An in depth tour of the Holy Land will take you to places like Jerusalem, Bethlehem, the Sea of Galilee and the Jordan River. There is so much history to tell, which is why Christians often seek to pilgrimage these areas. Enjoy the time spent and take in every facet these significant biblical landmarks.
Tour of Jerusalem
Jerusalem is located on a plateau in the Judaean Mountains between the Mediterranean and the Dead Sea. It is surrounded on three sides by steep valleys. The Hinnom on the west and south and the Kidron on the east. You will find the golden Dome of the Rock standing on the Temple Mount, also known as Mount Moriah where Abraham set out to sacrifice his son Issac.
As a city in the Middle East, it is one of the world’s oldest cities and is considered holy by three major religions. Known as the region of Jesus’ ministry, it was also a center of religious and political affairs and a major landmark in biblical times. For Jews, Jerusalem is the city of King David and the capital of his kingdom. It is where the Temple stood and contained the Ark of the Covenant. It is also the location of the well known Western Wall. Known in recent centuries as the “Wailing Wall,” the Western Wall was built by Herod the Great as the retaining wall of the Temple Mount complex. The plaza was created as an area for prayer when Israel captured the Old City in 1967. For Christians, Jerusalem is where Christ died, was buried and was resurrected as well as being the birthplace of the first church. For Muslims it is considered holy because it is believed to be where Muhammad ascended to heaven.
Today, modern Jerusalem is a bustling city where 3.5 million visitors are known to have come just last year. A tour of Jerusalem offers different blends of sights, culture, religion, markets, synagogues, mosques and churches.
Tour the Sea of Galilee
The Sea of Galilee goes by many names. Lake or Sea of Tiberias, Lake Kinneret or Kinnereth and Lake Gennesaret are among them. It is the lowest freshwater lake on earth and the second lowest lake in the world. Here the Jordan River flows to and from this body of water; bringing fresh water in as well as fresh water out. It is highly regarded for its biblical associations with Jesus’ ministry and the infamous story of Jesus walking on water. Though some names refer to it as a Sea it is not a real sea but rather, out of tradition, has been coined the term. What you will find today is not much different from Jesus’ time except that the lake has experienced years of drought and is undergoing plans to ensure that it will not dry up. Your guided group tour of Israel will take you on a boat ride in the Sea of Galilee which includes the town of Migdal, the birthplace of Mary Magdalene.
Bethlehem is well known for being the biblical birthplace of Jesus. In Hebrew, it means ‘house of bread’. It is located in the hill country of Judah which was originally called Ephrath, Beth-lehem Ephratah or Beth-lehem-judah and Christians are familiar with its name ‘the city of David’ as it was David’s birthplace. South of Jerusalem in the West Bank, it was first noticed in scripture as the place where Rachel died and was buried directly north of the city. To the east was the setting for the story of Ruth; the fields that she gleaned and the road that she and Naomi returned to town.
Because of its history, Bethlehem is considered a very distinguished city above others. It closely neighbors Jerusalem where a well maintained highway links the two cities. Today, Bethlehem is a thriving trade town where many come to visit its roots and tour popular sites such as The Church of Nativity and Rachel’s Tomb.
Get Baptized in the Jordan River
As mentioned above, the Jordan River in the Middle East, flows north to south through the Sea of Galilee and onto the Dead Sea where it ends. This river is regarded with major significance as Jesus is known to have baptized John the Baptist in this river. It is also where the Israelites crossed into the Promised Land. The city of Jordan and Golan Heights border the river to the east and the West Bank and Israel sit to the west. Both the city of Jordan and West Bank get their names from the Jordan River. Many who come to visit this area seek to be baptized in the River Jordan because of its significance to Jesus.
These are just some of the main areas you will tour on an in depth tour of the Holy Land. Other surrounding sites such as Qumran, Ein Gedi, the Dead Sea and Masada are also toured.