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  • Yardenit Baptismal Site on the Jordan River, Sea of Galilee |

    Yardenit Baptismal Site Photo Gallery Places of Interest Yardenit Baptismal Site Location There are two main baptismal sites on the Jordan River. Yardenit Baptismal Site 1. Yardenit is just a couple hundred yards (meters) west of Hwy. 90, at the southern tip of the Sea of Galilee. 2. It’s a popular spot, and the water is clean and abundant. 3. For those desiring to get baptized here in the Jordan River, the Yardenit gift shop provides white robes and towels for a small fee. 4. Yardenit has a large gift shop for the purchase of souvenirs and other miscellaneous items as well. ​ 5. Yardenit is also a great place to view the Jordan River. ​ 6. Entrance to the site is free. ​ Jordan River Baptismal Site of Jesus (Qasr al-Yahud) 1. This Baptismal site is located about 2 miles (3.2 km.) east of Hwy 90, across from Jericho. 2. It’s also known as Qaser al-Yahud, Kasser al-Yahud, and the Baptismal Site of Jesus. 3. It’s the place where it’s believed Jesus was baptized, and where John the Baptist and the disciples of Jesus baptized many people as well. 4. The water is not as clean as Yardenit, but thousands of pilgrims are baptized there each year because of its spiritual significance. 5. It’s also the believed location where the Israelites crossed the Jordan River to enter the Promised Land. (For more, please see Jordan River Baptismal Site of Jesus) Places of Interest 1. Yardenit Baptismal Site 2. Jordan River 3. Parking area 4. Hwy. 90 5. Sea of Galilee Historical Background 1. The concept of baptism is rooted in the Old Testament. As far back as Genesis, eight people were saved from the great flood of God’s judgment. The Apostle Peter indicated that the water of the flood “symbolizes baptism that now saves you” (1 Pet. 3:21). 2. Old Testament prophets such as Isaiah, Ezekiel, and King David likewise used water as an external symbol for internal cleansing (Isa. 1:16: Ezek. 36:25; Ps. 51:2). Isaiah 1:16: Wash yourselves; make yourselves clean; remove the evil of your deeds from before my eyes; cease to do evil. 3. The word baptize, baptized, baptizing, or baptismal is mentioned around 83 times in the New Testament and, therefore, shows the value God places on it. ​ (For the full Bible teaching on baptism, please see the Jordan River Baptismal Site of Jesus – Qsar al-Yahud Baptismal Site.) ​

  • Mount Arbel by the Sea of Galilee: Place the Great Commission was Given |

    Mt. Arbel Photo Gallery Places of Interest Mount Arbel ​ Location 1. Mount Arbel is located on the west side of the Sea of Galilee and is the tallest mountain around the Sea of Galilee. 2. It has a spectacular view of the Sea of Galilee, which is about 8 miles (12 km.) wide, and about 13 miles (21 km.) long. 3. It rises about 1,200 ft. (365 m.) above the Sea of Galilee. 4. It has on its eastern side a cliff that drops right down to the Sea of Galilee basin. 5. This cliff has many natural caves that have been used throughout history for battles and protection purposes. ​ Historical Background 1. History and tradition locate Mount Arbel as the place where Christ gave the Great Commission mandate to go into all the world and preach the gospel. 2. Many theologians believe this is the place because it is the tallest mountain in the area and provides a perfect view of the Sea of Galilee. 3. Because Christ spent around 60% to 70% of His ministry time around the Sea of Galilee, Mount Arbel would have provided the perfect backdrop as Christ gave His disciples the powerful Great Commission mandate. From this location, we can easily see the following: Magdala Gennesaret (Ginasor) The area where Christ likely called several of His disciples Chorazin Tabgha - The likely place Christ restored Peter to ministry Mount of Beatitudes Capernaum Bethsaida Bethsaida Lookout Feeding the 5,000 Feeding the 4,000 Kursi Horvat Susita Where Jesus walked on water and calmed the sea 4. The Great Commission was one of the last contacts Christ had with His disciples, which shows the importance of this commandment. 5. The cliffs of Mount Arbel have natural caves that have been used as shelters for rebels against Herod the Great, revolts against the Romans, and later periods. The ruins of Hellenistic, Roman, and Byzantine villages lie below the cliffs and on its southwestern side. Places of Interest (Please See Maps Above) 1. Park Entrance 2. Lookout location 3. Arbel Cliffs 4. Magdala 5. Sea of Galilee 6. Hellenistic, Roman, and Byzantine villages that lie below the cliffs. 7. Ancient Synagogue 8. Fortress 9. Hiking trail Mount Arbel in the Bible 1. Mount Arbel is the believed place where Christ gave the Great Commission. Matthew 28:16-20: Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them. 17 And when they saw him, they worshiped him, but some doubted. 18 And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” 2. What does the phrase “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me” mean? Colossians 1:15–17: He [Christ] is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation [ The Greek word for “firstborn” is proto-tikto which would give us the meaning of “pre-eminence,” and that is what we find here in Colossians 1:15. The Greek word for “first created” would be proto-ktizo, and it is not used here]. 16 For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. 17 And he is before all things, and in him, all things hold together. Christ is the image of the invisible God. He is God in the flesh so we can understand and know Him better. Christ created all things in heaven and on earth. He created all thrones, dominions, rulers, authorities, and rules over them. He is the head of all things. All of creation is held together and sustained by His power. 3. During Christ’s ministry on earth, He performed every class of miracle to show He was Lord of every aspect of creation. Sickness – Christ healed every kind of sickness among countless people. Demons and the demonic world – Christ repeatedly cast out demons from many people. Weather – Christ calmed the sea and storms. Nature – Christ cursed a fig tree, and it died. Animals – Christ cast out demons into a herd of swine, He performed the miraculous catches of fish, and He rode into Jerusalem on an untamed donkey. Food – Christ fed 5,000 and 4,000 people. The authority to forgive sins. Only God has this authority, so Christ showed Himself as being fully God. Death – Christ raised numerous people from the dead, and He Himself rose from the dead. 4. Every knee in heaven and earth will bow before the authority of Christ. Philippians 2:9–11: Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, 10 so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. 5. Based upon the authority that Christ possesses, He commands us to go and make disciples. Matthew 28:19–20: Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. Faith Lesson from Mount Arbel 1. All authority in heaven and earth has been given to Christ. Do we truly believe this? 2. We are all called to be missionaries. Acts 1:8: But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” 3. Missionary means “Sent One.” 4. Most missionary work is done locally in our own Jerusalem, as most are not called to foreign missions. 5. Just because we are not foreign missionaries does not mean we aren’t a missionary at our local level. 6. Making disciples entails evangelizing. 7. In supporting foreign missions, there are a few ways we can be involved: We can be goers. We can be supporters by helping financially. We can be encouragers to those in the field. We can be helpers when missionaries return from the field and need help back home. We can be prayer supporters. Am I involved in foreign missions in at least one of the above ways? 8. In fulfilling the Great Commission, it’s not just enough to be a good person and hope our life will show others we’re different. We are commanded to go and speak! 9. While baptism does not save us, we are to emphasize it and baptize in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Have I been baptized and encourage others to be baptized as well? 10. We are to teach others to obey all Christ has commanded. Am I involved in doing this? 11. We have the promise that the one who has all authority in heaven and on earth will be with us as we go to evangelize and make disciples. We should realize that: We are not alone in fulfilling the Great Commission but have Christ present and supernaturally helping us. We have all the power and authority necessary in Christ, our helper, so we don’t need to fear any demonic or contrary force. 12. Do I realize Christ is with me in every aspect as I strive to fulfill the Great Commission?

