Israel in Depth
Take a deep dive into the many lessons and sites found throughout Israel
“See with your eyes and hear with your ears and set your heart on everything I am going to show you, for that is why you have been brought here. Tell the people of Israel everything you see.”Ezekiel 40:4
“See & Hear” on an upcoming Israel in Depth Biblical Study Trip. This tour tends to be what is considered a vigorous tour where participants can expect to walk 5-8 miles/day. Experience God’s Word and the redemptive story in new and deeper ways as we explore the land of Israel. “Set your heart” on the lessons of the wilderness where God shapes His people as we visit the Judah wilderness and the Dead Sea. Share in Jesus’ ministry in the Galilee and savor His great love in his journey to Jerusalem and the cross.
Undergraduate and graduate level credit for this trip is available through Oklahoma Wesleyan University.
|Led by George DeJong||Notify Me When Registration Opens|
*Tour amounts and durations can fluctuate slightly based on the season — this value represents a close approximation.
Travel provided by GTI Tours. Ask tour-specific questions about cost and dates by email or call (800) 829-8234.
Are any of these true of you?
Do you find the Bible difficult to understand at times?
Do you desire to have a deeper relationship with God?
Do you struggle to find relevance in what you're reading in the Scripture?
Do you ever feel overwhelmed trying to study the Bible?
Do you ever wonder if you're missing out on what the Bible is saying?
Do you want to be more confident in your ability to interpret the Bible correctly?
If so, a study tour can help!
|Led by George DeJong||Notify Me When Registration Opens|
What to Expect on Your Study Tour
Under the Fig Tree study tours are not the typical "tours" where tourist sites drive the tour.
We view our study tour ministry as a message to be experienced, one from which God will seek fruit. Signing on to travel with George will involve going to a variety of key biblical sites along with ones not found on typical tours.
The daily itinerary is subject to change without notice from flight & hotel availability and other tour constraints.
The town was mentioned in Egyptian sources and the Amarna letters as Yapu. Mythology says that it is named for Yafet, one of the sons of Noah, the one who built it after the Flood. The Hellenist tradition links the name to Iopeia, or Cassiopeia, mother of Andromeda. An outcropping of rocks near the harbor is reputed to have been the place where Andromeda was rescued by Perseus. Pliny the Elder associated the name with Iopa, daughter of Aeolus, god of the wind. The medieval Arab geographer al-Muqaddasi referred to it as Yaffa.
Ashdod is the sixth-largest city and the largest port in Israel accounting for 60% of the country's imported goods. Ashdod is located in the Southern District of the country, on the Mediterranean coast where it is situated between Tel Aviv to the north 32 kilometres (20 miles) away, and Ashkelon to the south 20 km (12 mi) away. Jerusalem is 53 km (33 mi) to the east. The city is also an important regional industrial center.
Beersheba is the largest city in the Negev desert of southern Israel. Often referred to as the "Capital of the Negev", it is the center of the fourth most populous metropolitan area in Israel, the eighth most populous Israeli city with a population of 209,002, and the second largest city (after Jerusalem) with a total area of 117,500 dunams.
Avdat also known as Abdah and Ovdat and Obodat, is a site of a ruined Nabataean city in the Negev desert in southern Israel. It was the most important city on the Incense Route after Petra, between the 1st century BCE and the 7th century CE. It was founded in the 3rd century BCE, and inhabited by Nabataeans, Romans, and Byzantines. Avdat was a seasonal camping ground for Nabataean caravans travelling along the early Petra–Gaza road (Darb es-Sultan) in the 3rd – late 2nd century BCE. The city's original name was changed to Avdat in honor of Nabataean King Obodas I, who, according to tradition, was revered as a deity and was buried there
Tel Arad is an archaeological tel, or mound, located west of the Dead Sea, about 10 kilometres (6 miles) west of the modern Israeli city of Arad in an area surrounded by mountain ridges which is known as the Arad Plain. The site is divided into a lower city and an upper hill which holds the only ever discovered "House of Yahweh" in the land of Israel. Tel Arad was excavated during 18 seasons by Ruth Amiran and Yohanan Aharoni.
