon arrival at Ben Gurion International Airport, the group meets the guide after clearing customs and is transferred to the hotel on the Mediterranean for dinner and overnight.


Day 3

To the Galilee

After a large Israeli breakfast (you’ll get to know them well), we will leave the hotel and drive north along the famous highway known in the Bible as the 'Way of the Sea'. We will arrive at Caesarea, where we will explore the ruins of the Roman and the Crusader city. We will see the reconstructed Roman portions, the walls from the times of the crusaders, and the prison area where Paul was held in captivity before being sent to Rome. This was also the place where the first gentile was converted to Christianity. As we leave the beautiful walls and fortifications, we will pass the remains of the Roman horse racing theater known as the Hippodrome. We will look at the remains of a Roman aqueduct, which has been beautifully preserved under the sand dunes for 2,000 years, and study how access to water has defined much of the history of conflict in the Middle East.
 
We will continue to Mount Carmel and visit the site where the Prophet Elijah fought with the prophets of Baal and won. From here there is a breathtaking view over the whole Valley of Jezreel, better known as the Valley of Armageddon. We’ll discuss what made it so strategic in ancient times as well as today.
 
Next we arrive at the famous Tel Megiddo. Megiddo was a city that was fought over continually because it controlled strategic access to the interior of the land. Being the largest valley in Galilee on the main crossroads, Jezreel was a very important control point and Megiddo was its fulcrum.
 
At Megiddo, we will see the remains of King Solomon's Stables, an altar from Abrahamic times (around 4,000 years old), and the magnificent water tunnel. We will continue across the valley to view Mount Tabor, where Deborah and Barak met to plan their wars against the Canaanites. We’ll view the springs where Gideon selected his army and discuss why it was done in that fashion.
 
Then it is arrival at our hotel on the shores of the Sea of Galilee. 


Day 4

Galilee

Wake up to a beautiful morning in the area where Jesus spent most of his ministry. After breakfast, we will take a journey across the lake on a boat, listening to a devotional about the many stories of Christ calming the storm, walking on the waters, and calling the Apostles while having time to reflect on those events.

Then we will drive north through the Golan Heights to Caesarea Philippi and the Banias, one of the water resources of the Jordan River. As we drive to the Golan Heights we will learn extensively about the Six Day War and the Yom Kippur war, the two conflicts in the 20th century that most shaped modern Israel. We’ll stop at the “Valley of Tears” and hear the amazing story of that four day battle where just under 100 Israeli tanks held off nearly 1,200 Syrian tanks bent on destruction of the Jewish state. 

We’ll continue back to the Sea of Galilee to visit Capernaum, walking among the ruins of this Biblical village, including seeing the remains of the Synagogue where Jesus preached. 
 
Then we’ll drive up to the Mount of the Beatitudes, where Jesus delivered the Sermon on the Mount. 

We will visit the remains of a 2,000 year-old fisherman boat , known as “The Jesus Boat” since it dates to the time of Christ. 

Then it’s lunch on the lake shore. Back to the hotel for overnight.


Day 5

Galilee to Dead Sea

Today, after breakfast, we will drive south to Beit She'an, the largest archeological site in Israel. We will read the passages in the Bible telling us about the battles between the Israelites and the Philistines on nearby Mount Gilboa - a battle ending with a tragedy to the royal house of Saul, but paving the way for the rise of David.
 
We will explore the ancient Roman portion of the city with the amphitheater and reconstructed streets.
 
We’ll continue south through the Jordan Valley to view Jericho (should conditions allow it) and the Mount of Temptations, which was another militarily strategic location. We will visit the Qumran Caves area, where the Dead Sea Scrolls were found, and explore the Dead Sea region’s war history.
 
At 1,300 feet below sea level, the Dead Sea is the lowest point and saltiest body of water in the world. Our hotel is by the Dead Sea shores, where we will be able to swim (or to be more exact, float) on this amazing sea.

This evening, we climb to and explore the oasis of Ein Gedi where David hid from Saul. There is an option hike to a beautiful waterfall high up in the canyon that has been flowing for millennia. Then it’s dinner and overnight at our hotel on the Dead Sea.

 
 
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Day 6

Masada and Dead Sea

After breakfast, it’s off to Masada - the site of the Zealots last stand against the Romans, which was originally built as a magnificent palace for Herod the Great. It was also thought to be a potential hideout for David, the “stronghold” the Bible frequently mentions him going to.
 
Anyone who wishes to climb the legendary Snake Trail can do so and Cliff will guide a group to the summit. This is the exact path to the summit that was used in the ancient world by the warriors to defended it and others who tried to scale its heights. The rest of the group can take the tramway to the top.
 
Hear the detailed story of the Jewish zealots as narrated by the ancient historian Josephus about one of the most decisive battles ever for the Jewish people and Israel.  At this great fortress we will visit the bath house, the storage rooms, the mosaics and the Byzantine Church built at the top.
 