  • Jordan River Overview: See All Its Sites of Interest |

    Jordan River Overview Photo Gallery Places of Interest Jordan River Overview ​ Location 1. The Jordan River begins at Mount Hermon in the northernmost part of Israel, flows into the Sea of Galilee, and then out and down to the Dead Sea. 2. The lower part of the river has the lowest elevation of any river in the world. 3. It’s the border between Israel and Jordan for much if its length. 4. Today, because of the high demands of water by both Israel and Jordan, little water makes it to the Dead Sea area. Historical Background 1. The Jordan River is mentioned over 180 times in the Bible. 2. It is the main River in Israel, supplying much of the country with water. 3. Its total winding length is about 125 miles (200 km.). 4. The meaning of “Jordan” in Hebrew is “descend.” This is true of the Jordan River as it literally descends thousands of feet from its inception to its ending, and all but the beginning part is below sea level. 5. However, there’s a deeper spiritual meaning to the word. In the same way we must descend to access the Jordan River’s waters physically, we must descend and humble ourselves before we can ascend spiritually. This concept is seen in many of the miracles that happened in and around its shores. Places of Interest 1. Mount Hermon: Rises to around 9,232 ft. (2,813 m.) above sea level and supplies the Jordan River with most of its water. 2. Hermon Stream Nature Reserve: Beginning area of the Jordan River. 3. Jordan River View: Nice viewing place where the river is wide and calm. 4. Sea of Galilee: The Jordan River flows into and out of the Sea of Galilee. 5. Yardenit Baptismal Site: Located just south of the Sea of Galilee. It’s a popular place where many pilgrims get baptized in the Jordan River. 6. Adam – Place the waters of the Jordan backed up to when the Israelites crossed the river (20 miles, 32 km. above crossing). ​ 7. Baptismal Site of Jesus: Located across from Jericho, this is the believed place where Jesus was baptized. It’s also a popular place where many people get baptized today as well. 8. Crossing of the Jordan River by the Israelites: Located close-by to the Baptismal Site of Jesus. 9. Camp Gilgal 10. Jericho 11. Dead Sea Jordan River in the Bible 1. Abraham entered the Promised Land through the gateway of the Jordan River Valley when he first journeyed from Ur of the Chaldeans (Gen. 12:1–9). 2. When Abraham and Lot divided their possessions, Lot chose to settle in the lower part of the Jordan River Valley. Genesis 13:10: And Lot lifted up his eyes and saw that the Jordan Valley was well watered everywhere like the garden of the LORD, like the land of Egypt, in the direction of Zoar. (This was before the LORD destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah.) 3. Before entering the Promised Land, the Israelites camped on the east side of the Jordan River, opposite Jericho. Joshua 3:1: Then Joshua rose early in the morning, and they set out from Shittim. And they came to the Jordan , he and all the people of Israel, and lodged there before they passed over. 4. The Israelites crossed the Jordan River on dry ground as God miraculously parted the waters. Joshua 3:14–17: So when the people set out from their tents to pass over the Jordan with the priests bearing the ark of the covenant before the people, 15 and as soon as those bearing the ark had come as far as the Jordan , and the feet of the priests bearing the ark were dipped in the brink of the water (now the Jordan overflows all its banks throughout the time of harvest), 16 the waters coming down from above stood and rose up in a heap very far away, at Adam [20 miles, 32 km. north], the city that is beside Zarethan, and those flowing down toward the Sea of the Arabah, the Salt Sea, were completely cut off. And the people passed over opposite Jericho. 17 Now the priests bearing the ark of the covenant of the Lord stood firmly on dry ground in the midst of the Jordan , and all Israel was passing over on dry ground until all the nation finished passing over the Jordan . 5. Naaman, the Leper, was healed in the Jordan River by the Prophet Elisha. 2 Kings 5:10–14: And Elisha sent a messenger to him, saying, "Go and wash in the Jordan seven times, and your flesh shall be restored, and you shall be clean." 11 But Naaman was angry and went away, saying, "Behold, I thought that he would surely come out to me and stand and call upon the name of the LORD his God, and wave his hand over the place and cure the leper. 12 Are not Abana and Pharpar, the rivers of Damascus, better than all the waters of Israel? Could I not wash in them and be clean?" So he turned and went away in a rage. 13 But his servants came near and said to him, "My father, it is a great word the prophet has spoken to you; will you not do it? Has he actually said to you, 'Wash, and be clean'?" 14 So he went down and dipped himself seven times in the Jordan , according to the word of the man of God, and his flesh was restored like the flesh of a little child, and he was clean. ​ 6. Elijah parted the waters of the Jordan with his cloak. 2 Kings 2:6–8: Then Elijah said to him, “Please stay here, for the Lord has sent me to the Jordan.” But he said, “As the Lord lives, and as you yourself live, I will not leave you.” So the two of them went on. 7 Fifty men of the sons of the prophets also went and stood at some distance from them, as they both were standing by the Jordan . 8 Then Elijah took his cloak and rolled it up and struck the water, and the water was parted to the one side and to the other, till the two of them could go over on dry ground. 7. Elisha made the head of an ax float at the Jordan River. 2 Kings 6:1–7: Now the sons of the prophets said to Elisha, “See, the place where we dwell under your charge is too small for us. 2 Let us go to the Jordan and each of us get there a log, and let us make a place for us to dwell there.” And he answered, “Go.” 3 Then one of them said, “Be pleased to go with your servants.” And he answered, “I will go.” 4 So he went with them. And when they came to the Jordan , they cut down trees. 5 But as one was felling a log, his axe head fell into the water, and he cried out, “Alas, my master! It was borrowed.” 6 Then the man of God said, “Where did it fall?” When he showed him the place, he cut off a stick and threw it in there and made the iron float. 7 And he said, “Take it up.” So he reached out his hand and took it. 8. John the Baptist baptized people in the Jordan River. Matthew 3:5–6: Then Jerusalem and all Judea and all the region about the Jordan were going out to him, 6 and they were baptized by him in the river Jordan, confessing their sins. 9. Jesus was baptized in the Jordan River by John the Baptist. Matthew 3:13–17: Then Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to John, to be baptized by him. 14 John would have prevented him, saying, “I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?” 15 But Jesus answered him, “Let it be so now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.” Then he consented. 16 And when Jesus was baptized, immediately he went up from the water, and behold, the heavens were opened to him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and coming to rest on him; 17 and behold, a voice from heaven said, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.” 10. The disciples of Jesus baptized many in the Jordan River. John 4:1–3: Now when Jesus learned that the Pharisees had heard that Jesus was making and baptizing more disciples than John 2 (although Jesus himself did not baptize, but only his disciples), 3 he left Judea and departed again for Galilee. Faith Lesson from the Jordan River 1. The Jordan River represented life and vitality to the Israelites. They were desert people, and water was their life. Therefore, Christ used this concept to teach them that in the same way water was vital for their physical lives, He was vital for their spiritual lives as well. Do we realize the importance of a close relationship with Christ in order to have spiritual life and vitality? 2. The meaning of Jordan means “descend.” In a spiritual sense, are we humble before God and submissive to Him in order to grow spiritually? 3. The Israelites crossed the Jordan River on dry ground. In so doing, God reminded them of the miracle of crossing the Red Sea after their exodus from Egypt. Often, God will repeat miracles to show His faithfulness. What things has God done repeatedly to show His faithfulness to us? 4. Naaman, the leper, had his own idea of how God should operate. Do we often have our own ideas as well as to how we think God should do things? 5. Baptism played a large role in the ministries of John the Baptist, Jesus, and his disciples. It was a baptism of repentance. What is our view of baptism today, and how important is it to us and our ministries?

  • Donate to Ministries |

    Donate to Holy Land Site Ministries Donating to Holy Land Site Ministries As you might know, camera equipment, travel to Israel, video production equipment, computers, and video production software are very expensive. Also, this is our full-time job. In order to continue producing more videos, we rely on the Lord to touch the hearts of His servants. We also offer all of our videos for free because we view our work as a ministry to the Lord. ​ We are also long-term missionaries in Mexico. Our ministry in Mexico is called Go Missions to Mexico, a Christ-centered, biblically-based, non-denominational mission organization with 29 years of experience in missionary service. It exists to incorporate short-term mission teams in the Great Commission to reach the unreached and strengthen churches and believers of Christ in Mexico. ​ If is helpful to you and you would like to support our work, we would be deeply grateful. ​ PayPal does not require creating a PayPal account to use your credit card. YouTube Channel: Holy Land Site ​ Author Page: ToddMichaelF ​ Missionary Website:

  • Oct. 21-Nov. 6, 2022 17-Day Holy Land Trip to Israel. This is a Bible Centered Guided Tour by Dr. Todd M. Fink