Masada is an ancient fortification in the Southern District of Israel situated on top of an isolated rock plateau, akin to a mesa. It is located on the eastern edge of the Judaean Desert, overlooking the Dead Sea 20 km (12 mi) east of Arad.
Ein Gedi literally "spring of the kid (young goat)" is an oasis and a nature reserve in Israel, located west of the Dead Sea, near Masada and the Qumran Caves. Ein Gedi was listed in 2016 as one of the most popular nature sites in the country.
Qumran is an archaeological site in the West Bank managed by Israel's Qumran National Park. It is located on a dry marl plateau about 1.5 km (1 mi) from the northwestern shore of the Dead Sea, near the Israeli settlement and kibbutz of Kalya. The Hellenistic period settlement was constructed during the reign of John Hyrcanus (134–104 BCE) or somewhat later,, was occupied most of the time until 68 CE and was destroyed by the Romans possibly as late as 73 (see below under "The bronze coinage"). It is best known as the settlement nearest to the Qumran Caves where the Dead Sea Scrolls were hidden, caves in the sheer desert cliffs and beneath, in the marl terrace. The principal excavations at Qumran were conducted by Roland de Vaux in the 1950s, though several later unearthings at the site have since been carried out.
The Dead Sea (lit. Sea of Salt) is a salt lake bordered by Jordan to the east and Israel and the West Bank to the west. It lies in the Jordan Rift Valley, and its main tributary is the Jordan River
Mount Gilboa sometimes called the Mountains of Gelboe, in Arabic Jebel Faqqua, is a mountain range overlooking the Jezreel Valley in northern Israel to the north, and parts of the Tubas and Jenin Governorates of the Palestinian Autonomy to the south.
Mount Arbel is a mountain in The Lower Galilee near Tiberias in Israel, with high cliffs, views of Mount Hermon in the Golan Heights, trails to a cave-fortress, and ruins of an ancient synagogue. Mt. Arbel sits across from Mount Nitai; their cliffs were created as a result of the Jordan Rift Valley and the geological faults that produced the valleys.
Sea of Galilee
The Sea of Galilee, Lake Tiberias, Kinneret or Kinnereth, is a freshwater lake in Israel. It is the lowest freshwater lake on Earth and the second-lowest lake in the world (after the Dead Sea, a saltwater lake), at levels between 215 metres (705 ft) and 209 metres (686 ft) below sea level. It is approximately 53 km (33 mi) in circumference, about 21 km (13 mi) long, and 13 km (8.1 mi) wide. Its area is 166.7 km2 (64.4 sq mi) at its fullest, and its maximum depth is approximately 43 m (141 feet). The lake is fed partly by underground springs, but its main source is the Jordan River, which flows through it from north to south.
Beit She'an is a city in the Northern District of Israel, which has played an important role in history due to its geographical location at the junction of the Jordan River Valley and the Jezreel Valley. In the Biblical account of the battle of the Israelites against the Philistines on Mount Gilboa, the bodies of King Saul and three of his sons were hung on the walls of Beit She'an (1 Samuel 31:10-12). In Roman times, Beit She'an was the leading city of the Decapolis, a league of pagan cities. In modern times, Beit She'an serves as a regional centre for the settlements in the Beit She'an Valley.
Nain is an Arab village in northern Israel. Located in the Lower Galilee, 14 kilometers (8.7 mi) south of Nazareth, Nein covers a land area of approximately 1,000 dunums and falls under the jurisdiction of Bustan al-Marj Regional Council, whose headquarters it hosts. Its total land area consisted of 3,737 dunums prior to 1962. According to the Israeli Central Bureau of Statistics, in 2018 it had a population of 1,845
Sepphoris is a village and an archaeological site located in the central Galilee region of Israel, 6 kilometers north-northwest of Nazareth. It lies 286 meters above sea level and overlooks the Beit Netofa Valley. The site holds a rich and diverse historical and architectural legacy that includes Hellenistic, Jewish, Roman, Byzantine, Islamic, Crusader, Arab and Ottoman influences.
In the New Testament, the town is described as the childhood home of Jesus, and as such is a center of Christian pilgrimage, with many shrines commemorating biblical events.