After descending by walking along the siege ramp built by the Romans that still remains (while studying siege techniques), we will drive to a Bedouin camp and enjoy a special visit with Middle Eastern hospitality and enjoy a camel ride, where we will also look at how this animal has been used since Biblical times both in transportation and war.
 
We’ll continue via the Negev Desert to the Elah Valley, site of the famous battle between David and Goliath, and spend time studying that battle and listen to a gripping devotional on the very spot it took place.
 
We’ll continue our ascent to Jerusalem, 2,400 feet above sea level, via Beit Shemes and Emmaus. We will get our first glimpse of the city from the Haas Promenade, the area where most armies surveyed the city before preparing to invade it. Dinner and overnight in Jerusalem.


Day 7

Jerusalem

We will begin the morning after breakfast with a magnificent view of the Old City from the Mount of Olives so that everyone can get their bearings and understand the strategic placement of the city. We will drive down to the Kidron Valley and enter the Garden of Gethsemane. We continue along the Kidron Valley, viewing the monuments known as the Tomb of Zachariah and the Tomb of Absalom, King David's son, discussing the battle that led to his fate.
 
We will enter the Old City via the Dung Gate (and learn why it was named that).  As we enter the Old City, we will learn extensively about King David and how he conquered the old Canaanite city of Jebus.
 
Because Jerusalem has had more wars than any other city in Israel, it has an enormous amount of warfare history. We will go to the old border fence area and learn how in the last battle in 1967 (the Six Day War), the Israeli paratroopers united the Old City with Jerusalem.

We’ll proceed to the Wailing Wall and touch its ancient stones. We will ascend the Temple Mount, where we will view the Dome of the Rock.
 
We will continue to the famous tunnels from the Hasmonean era where Christians fled persecution, and then out to the Via Dolorosa and the Arab Market - the Shuk, with its hundreds of stores selling many types of artifacts, discussing how fighting in such an environment would have been a strategic nightmare in ancient times as well as modern. We will also visit the Holy Sepulcher - the largest Church in Jerusalem, with an extensive history of its own.
 
We’ll move on to the Jewish Quarter, where we will see the renovated Cardo and visit the Davidson Center Museum to learn about the history of the Second Temple Era. We will also visit the remains of Caiaphas’ House, where Jesus was kept. Then it’s on to Mt Zion and visiting King David’s Tomb (not actually his tomb, but still an interesting shrine that dates to the middle ages).
 
We finish the day with a visit to the place known as the Garden Tomb, a quiet spot to sit and reflect after a busy day. Dinner and overnight in Jerusalem. In the evening there is the option to visit the famous pedestrian thoroughfare called Ben Yehuda Street.


Day 8

jerusalem and bethlehem

We will start the morning with a visit to the Israel Museum and the Shrine of the Book, where the Dead Sea Scrolls can be seen. Then it is off to the City of David archaeological park, where we will study the excavations of King David’s palace and the newly discovered fortresses of Solomon – a place known in the Bible as the “Hall of the Mighty Men.”
 
One of the most exciting adventures of the trip will be crawling through the waters of the ancient Gihon spring that has flowed for thousands of years through Hezekiah’s Tunnel, the actual tunnel built by King Hezekiah to preserve the water flow to the city when they were under siege (this is optional for those physically unable to do it).

We will study the remains of Nehemiah’s Wall, and other sites. The afternoon will be dedicated to allowing the group to wander and explore the Old City and spend time at places you may want to see again or study more. Dinner and overnight in Jerusalem.


Day 9

Jerusalem

Today is the day we will be covering other sites not mentioned above in the Jerusalem area, including a look at the destruction the Romans wrought on the city.  

On the way down from Jerusalem, we will stop by the Ayalon Institute at Kibbutz Rehovot and learn the fascinating story of a kibbutz that functioned as a secret underground ammunition factory prior to the War of Independence in 1948. This is one of the most surprisingly enjoyable parts of the tour for many people. 

In the evening, we will celebrate with a farewell dinner in the old city of Jaffa on the coast near Tel Aviv, where Jonah once tried to flee from God. 
 
Late evening transfer to the airport for the overnight flight back to the US.


 

Additional Information

  • Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner provided, with the exception of four lunches. 
  • It is recommended that you “Google” these locations and familiarize yourself with them, not only to get excited for the trip but to be able to keep track of what the guides will be teaching by having some advance knowledge. It will be less stressful for you to have a basic understanding of the sites, because Cliff and the guides will be sharing a lot of information and you’ll want to be able to take it all in.
  • In addition to reading the Biblical account of these places, it is recommended that you read Cliff Graham’s “Lion of War” series and “Shadow of the Mountain” series in order to familiarize yourself with why we are visiting certain sites. Cliff will be providing more information for you to review as the year goes in advance of the trips. 
 

Lodging

At each location will be staying in a hotel that is equivalent to a three hotel in the United States. When available, we stay at the kibbutz hotels that have famous 20th century histories.

    Additional Activities

    • Night excursions to historical sites.
    • Active IDF military installation visit (subject to availability). 
     
     

     

    Good Battle Tours

     
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