    Holy Land Tour Trips to Is rael The Holy Land Experience Trip of a Lifetime October 21~November 6, 2022 17-Day Trip ​ Would you like to have a life-changing and never-to-be-forgotten experience? If so, it is our joy to invite you to join us on a trip of a lifetime to the Land of the Bible, where you will find a new dimension in understanding the Bible and the life of Jesus. We will take a boat ride on the Sea of Galilee, visit places where Jesus walked, lived, taught, performed miracles, walked on the water, calmed the sea, and where He was crucified and raised from the dead. We will immerse ourselves in the Land of the Bible and experience it to the depths of our souls.​ You will never be the same or read your Bible the same after a trip like this. ​ If it's Bible you want, then this trip is for you. At each site, we will give biblical and historical teaching along with a faith lesson. Therefore, this trip is designed to provide an in-depth study and perspective from the Scriptures of the events and places of the Bible. ​ We are delighted to share that Israel has removed every Covid vaccination mandate plus every other restriction, so visiting Israel is normal with no burdens whatsoever. As a result, we are rejoicing and really excited about our upcoming trips to Israel. ​ ___________________ ​ "An absolutely amazing trip with a guy who knows his Bible and can relate it to you in-country. I've gone with this dear friend of mine to Israel twice. It's an 11 out of 10 trip!" ​ Dan Reeves ​ Quick Links ​ Holy Land Trip Registration Form ~ Required for each person ​ Deposit Payment ~ $500.00 USD ​ Final Payment ~ $1,250.00 ​ Hotel Reservation Booking Section ​ Promotional Brochures ​ About Your Tour Hosts Trip Registration Info ​ Itinerary ​ Holy Land Trip Travel Orientation ​ Helpful Holy Land Learning Resources The Holy Land Experience! 17-Day Trip ​ Holy Land Site Fee ~ $1,750.00 USD Items covered by Holy Land Site Ministries: ​ Transportation in Israel Via a Deluxe A/C Motorcoach ​ All Park & Entrance Passes ​ Holy Land Site Tour Guide and Bible Teacher, Dr. Fink ​ Wireless Headsets for a Better Listening Experience Individual Costs ~ $2,500 (This cost can change depending on individual preferences and location) ​ To keep our trips as affordable as possible, we allow individuals to book their own lodging and airfare. Also, to see as many sites as possible, and again, keep costs down, we have folks pack a sack lunch. The hotels will provide breakfast. For dinner, folks can enjoy the culture by eating out at the local restaurants of their choice. Items to be covered by each individual: ​ The costs below are close estimates. Your price may vary depending on airfare from your location, room selections, and how expensive you want to eat. ​ Sack Lunch & Dinner Meals in Israel ........ $400 per person (Breakfast included in Hotel cost) ​ Lodging in Israel (found on itinerary) .... $1,100 per person (Based on private, double occupancy rooms.) ​ Airfare ........................................................ $1,000 per person ​ Travel from Ben Gurion Airport to Kfar Maccabiah Hotel & Suites in Tel Aviv, and from Prima Park Hotel in Jerusalem to Ben Gurion Airport. A taxi can be taken from the airport to our hotel in Tel Aviv for about $12.00 per person, and a light-rail train or shuttle can be taken from Jerusalem to the airport for about $7.00 on the light-rail train, or $25.00 on a shuttle bus. Due to multiple arrivals and departures from passengers, it is not possible for us to attend everyone’s various time schedules. However, we are happy to help in any way possible with these arrangements.​ ​ Total Cost of Trip ​ Holy Land Site Fee $1,750.00 ​ Individual Costs $2,500.00 ​ Total $4,250.00 THIS IS A CUSTOM-DESIGNED TRIP If you want to spend more time in Israel and see more holy sites, then this trip is designed for you. Most trips to the Holy Land allow only around 7-8 full days in Israel. This severely limits what can be seen. Therefore, most who go to the Holy Land miss out on many significant holy sites as a result. This trip will have you in Israel for 14 days. You will, therefore, see about everything significant there is to see in Israel. A 17-day trip like this normally is quite expensive (if you can find one). Why can we do it so inexpensively? Because we are eliminating tour companies, travel agencies, tour guides, etc., and are providing these services instead. We are also allowing you to book your own airfare, lodging, and some of your meals. And lastly, we are staying in nice, clean hotels/hostels instead of expensive hotels. It is our pleasure to serve you and our Lord Jesus Christ in offering you this special and affordable trip of a lifetime. Because this is a custom trip, each participant will be required to book their own airfare, lodging, and purchase some of their own meals. PHYSICAL REQUIREMENTS This trip is not for the weak and faint of heart! There will be a fair amount of walking, some hiking, times when it could be warm (Dead Sea area), etc. Those considering this trip need to be in pretty good shape and able to withstand some discomfort at times due to heat, walking, hiking, etc. Our estimated walking distance will be about 1-2 miles a day. GROUP SIZE LIMIT We are limiting the group size to 30 people. This will allow us to be more efficient and see more places in Israel. Larger teams bring a different dynamic that slows things down and makes travel more difficult. AIR TRAVEL Each person will be responsible for booking their own air travel to Israel (to and from Ben Gurion Airport). Please make plans to arrive with plenty of time to attend our mandatory orientation and get-acquainted meeting at 7:00 pm at our Kfar Maccabiah Hotel & Suites in Tel Aviv. Due to customs and obtaining visas, please allow 3 hours from airport arrival to hotel arrival. The hotel is about 15 minutes from the airport depending on traffic. TRANSPORTATION IN ISRAEL We will be transported around in a large, air-conditioned motorcoach while in all areas of Israel except Jerusalem. When in Jerusalem, we will be transported to and from our hotel to the Old City (Jaffa Gate) via light rail. We will then be walking in and around the Old City from there. LODGING IN ISRAEL We will be staying at large hotels with private rooms and bathrooms during our time in Israel. Our itinerary shows the hotels where we will stay (a total of three: Tel Aviv, Tiberias, Jerusalem). Click here for hotel reservation links . ​ LUGGAGE You will be allowed one carry-on piece of luggage and one suitcase. Because each person will be responsible to transport their luggage from the motorcoach to the hotels, it is highly recommended to keep your suitcase under 40 pounds. This will also prevent you from an extra charge by airlines for heavy luggage. MEALS IN ISRAEL Each person will be responsible for paying for their own lunches and dinners. ​ Breakfast - The hotels will provide breakfast if desired. Some will provide dinners as well. These can be paid for when you book your lodging or at the hotels. ​ Lunch - Because eating out is quite expensive in Israel, and eating with a large group can occupy one or more hours of the day, plus, we will be on the go and not always close to a restaurant, each trip participant will prepare themself a daily sack lunch. Each day at noon we will take a break, eat, and then carry on. Lunch items can be purchased at local grocery stores, and the hotels will have refrigerators in the rooms. ​ Dinner – On your own. Enjoy the local culture as you eat at local restaurants, etc. PARK & ENTRANCE PASSES Holy Land Site Ministries will pay for all park and entrance fees to all sites. You will be responsible to pay for any entrance fees you want to see during your free time. WHAT WILL OUR VISITS TO EACH SITE BE LIKE? Our visits will normally last around two hours. We will begin with some orientation of the site. Then we'll do a walking tour to see the site and its points of interest. Afterward, we'll find a quiet spot to reflect on the main events from the Bible that happened at the site and close with a faith lesson to learn the key truths God would desire to teach us. Some of the Bible teachings might be filmed for publishing on our website. We'll then end our visit with some free time. ​ DOCUMENTS A valid U.S. Passport is required. Passports must have at least six months left before they expire for travel to Israel. TRIP PREPARATION Please utilize the videos and info on our website that provide help and orientation to better understand many of the biblical sites we will be visiting, the history of Israel, and other helpful info. In addition, we will provide helpful info leading up to our trip that will help prepare you to get the most out of your holy land experience. ​ We also ask that you acquaint yourself with our Travel Orientation Material found on our website. You will find it extremely helpful. TIME OF YEAR FOR THIS TRIP We’ve chosen these dates to visit Israel because the weather is stable, the days are longer, and there are no Jewish Holidays that will interfere with our travels. DAILY ITINERARY Please take into consideration that there might be slight adjustments to the schedule depending on things out of our control. Additionally, if the team would like some flexibility in seeing sights, we are happy to do this if possible. MONEY IN ISRAEL Credit cards and Dollars are readily accepted, Shekels can be drawn from ATMs. INTERNET IN ISRAEL All the hotels we will be staying at will provide free Internet. Phone SIM cards can be purchased for around $39.99 if you want Internet service at all times while in Israel. DAILY SCHEDULE We will leave our place of lodging each day at 8:00 am and return around 4:00 - 5:00 pm. From this time on, you will have free time to eat, relax, see the local sites and culture, etc. ​ AGE LIMIT The minimum age for trip participants is 12 years old unless other arrangements have been made with tour hosts. ​ ITINERARY Please see our detailed itinerary below. ​ FIRST-COME, FIRST-SERVE BASIS If you are serious about going on this trip to Israel, you will want to register at your earliest convenience. Our trips fill up fast and some are already getting close to full. Anchor 1 TOUR HOSTS Todd & Letsy Fink More about the Finks TRIP REGISTRATION INFO HOLY LAND TRIP NEWS Israel is open for tourism and has no vaccination mandates or restrictions at this time. ​ REGISTRATION DEPOSIT A registration deposit of $500.00 USD is required to register and secure your spot on the Holy Land Experience Team. Before paying your deposit, please fill out the online registration form. We will then notify you of your acceptance into the trip team, and payment of your deposit can then be made. After being notified of your acceptance on the team, you can pay your deposit at your earliest convenience. This will ensure your spot in the group. ​ REGISTRATION, DEPOSIT, AND FINAL PAYMENT LINKS ​ Holy Land Trip Registration Form (required for each person) ​ Deposit Payment ~ $500.00 USD ​ Final Payment ~ $1,250.00 ​ ​ REGISTRATION DEADLINE DATE Your trip registration, deposit, and final payment deadline is August 1 , 2022 . Tourism is growing quite rapidly in Israel and things need to be done earlier than in previous years. Therefore, booking lodging, bus transportation in Israel, etc. needs to be done no later than 3 months before trip departure to ensure availability (booking lodging is even recommended 6 months in advance for best availability). For these reasons, we have set August 1 , 2022 , as the deadline for trip registration for everyone. For those who desire to attend this trip after August 1 , 2022 , we will handle each person on a space availability case basis. Thanks for your understanding. ​ CANCELATIONS & REFUNDS Deposit Refund Paid to Holy Land Site Ministries In the unfortunate case you may need to cancel your trip due to personal reasons on or before the August 1 , 2022 deadline, Holy Land Site Ministries will only be able to refund one-half ($250.00) of your $500.00 deposit. ​ Deposit Transfer If you would like to transfer your deposit to another person you can do so. Just kindly have this person pay you and let us know. ​ Refunds of All Funds Paid to Holy Land Site Ministries In the unfortunate case you may need to cancel your trip due to personal reasons before August 1 , 2022 , Holy Land Site Ministries will only be able to refund one-half of your final payment. ​ If you must cancel your trip due to personal reasons after August 1 , 2022 , Holy Land Site Ministries will be unable to refund any of your final payment due to expenses we will have already incurred and cannot recuperate. ​ Full Payments Transfer If you would like to transfer your $500.00 deposit or final payment to another person you can do so. Just kindly have this person pay you and let us know. ​ Refunds from Personal Purchases of Airline Tickets, Lodging, etc. Because these purchases will be the responsibility of each person, Holy Land Site Ministries will be unable to refund any of these funds because they were not paid to Holy Land Site Ministries. ​ Refunds if Trip is Canceled Due to Events Out of Our Control, i.e., Covid-19, Other Viruses, etc. Refunds from flights and lodging will be the responsibility of each person as these were booked personally. Funds paid to Holy Land Site Ministries will be cheerfully refunded if Holy Land Site Ministries can recuperate expenses we have incurred. We suggest that you get trip insurance so you are protected for all your expenses, i.e., flights, lodging, Holy Land Site Ministries fees, etc. ​ TRIP PROTECTION INSURANCE If you would like trip protection insurance to protect you, or if the trip is canceled for any reason, many third-party insurance agencies provide travel protection insurance in the case of cancelations due to unforeseen reasons. Travel Protection Agencies (Rated the Highest by ​ Adviser (compares many companies): ​ Allianz Travel Insurance: ​ Travel Guard (AIG): ​ Seven Corners: ​ WHEN TO BOOK AIRFARE & LODGING Please do not book any flights or lodging until you receive tour trip confirmation from Holy Land Site Ministries. HOTEL RESERVATION BOOKING LINKS ​ Kfar Maccabiah Hotel & Suites, 7 Peretz Berenstein Street, Ramat Gan, Tel Aviv Check-in: Oct. 22, Check-out: Oct. 23, One night Hotel Reservation Link: ​ Prima Galil Tiberias Hotel, El Hadif Street 1, Tiberias Check-in: Oct. 23, Check-out: Oct. 27, Four nights Hotel Reservation Link: ​ Prima Park Hotel Jerusalem: 2 Vilnay Street, Jerusalem Check-in: Oct. 27, Check-out: Nov. 5, Nine nights Hotel Reservation Link: ​ If for some reason the hotels are full, just book a hotel of your choice nearby and meet us at the check-in lobby of the main hotel by 7:45 am. Bus departure is scheduled daily at 8:00 am from each hotel. ​ ​ CONTACT INFO: Todd Fink Phone: (541) 603-0881 Email: Websites: Anchor 2 Anchor 4 DAILY ITINERARY FRI, OCT 21 DEPART FOR THE HOLY LAND Please make plans to arrive at Ben Gurion Airport, Tel Aviv, on Oct. 22, 2022. Please arrive by 3:00 pm. This will give you plenty of time to attend our orientation and get-acquainted meeting at 7:00 pm. We'll meet at the main check-in lobby of the Kfar Maccabiah & Suites Hotel and then find a meeting place. SAT, OCT 22 TEL AVIV After arriving at the Ben Gurion Airport in Tel Aviv, Israel, you will proceed and go through customs. Please don’t lose your small tourist visa provided to you. Afterward, you can take a taxi to Kfar Maccabiah Hotel & Suites, 7 Peretz Berenstein Street, Ramat Gan, Tel Aviv. Due to customs and obtaining visas, please allow approximately 3 hours from airport arrival to hotel arrival. The hotel is about 15 minutes from the airport depending on traffic. Orientation and get acquainted meeting 7:00 pm. Please meet in the main hotel lobby. Lodging at Kfar Maccabiah Hotel & Suites, 7 Peretz Berenstein Street, Ramat Gan, Tel Aviv. One night total. ​ SUN, OCT 23 TEL AVIV – SEA OF GALILEE AREA Refreshed from a good night's sleep, we’ll visit Old Jaffa (Joppa), the traditional home of Simon the Tanner, the port from which Jonah sailed, and the logs arrived for the construction of the Temple in Jerusalem. We’ll then pass through the fast-growing towns and farms of the Plain of Sharon en route to Caesarea Maritima , site of major events in the lives of Peter and Paul. We’ll drive through the rolling hills of Galilee to Nazareth , site of the Church of the Annunciation, and Mt. Precipice. Time permitting, we’ll visit the Wedding Church in Cana, where Christ performed His first public miracle. Then it’s on to Tiberias and the Sea of Galilee, which will be our base for the next 4 nights. Lodging at Prima Galil Tiberias Hotel, El Hadif Street 1, Tiberias. Four nights total. ​ MON, OCT 24 SEA OF GALILEE AREA This day alone is worth the trip! We are now literally walking in the footsteps of Jesus. We will take a most memorable boat ride on the Sea of Galilee , in a replica of the ancient wooden boat used in Jesus’ day. We’ll visit the Mount of Beatitudes , location of the beautiful Sermon on the Mount where Christ preached his longest and most famous sermon. Then on to Capernaum , where Jesus set up His home ministry base and preached often in the ancient synagogue. We will continue our drive around the Sea of Galilee to Kursi , the place where Christ cast out a legion of demons out of a demon-possessed man. Time permitting, we'll visit the likely site where the F eeding of the 5,000 took place. ​ TUES, OCT 25 SEA OF GALILEE AREA We’ll journey north to Caesarea Philippi where Peter confessed, “You are the Christ, the Son of the Living God” (Matt. 16:16). We’ll visit Tel Dan , the place that became the downfall of Israel. Then it’s on Tabgha , the place Peter was restored to ministry, and the location where Christ likely called some of His disciples. Time permitting, we’ll end the day visiting Magdala , the hometown of Mary Magdalene, from whom Christ cast out seven demons. WED, OCT 26 SEA OF GALILEE AREA We’ll drive along the Jordan Valley to Beth Shean , a stunning Roman Decapolis city and the place where Saul and his son’s bodies were hanged after defeat in battle. We’ll visit Gideon’s Spring , where Gideon selected his soldiers to do battle against the Midianites. We’ll return to the Sea of Galilee and finish the day on top of Mt. Arbel , the believed place where Christ gave the Great Commission, and which provides a breathtaking view of the Sea of Galilee. ​ THURS, OCT 27 JORDAN VALLEY AREA We’ll drive south along the Jordan Valley following the footsteps that Jesus and His disciples would have walked arriving at the Baptismal Site of Jesus where Jesus was baptized by John. Then to Jericho , oldest known walled city and first place Joshua and the Israelites conquered upon entering the Promised Land. We’ll then visit Qumran , where the Dead Sea Scrolls were found in 1947. Then, we'll ascend and enter Jerusalem as pilgrims did since ancient times to fulfill the words of the prophet "I was glad when they said unto me: 'Our feet shall stand within thy Gates, O Jerusalem'" (Psalms 122:1–2). Lodging at Prima Park Hotel Jerusalem: 2 Vilnay Street, Jerusalem. Nine nights total. FRI, OCT 28 DEAD SEA AREA We’ll begin the day with a drive to Ein Gedi , a gorgeous oasis spring with waterfalls where David hid from King Saul. We'll then visit Masada , which overlooks the Dead Sea (the lowest spot on earth), where we ascend by cable car to visit the remnants of Herod's Palace, and where in 73 AD, the Zealots made their last stand against the might of Rome. We’ll visit ancient Gomorrah , one of the cities God destroyed by fire and brimstone due to their wickedness. Then, what would a visit to Israel be without taking a dip, or rather a float, in the Dead Sea ? Free time in Jerusalem afterward. ​ SAT, OCT 29 BETHLEHEM – JUDAH AREA We will visit Bethlehem, see Manger Square, the Church of the Nativity, and ascend the magnificent Herodian Fortress to view the Shepherds' Fields, the Fields of Boaz and Ruth, and Bethlehem. We’ll then travel to the Valley of Elah , the place where David slew Goliath. Then on to Beth Shemesh , place where key events in the life of Samson took place and where the Ark of the Covenant miraculously was returned to the Israelites by the Philistines. Free time in Jerusalem afterward. ​ SUN, OCT 30 SAMARIA AREA Today we’ll travel north to the ancient Samaria region of the Bible. We visit Shechem , the place Abraham first entered the Promised Land and erected an altar. We’ll see and drink out of Jacob’s Well , the place where Jesus talked with the Samaritan woman. We’ll see where Joseph’s bones were buried at the Tomb of Joseph . We’ll see ancient Shiloh , the place the tabernacle resided for 369 years, and where Hannah prayed for a son (Samuel). Then it’s on to ancient Bethel , where Jacob saw a ladder to heaven, where the tabernacle resided, and where Jeroboam erected a Golden Calf. We'll drive by the site of ancient Ai , the second city Joshua and the Israelites destroyed. Time permitting, we’ll finish the day at Gibeon , a famous high place where the tabernacle resided and where Solomon had an encounter with God, who promised him wisdom, wealth, and power. Free time in Jerusalem afterward. MON, OCT 31 NEGEV AREA Today, we’ll travel to Hebron, t he place where God appeared to Abraham, and from where King David reigned over Judah for 7 1/2 years. While in Hebron, we'll visit the place where the patriarchs are buried in the Cave of Machpelah, and tour the ruins of ancient T el Hebron. We’ll then travel to Beersheba , where Abraham lived and made a covenant with Abimelech. We’ll end the day with a visit to Lachish , the last town destroyed during the Assyrian conquest, and we’ll learn about how God miraculously saved Jerusalem from the Assyrians. Free time in Jerusalem afterward. TUES, NOV 1 JERUSALEM We’ll start the day with a magnificent view of the Old City from the top of the Mt. of Olives and orient ourselves to the layout and places of Jerusalem . We’ll then visit the Chapel of Ascension , the place where Christ ascended back to heaven and where His feet will touch down at His glorious second coming. We'll visit Pater Noster Church , a place Christ taught His disciples how to pray. We’ll take the Palm Sunday Walk to the Garden of Gethsemane and Church of All Nations . Along the way, we’ll visit Dominus Flevit , the place where Christ wept over Jerusalem. We’ll see Mary’s Tomb and then enjoy free time in Old City Jerusalem. ​ WED, NOV 2 JERUSALEM Today, we’ll visit and walk upon the Temple Mount , the location where Solomon’s Temple was and the holiest and most battled-over piece of land in the world. We'll then see the Western Wall , the Jew’s most holy site in Israel. We’ll visit the Southern Stairs , which was the main entrance to the Temple Mount, a place Christ and His disciples would have often been, and the likely place where Pentecost took place. We’ll walk through the Cardo , the original Roman street, and see the amazing remains of the massive Broad Wall built by King Hezekiah. We’ll visit the House of Caiaphas , where Christ was tried before Caiaphas and Ananias, the high priests. While at the House of Caiaphas, we'll see a model of Jerusalem from around 135 AD. We’ll then go to Mt. Zion, the location of the Upper Room of the Last Supper and the location of the first church built by early Christians shortly after the time of Christ. Free time afterward. ​ THURS, NOV 3 JERUSALEM We’ll begin the day by seeing Pilate’s Palace and the judgment place where Christ was condemned to crucifixion. From there, we'll visit the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. Then we'll see the Church of St. Anne, where the Pool of Bethesda is located. We’ll then walk along the traditional path of the Via Dolorosa and see the Stations of the Cross. Free time afterward. ​ FRI, NOV 4 JERUSALEM We'll begin the day at the Garden Tomb where we'll have a special time of reflection on the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ . We'll then walk through Old City Jerusalem to the City of David , where everything began in Jerusalem. We'll take a look at Hezekiah's Water Tunnel , which diverts the water from the Gihon Spring to the Pool of Siloam, and see the Canaanite Dry Tunnel. We'll see King David’s Tomb, then make our way to the Pool of Siloam , where Christ healed a blind man. We’ll then walk up the Kidron Valley (Valley of Jehoshaphat) where God’s winepress of wrath will be poured out on the gathered nations at Christ's second coming and from where the blood (the height of a horse’s bridle) will flow to the Dead Sea and beyond. While walking up the Kidron Valley we’ll visit Absalom’s Tomb (monument). Free time afterward. ​ SAT, NOV 5 ISRAEL - HOME Today you’ll transfer to the airport and arrive home with wonderful memories of a visit to the Land of the Bible! The hotel in Jerusalem provides a shuttle service directly to the airport for around $25.00 USD and takes about an hour. Please arrange this with the hotel lobby a couple days in advance. The shuttle runs every day of the week, even on Shabbat (Saturday), the Sabbath. Because of Israel’s security measures, you will need to arrive at the airport at least 3-4 hours before boarding time. SUN, NOV 6 ARRIVE HOME Return home filled with an overflowing heart knowing that you walked in the footsteps of Christ and experienced the actual places where many of the events in the Bible took place. ​ ​ Anchor 3

  • Tel Arad: Major City in the Negev with a Temple |

    Tel Arad Photo Gallery Places of Interest Tel Arad Location 1. Tel Arad is in the Negev about 16 miles (26 km.) east of Tel Beersheba, and 33 miles (54 km.) south of Jerusalem. 2. Tel Arad covers an area of about 100 acres (40 hectares) and is on the west side of Hwy 80. 3. Although this part of the Negev receives little rain, Arad is strategically situated on ancient trade routes. Historical Background 1. Tel Arad has two major settlement periods, a Canaanite and an Israelite period. The lower part of the tel is from the Canaanite period and the upper fortress part is from the Israelite period. 2. The Canaanites were the original settlers of Arad and established a large city here around 3500 BC. It had an estimated population of approximately 2,500 residents. 3. Israel captured Arad in the conquest under Joshua. Later, in around 940 BC, an Israelite settlement was established here. 4. Because Tel Arad is so strategically located and important, it was destroyed and rebuilt 6 times from the 9th to the 6th centuries. It was most likely destroyed in 701 BC by the Assyrians and again by the Babylonians in 587 BC. 5. Over 100 pottery shards (Ostraca) were discovered at Tel Arad dating to the 7th and 6th centuries BC. Two of these are of great value as they mention two people from priestly families in the Bible, “Pashhur” from Ezra 2:38, and Meremoth from Ezra 8:33. 6. Two other pottery shards found at Tel Arad have written on them the name Arad, which confirms the identification of the city. Places of Interest 1. Canaanite City City walls City gate Temple Palace City Well Homes 2. Entrance to Tel Arad 3. Upper parking – Easy access to the Fortress Mound 4. Israelite Fortress at Tel Arad Although there was a small settlement during the time of Solomon, it was during the divided kingdom period that a fortress was set up at Tel Arad. The fortress served to protect Judah’s southern border against its enemies. The southern area of Judah was dangerous, and the fortress at Arad was destroyed 6 times during the divided kingdom period. It is likely that one of the destructions of the fortress occurred during Hezekiah’s reign when he rebelled against the Assyrian King, Sennacherib, in 701 BC. Scripture recounts how all the fortified cities of Judah were destroyed at this time (2 Kings 18:13). The fortress was rebuilt but destroyed again as a result of Nebuchadnezzar’s conquest of Judah in 586 BC. During the Hellenistic period of the 3rd to 2nd centuries BC, a tower was built in the center of the fortress compound. During the Persian, Hellenistic, and Roman periods, the tower was repaired and used as a military post. During the early Arab period, the structure served as an inn for caravans. The fortress was finally abandoned in the 10th century AD. Entrance Towers ​ Outer Court ​ 5. Israelite Temple at Tel Arad ​ Arad had a functioning temple during the time of the divided kingdom that was somewhat similar to the temple in Jerusalem. The temple at Arad was forbidden by God because the Israelites were to worship at no other place but Jerusalem at this time (Deut. 12:5-6). Outer Court ​ Altar Holy place – In Scripture, the holy place was a long rectangular room. At Arad, it is a wide rectangular room. Altars of Incense Holy of Holies Dimensions of the Holy of Holies – In the tabernacle God ordered Moses to erect, the required dimensions of the Holy of Holies were to be 10 cubits by 10 cubits (15 ft., 9 m.) (Ex. 26:31–33). In Solomon’s temple, the Holy of Holies measured 20 cubits by 20 cubits (30 ft., 9 m.) (1 Kings 6:16). When the second temple was rebuilt under Ezra, the measurements of the Holy of Holies of Solomon’s temple were kept. The Holy of Holies at Arad measures about 7 ft. by 7 ft. (2.13 m.), much smaller than the Tabernacle of Moses and the First and Second Temples in Jerusalem. Standing stones – There are two standing stones in the Holy of Holies. One represents Yahweh and the other, Asherah, a false female god. This shows the worship of false gods mixed with the worship of God. Clearly, this was strictly forbidden. According to archeological data, the temple in Arad was destroyed during King Josiah’s reign in about 630 BC (2 Kings 23:4–20). It’s possible, though, that the temple could have been removed by King Hezekiah under his reforms (2 Kings 18:22). Even though the worshipers at Arad were commanded to tear down the temple there, they refused to do so and covered it over with dirt instead. ​ Arad in the Bible 1. The King of Arad attacked Israel while they were making their way toward the Promised Land. Numbers 21:1–3: When the Canaanite, the king of Arad , who lived in the Negeb, heard that Israel was coming by the way of Atharim, he fought against Israel, and took some of them captive. 2 And Israel vowed a vow to the Lord and said, “If you will indeed give this people into my hand, then I will devote their cities to destruction.” 3 And the Lord heeded the voice of Israel and gave over the Canaanites, and they devoted them and their cities to destruction. So the name of the place was called Hormah. 2. After the confrontation with the king of Arad, the Israelites turned around and headed south toward the Red Sea instead of entering the Promised Land from the Negev region (Num. 21:4). 3. The area of Arad was given to the tribe of Simeon during the conquest of the land (Joshua 19:1–8). 4. The relatives of Moses’ father-in-law (Kenites) also settled in the area around Arad. Judges 1:16–17: And the descendants of the Kenite, Moses' father-in-law, went up with the people of Judah from the city of palms into the wilderness of Judah, which lies in the Negeb near Arad , and they went and settled with the people. 17 And Judah went with Simeon his brother, and they defeated the Canaanites who inhabited Zephath and devoted it to destruction. So the name of the city was called Hormah. Josiah’s Reforms and destruction of the temple in Arad. 1. Josiah became king and did what was right in the eyes of the Lord. 2 Kings 22:1–2: Josiah was eight years old when he began to reign, and he reigned thirty-one years in Jerusalem. His mother's name was Jedidah the daughter of Adaiah of Bozkath. 2 And he did what was right in the eyes of the Lord and walked in all the way of David his father, and he did not turn aside to the right or to the left. 2. Josiah’s grandfather, Manasseh, was very wicked until God humbled him, and he repented. His father, Amon, was so wicked that his servants killed him (2 Kings 21). Josiah’s heritage was wicked and could have given him an excuse to live the same way. However, even at an extremely young age of 8, he loved the Lord and did what was right. Interestingly, the Book of the Law wasn’t found until Josiah was 26 years old (2 Kings 22:3). This meant Josiah did what was right from a young age, even without Scripture to guide him. 3. The Book of the Law (Bible) was found and read to Josiah. 2 Kings 22:8–11: And Hilkiah the high priest said to Shaphan the secretary, “I have found the Book of the Law in the house of the Lord.” And Hilkiah gave the book to Shaphan, and he read it. 9 And Shaphan the secretary came to the king, and reported to the king, “Your servants have emptied out the money that was found in the house and have delivered it into the hand of the workmen who have the oversight of the house of the Lord.” 10 Then Shaphan the secretary told the king, “Hilkiah the priest has given me a book.” And Shaphan read it before the king. 11 When the king heard the words of the Book of the Law , he tore his clothes. 4. Josiah read the Bible to his whole kingdom and made a covenant with them to follow the Lord. 2 Kings 23: 1–3: Then the king sent, and all the elders of Judah and Jerusalem were gathered to him. 2 And the king went up to the house of the Lord, and with him all the men of Judah and all the inhabitants of Jerusalem and the priests and the prophets, all the people, both small and great. And he read in their hearing all the words of the Book of the Covenant that had been found in the house of the Lord. 3 And the king stood by the pillar and made a covenant before the Lord, to walk after the Lord and to keep his commandments and his testimonies and his statutes with all his heart and all his soul, to perform the words of this covenant that were written in this book. And all the people joined in the covenant. 5. Josiah cleansed the temple and ordered that all the altars and shrines to the false gods all throughout the land be destroyed (2 Kings 23:4–20). It was most likely Josiah who ordered the temple removed at Tel Arad. 6. Josiah reinstitutes and celebrates the Passover. 2 Chronicles 35:18: No Passover like it had been kept in Israel since the days of Samuel the prophet. None of the kings of Israel had kept such a Passover as was kept by Josiah, and the priests and the Levites, and all Judah and Israel who were present, and the inhabitants of Jerusalem. 2 Chronicles 35:7: Then Josiah contributed to the lay people, as Passover offerings for all who were present, lambs and young goats from the flock to the number of 30,000, and 3,000 bulls; these were from the king's possessions . 7. There was no king like Josiah, who turned to the Lord with all his heart. 2 Kings 23:25: Before him there was no king like him, who turned to the Lord with all his heart and with all his soul and with all his might, according to all the Law of Moses, nor did any like him arise after him. 8. Unfortunately, Josiah’s two sons who reigned after him did not follow the Lord but acted wickedly (2 Kings 23:31–37). Faith Lesson from Arad 1. The Israelites in Arad set up their own temple and worshiped God their own way, which was forbidden to do. Do we realize that worshiping the right God in the wrong way is still wrong? 2. Josiah’s heritage was rooted in sin, yet he chose to follow the Lord at a very young age. Do we realize that God can still use us mightily regardless of our past if we turn to Him with all our hearts as Josiah did? 3. Even though Josiah followed God with all his heart, his children chose evil. Each person has a free will to do as they please regardless of the kind of parents they have. ​

  • Judean Wilderness: John the Baptist, Testing of Jesus, Qumran, Jericho |

    Judean Wilderness Photo Gallery Places of Interest Judean Wilderness Location 1. The Judean Wilderness runs from north of Jericho to the southern end of the Dead Sea. 2. It lies on the western side of the lower Jordan Valley and the Dead Sea area. 3. It’s about 60 miles (95 km.) long and about 13 miles (21 km.) wide. 4. It receives less than 2 inches (50 mm.) of rain per year. 5. Average high temperatures in the winter run in the 70s (21 C.) and highs in the summer run over 100 (40 C.). 6. Water is scarce and hard to find, and very little vegetation grows in the wilderness due to its lack of water and poor soil composition. Historical Background 1. Even though the Judean Desert is dry and barren, it was settled long before recorded history began. Jericho, which dates to 5000 BC, is the oldest city in the Judean Desert and the oldest continually inhabited city in the world. 2. En Gedi is another notable place that dates to about the same time as Jericho. It’s a large oasis that had cities built around it for over 5,000 years. 3. Sodom, Gomorrah, and the other three cities around the Dead Sea date back to ancient times as well. 4. It appears God changed the climate of the Judean Wilderness after He destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding cities. Scripture says that this area used to be like a watered garden of the Lord. Genesis 13:10: And Lot lifted up his eyes and saw that the Jordan Valley was well watered everywhere like the garden of the Lord , like the land of Egypt, in the direction of Zoar. (This was before the Lord destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah .) 5. God will cause the Judean Wilderness to flourish during the Millennial Reign of Christ on this earth. Ezekiel 47:6–10: Then he led me back to the bank of the river. 7 As I went back, I saw on the bank of the river very many trees on the one side and on the other. 8 And he said to me, “This water flows toward the eastern region and goes down into the Arabah, and enters the sea; when the water flows into the sea, the water will become fresh. 9 And wherever the river goes, every living creature that swarms will live, and there will be very many fish. For this water goes there, that the waters of the sea may become fresh; so everything will live where the river goes. 10 Fishermen will stand beside the sea. From En Gedi to Eneglaim it will be a place for the spreading of nets. Places of Interest 1. Judean Wilderness 2. Jordan River 3. Jericho 4. Qumran 5. Dead Sea 6. En Gedi 7. Masada Judean Wilderness in the Bible En Gedi and King David 1. En Gedi was one of David’s main hideouts when Saul was pursuing his life. 1 Samuel 23:28–29: So Saul returned from pursuing after David and went against the Philistines. Therefore, that place was called the Rock of Escape. 29 And David went up from there and lived in the strongholds of En Gedi . Qumran and the Essenes 1. The Essenes lived in the Judean Wilderness from about 200 BC to around 68 AD. They were a spiritually devoted group who left Jerusalem due to their belief that the priesthood had become corrupt. They devoted themselves to the study and strict obedience of Scripture. 2. They also devoted themselves to copying and translating the Bible. When they saw the nation of Israel falling to the Romans in 68 AD, they hid their translations in caves by the Dead Sea. 3. These translated manuscripts are called the Dead Sea Scrolls and were discovered in eleven caves along the northwest shore of the Dead Sea between the years 1947 and 1956. John the Baptist 1. He was the prophesied forerunner of Christ, whose purpose was to prepare the way of the Lord (Isaiah 40:3). 2. His main message was a message of repentance. Matthew 3:1–12: In those days John the Baptist came preaching in the wilderness of Judea , 2 "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand." 3 For this is he who was spoken of by the prophet Isaiah when he said, "The voice of one crying in the wilderness: 'Prepare the way of the Lord; make his paths straight.'" 4 Now John wore a garment of camel's hair and a leather belt around his waist [similar to Elijah], and his food was locusts and wild honey. 5 Then Jerusalem and all Judea and all the region about the Jordan were going out to him, 6 and they were baptized by him in the river Jordan, confessing their sins. 7 But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming to his baptism, he said to them, "You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come? 8 Bear fruit in keeping with repentance. 9 And do not presume to say to yourselves, 'We have Abraham as our father,' for I tell you, God is able from these stones to raise up children for Abraham. 10 Even now the axe is laid to the root of the trees. Every tree, therefore, that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 11 "I baptize you with water for repentance, but he who is coming after me is mightier than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. 12 His winnowing fork is in his hand, and he will clear his threshing floor and gather his wheat into the barn, but the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire. 3. He had the privilege of baptizing Jesus. Matthew 3:13–17: Then Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to John, to be baptized by him . 14 John would have prevented him, saying, “I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?” 15 But Jesus answered him, “Let it be so now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.” Then he consented. 16 And when Jesus was baptized, immediately he went up from the water, 17 and behold, the heavens were opened to him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and coming to rest on him; and behold, a voice from heaven said, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.” 4. He was beheaded for taking a stand against sin. Herod Antipas became the ruler (‘tetrarch’) of Galilee and Perea from 4 BC to 39 AD. He ruled from his capital at Tiberias on the western shore of the Sea of Galilee. He divorced his first wife in order to marry Herodias, the wife of his half-brother Herod Philip. He imprisoned and beheaded John the Baptist for criticizing his marriage (Matt. 14:1–12). Testing of Jesus 1. After Jesus was baptized, He was immediately led into the wilderness to be tested. Matthew 4:1-11: Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted [tested] by the devil. 2 And after fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. 3 And the tempter came and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, command these stones to become loaves of bread.” 4 But he answered, “It is written, “‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’” 5 Then the devil took him to the holy city and set him on the pinnacle of the temple 6 and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down, for it is written, “‘He will command his angels concerning you,’ and “‘On their hands they will bear you up, lest you strike your foot against a stone.’” 7 Jesus said to him, “Again it is written, ‘You shall not put the Lord your God to the test.’” 8 Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. 9 And he said to him, “All these I will give you, if you will fall down and worship me.” 10 Then Jesus said to him, “Be gone, Satan! For it is written, “‘You shall worship the Lord your God and him only shall you serve.’” 11 Then the devil left him, and behold, angels came and were ministering to him. Faith Lesson from the Judean Wilderness 1. John the Baptist was a strong and serious witness for Jesus. John’s life is an example to us of the seriousness with which we are to approach the Christian life and our call to ministry. 2. John shows us how to stand firm in our faith no matter what the circumstances. Paul reminds us that “everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted” (2 Tim. 3:12). 3. Christ was tested and overcame each test of Satan with Scripture. 4. God tested many of His servants before He called them to ministry, i.e., Moses, David, and the Prophets. 5. We are often tested by God as well. 6. Scripture says that leaders are to be tested before being placed into ministry (1 Tim. 3:10). 7. Has God tested me in various ways in my lifetime? 8. How have I responded to the tests He sends my way? 9. Do I know God’s Word so I can overcome the temptations of Satan? ​

  • Holy Land Trip Final Payment Form |

    Holy Land Trips Final Payment Secure Payment Link Holy Land Trip Final Payment To complete your final deposit payment, please send your payment of $1,250 per person by either credit card, PayPal, or check. The payment is set up for single and double payments. Just select the one that applies to you. ​ If paying by credit card or PayPal, a 4% fee is added to your total amount due to fees charged by credit cards and PayPal. ​ If paying by credit card or PayPal, click one of the buttons below. ​ PayPal does not require you to create a PayPal account to use your credit card. ​ Please refresh your browser before paying for latest button updates. Single Person Payment $1,250 Double Person Payment $2,500 If paying by check, please send your check to the following address: ​ Holy Land Site (make check payable to this name, please) 196 Hambrick Ave. Sutherlin, OR 97479

  • Gibeon, Nabi Samwil, Nebi Samwil, Nebi Samuel, Tomb of Samuel, Gibeonites |

    Gibeon - Nebi Samwil Photo Gallery Places of Interest Gibeon - Nebi Samuel Gibeon is mentioned 43 times in the Bible and played a major role in the history of Israel. Here are just a few key events that happened here: 1. This ancient city is named after the Gibeonites who tricked Joshua into making a treaty with them after the Israelites entered the Promised Land. 2. Just above the city of Gibeon was this key high place that was used for worship during much of Israel’s history. 3. The amazing miracle of the sun and moon standing still as a result of Joshua’s prayer happened at this high place of Gibeon. 4. Gibeon, also known as Gibeah, was the hometown of King Saul. 5. The tabernacle resided at the high place of Gibeon during the reigns of David and Solomon. 6. Soon after Solomon became King, he went to Gibeon. Here he received supernatural wisdom, wealth, and power to use for ruling God’s people. 7. Today, there is a synagogue and mosque here that is built upon the ruins of a Crusader church, which was built on the ruins of a Byzantine church, which is built upon where the tabernacle was located during the reigns of King David and King Solomon. 8. A tradition dating back to the Byzantine period places the tomb of Samuel here as well. Location 1. Gibeon is located about 6 miles (10 km.) northwest of Jerusalem. 2. Today, it's known as Nabi Samuel or Nebi Samwil, which means, “The Prophet Samuel” because it’s believed Samuel’s tomb is located here. 3. Just below this high place and to the north is the ancient city of Gibeon with its ruins, known today as Al Jib. 4. Gibeon is on top of a high mountain with a spectacular view of Jerusalem and the surrounding area. In fact, you can see Jerusalem quite easily from this site. It becomes clear that this spot was a significant high place and fits the biblical descriptions of many events found in Scripture and history. 5. This high place is about 3,000 feet or 908 meters above sea level. 6. It’s located on an ancient route that led from the coastal plain passing through Beit Horon, this high place of Gibeon, and on to Jerusalem. Today highways 436 and 443 mark this route. Historical Background 1. Before the conquest of the Israelites, Gibeon was a Canaanite city. 2. Gibeon was a popular place in the Bible and is mentioned 43 times. 3. Its name means “Hill City” and it’s located in the heart of the Tribe of Benjamin. 4. It was a high place of worship throughout much of Israel’s history, and the tabernacle was here during the times of King David and King Solomon. 5. The tomb of the Prophet Samuel is believed to be located inside the synagogue part of the building. 6. Excavations, which are still ongoing, have uncovered the remains of settlements from both the First Temple (7th century BC) and the Second Temple (Hasmonean Period 167 BC–63 BC) can be found here. 7. During the Byzantine period (5th–7th century AD), a church and monastery were built at this high place of Gibeon. Also, in the Byzantine period around 500 AD, Christian tradition said that the prophet’s bones were relocated here, and a monastery was built at the site to honor Samuel. 8. The Crusaders then built a church and fortress over the monastery in the 12 century AD. The main structure that can be seen today is a magnificent Crusader-era church, and it's one of only four that survived after the Muslim conquests of the Crusaders. It survived because the Muslims turned this church into a mosque, which they still use today. 9. After Saladin conquered much of Israel in 1187, the church and monastery were damaged. 10. In 1267 the Mamluks captured the area and controlled the Holy Land until 1517. In the 14th century, the Mamelukes converted the church to a mosque. Remains from this period include two ceramic ovens near the stables. 11. Because it’s believed Samuel was buried here, along with the biblical history of the site, in the 15th-century Jews built a synagogue adjacent to the mosque and resumed pilgrimages to this site. 12. It appears that later on, the mosque was renovated by the Ottomans in 1730. 13. The building that we see today was rebuilt by the British after World War 1. Both the mosque and synagogue share the same building. Places of Interest 1. Tabernacle Location The original tabernacle is believed to be directly under the synagogue and mosque of this site. This would make sense as we have a long history of one thing built on top of another, which in archaeology is a strong sign of authenticity. As mentioned, this synagogue and mosque were built upon the ruins of a Crusader church, which was built on the ruins of a Byzantine church, which is built upon where the tabernacle was located during the reigns of King David and King Solomon. It also has other ruins dating back to the first temple period of the 7th century BC. 2. Hannah's Spring Just down the hill below the ruins is a place called Hannah’s Spring . It's named after Samuel’s mother, Hannah, who is believed to have traversed this area and lived close by. Today, women come here to pray for God’s blessing for conception and childbirth. An ancient road passing through an orchard of strawberry, olive, and fig trees leads to a small spring flowing from a cave. Picnic tables have been set up in a pleasant and tranquil corner in the shade of the fig trees. Above Hannah’s Spring, entrances to First Temple period burial caves can be seen. 3. Hasmonean Ruins During extensive archaeological excavations, archaeologists found remains dating to the Hasmonean period , which was from around 164 to 63 BC. We can see a number of well-preserved two-story houses and streets in this section. 4. Byzantine Church and Monastery During the Byzantine period in around 400 AD, a large monastery was constructed at this site. There are few remains from that period since the Crusaders built their church and fortress over the monastery. The monastery served as a hostel for the Christian pilgrims who came to visit Jerusalem. It existed until around 900 AD. 5. Crusader Ruins The crusade to liberate the Holy Land and free Jerusalem started in 1096. On June 7, 1099, three years after the military expedition started in Europe, the Crusaders finally approached the gates of Jerusalem. They first arrived at this site of Nebi Samuel, where they could see Jerusalem in the distance. They were so joyful on viewing the Holy City for the first time that they later named this site the “Mountain of Joy.” In 1140 the Crusaders upgraded the site as a military fortress as well as a holy shrine. They cut into the bedrock on the west, north, and east sides, creating a defensive moat. However, only part of the moat was finished. The hewn rocks were used for the building material of the church of St. Samuel on the top of the hill. The church was completed in 1157. The fortress was a rectangular structure with the church at its center, built over the traditional tomb of the prophet. On the north and north-east sides, the Crusaders cut away the bedrock to around 15 ft. or 5 m. below the surface. The stones were used to build their structures and fortress. This large flat area was then used as a campsite for armies and a hostel for Christian pilgrims headed to Jerusalem. On the north side, within the quarried area, are a number of hewn structures. We can see a large stable with rock-cut troughs. There are also pools, cisterns, rock-hewn tombs, and agriculture installations here. 6. Synagogue An earlier synagogue was preserved at a lower level where the actual tomb of Samuel is located. The entrance to the Synagogue is on the north side and houses the believed tomb of the prophet Samuel. There is a women's section and a men’s section. The men’s section is accessed by going down some stairs and is where the tomb of Samuel can be found. It's located below because its level was the original level of the Byzantine Church and monastery. 7. Rooftop Viewing Area On the roof above the mosque and synagogue is a large area that provides spectacular viewing of the area. Jerusalem, the Mt. of Olives, and many other sites can be seen from this high place. 8. Quarry 9. Stables ​ Gibeon in the Bible 1. This ancient city is named after the Gibeonites, who tricked Joshua into making a treaty with them. Joshua 9:3–7: When the inhabitants of Gibeon heard what Joshua had done to Jericho and to Ai, 4 they also acted craftily and set out as envoys, and took worn-out sacks on their donkeys, and wineskins worn-out and torn and mended, 5 and worn-out and patched sandals on their feet, and worn-out clothes on themselves; and all the bread of their provision was dry and had become crumbled. 6 They went to Joshua to the camp at Gilgal and said to him and to the men of Israel, “We have come from a far country; now therefore, make a covenant with us.” Gilgal is only 29 miles (32 km.) from Gibeon. Joshua 9:14–15: So the men of Israel took some of their provisions, and did not ask for the counsel of the Lord . 15 Joshua made peace with them and made a covenant with them, to let them live; and the leaders of the congregation swore an oath to them. 2. The amazing miracle of the sun and moon standing still happened at Gibeon. Joshua 10:1–14: Now it came about when Adoni-zedek king of Jerusalem heard that Joshua had captured Ai, and had utterly destroyed it (just as he had done to Jericho and its king, so he had done to Ai and its king), and that the inhabitants of Gibeon had made peace with Israel and were within their land, 2 that he feared greatly, because Gibeon was a great city , like one of the royal cities, and because it was greater than Ai, and all its men were mighty. 3 Therefore Adoni-zedek king of Jerusalem sent word to Hoham king of Hebron and to Piram king of Jarmuth and to Japhia king of Lachish and to Debir king of Eglon, saying, 4 “Come up to me and help me, and let us attack Gibeon, for it has made peace with Joshua and with the sons of Israel.” 5 So the five kings of the Amorites, the king of Jerusalem, the king of Hebron, the king of Jarmuth, the king of Lachish, and the king of Eglon, gathered together and went up, they with all their armies, and camped by Gibeon and fought against it. 6 Then the men of Gibeon sent word to Joshua to the camp at Gilgal, saying, “Do not abandon your servants; come up to us quickly and save us and help us, for all the kings of the Amorites that live in the hill country have assembled against us.” 7 So Joshua went up from Gilgal, he and all the people of war with him and all the valiant warriors. 8 The Lord said to Joshua, “Do not fear them, for I have given them into your hands; not one of them shall stand before you.” 9 So Joshua came upon them suddenly by marching all night from Gilgal. 10 And the Lord confounded them before Israel, and He slew them with a great slaughter at Gibeon , and pursued them by the way of the ascent of Beth-horon and struck them as far as Azekah and Makkedah. 11 As they fled from before Israel, while they were at the descent of Beth-horon, the Lord threw large stones from heaven on them as far as Azekah, and they died; there were more who died from the hailstones than those whom the sons of Israel killed with the sword. 12 Then Joshua spoke to the Lord in the day when the Lord delivered up the Amorites before the sons of Israel, and he said in the sight of Israel, “O sun, stand still at Gibeon, and O moon in the valley of Aijalon.” 13 So the sun stood still, and the moon stopped, until the nation avenged themselves of their enemies. Is it not written in the book of Jashar? And the sun stopped in the middle of the sky and did not hasten to go down for about a whole day . 14 There was no day like that before it or after it, when the Lord listened to the voice of a man; for the Lord fought for Israel. 3. Gibeon (Gibeah) was the hometown of King Saul. 1 Samuel 10:26: Saul also went to his house at Gibeah. ​ 4. Gibeon is the likely place the Prophet Samuel anointed Saul to be the first king of Israel. Tradition affirms, and it is also believed by some, that this place is the biblical Mizpah, which in Hebrew means tower, where Samuel anointed Saul to be the first king of Israel. 1 Samuel 10:17: “Now Samuel called the people together to the Lord at Mizpah.” Then in verse 24 it says: “Samuel said to all the people, ‘Do you see him whom the Lord has chosen? Surely there is no one like him among all the people.’ So, all the people shouted and said, “Long live the king!’” 5. According to Scripture, Samuel died and was buried in a place called Ramah, which was the hometown of the prophet. Samuel 25:1: “Then Samuel died; and all Israel assembled and mourned for him, and they buried him at his house in Ramah.” The location of Ramah is not known, but according to its meaning in Hebrew, which means heights, it should be on a high hill in an area close by to Jerusalem. This area certainly fits this description but we’re not totally certain. 6. The tabernacle resided at the high place of Gibeon during the reigns of David and Solomon. 1 Chronicles 21:28–29: At that time, when David saw that the Lord had answered him on the threshing floor of Ornan the Jebusite, he offered sacrifice there. 29 For the tabernacle of the Lord, which Moses had made in the wilderness, and the altar of burnt offering were in the high place at Gibeon at that time. 2 Chronicles 1:2–3: Solomon spoke to all Israel, to the commanders of thousands and of hundreds and to the judges and to every leader in all Israel, the heads of the fathers’ households. 3 Then Solomon and all the assembly with him went to the high place, which was at Gibeon , for God’s tent of meeting was there , which Moses the servant of the Lord had made in the wilderness. 7. God caused a famine in Israel because King Saul broke the covenant Joshua made with the Gibeonites. 2 Samuel 21:1: Now there was a famine in the days of David for three years, year after year; and David sought the presence of the Lord. And the Lord said, “It is for Saul and his bloody house, because he put the Gibeonites to death.” 8. Soon after Solomon became King, he went to Gibeon. Here he received supernatural wisdom, wealth, and power to use for ruling God’s people. 1 Kings 3:3–5: Now Solomon loved the Lord, walking in the statutes of his father David, except he sacrificed and burned incense on the high places. 4 The king went to Gibeon to sacrifice there, for that was the great high place ; Solomon offered a thousand burnt offerings on that altar. 5 In Gibeon, the Lord appeared to Solomon in a dream at night; and God said, “Ask what you wish Me to give you.” In response, God not only gave him supernatural wisdom, but wealth and power as well. Faith Lessons from Gibeon 1. The Gibeonites tricked Joshua into making an agreement with them because he failed to seek the Lord in prayer. Do we make poor decisions as well because we fail to seek the Lord? Proverbs 3:5–6: "Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight." 2. God heard Joshua’s prayer and the sun and moon stood still for a day. There is nothing we can ask in prayer that is too big for God to answer. James 5:16–18: "The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much. Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed earnestly that it would not rain, and it did not rain on the earth for three years and six months. Then he prayed again, and the sky poured rain and the earth produced its fruit." Do we believe God truly hears our prayers? 3. God punished the Israelites because they broke their agreement with the Gibeonites that Joshua made with them. Psalm 15:4: "But he honors those who fear the Lord; he who swears to his own hurt and does not change." What about us? Do we keep our agreements with others? 4. God gave Solomon supernatural wisdom, wealth, and power to serve others and glorify God. How do we use our wisdom, wealth, and power? Do we mainly use it for the Lord, or primarily for our own good and benefit?

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