Tabgha is an area situated on the north-western shore of the Sea of Galilee in Israel. It is traditionally accepted as the place of the miracle of the multiplication of the loaves and fishes (Mark 6:30-46) and the fourth resurrection appearance of Jesus (John 21:1-24) after his Crucifixion. Between the Late Muslim period and 1948, it was the site of a Palestinian Arab village.
Chorazin was an ancient village in the Korazim Plateau in the Galilee, two and a half miles from Capernaum on a hill above the northern shore of the Sea of Galilee.
The road connecting Jerusalem to Jericho
Gezer is an archaeological site in the foothills of the Judaean Mountains at the border of the Shfela region roughly midway between Jerusalem and Tel Aviv. It is now an Israeli national park. In the Hebrew Bible, Gezer is associated with Joshua and Solomon.
Beth Shemesh (House of the Sun) is the name of three distinct biblical places in Israel and one location in Egypt also mentioned in the Hebrew Bible.
Gath, often referred to as Gath of the Philistines, was one of the five Philistine city-states, established in northeastern Philistia. Gath is often mentioned in the Hebrew Bible and its existence is confirmed by Egyptian inscriptions.
Beit Guvrin is a kibbutz in the Lakhish region, west of the ancient city of Beit Guvrin, for which it is named. Located 14 kilometres east of Kiryat Gat, it falls under the jurisdiction of Yoav Regional Council. In 2018 it had a population of 414
The Siloam Tunnel, also known as Hezekiah's Tunnel is a water channel that was carved beneath the City of David, located in the Palestinian neighborhood of Silwan in eastern Jerusalem, in ancient times. Its popular name is due to the most common hypothesis that it dates from the reign of Hezekiah of Judah (late 8th and early 7th century BC) and corresponds to the "water works" mentioned in 2 Kings 20:20 in the Hebrew Bible. According to the Bible, King Hezekiah prepared Jerusalem for an impending siege by the Assyrians, by "blocking the source of the waters of the upper Gihon, and leading them straight down on the west to the City of David" (2 Chronicles 32).
Mount of Olives
The Mount of Olives is a mountain ridge east of and adjacent to Jerusalem's Old City. It is named for the olive groves that once covered its slopes. The southern part of the Mount was the Silwan necropolis, attributed to the ancient Judean kingdom. The mount has been used as a Jewish cemetery for over 3,000 years and holds approximately 150,000 graves, making it central in the tradition of Jewish cemeteries. Several key events in the life of Jesus, as related in the Gospels, took place on the Mount of Olives, and in the Acts of the Apostles it is described as the place from which Jesus ascended to heaven. Because of its association with both Jesus and Mary, the mount has been a site of Christian worship since ancient times and is today a major site of pilgrimage for Catholics, the Eastern Orthodox, and Protestants.
Saint Anne's Church
According to apocryphal Christian and Islamic tradition, Saint Anne was the mother of Mary and the maternal grandmother of Jesus. Mary's mother is not named in the canonical gospels. In writing, Anne's name and that of her husband Joachim come only from New Testament apocrypha, of which the Gospel of James (written perhaps around 150) seems to be the earliest that mentions them. The mother of Mary is mentioned, but not named, in the Quran.
Pool of Bethesda
The Pool of Bethesda was a pool in Jerusalem known from the New Testament story of Jesus miraculously healing a paralysed man, from the fifth chapter of the Gospel of John, where it is described as being near the Sheep Gate, surrounded by five covered colonnades or porticoes. It is now associated with the site of a pool in the current Muslim Quarter of the city, near the gate now called the Lions' Gate or St. Stephen's Gate and the Church of St. Anne, that was excavated in the late 19th century.
With great confidence I can say that there was never a day in the life of Jesus, our Messiah, when He did not lift His hands toward heaven and declare to the Father:
Shema Israel, Adonai elohenu, Adonai echad, Ve’ahavta et Adonai eloeikah, b’khol levavkah, uve’khol naphshekah, uve’khol m’odekah. Ve’ahavta re acha comocha.
Hear O Israel! The Lord is our God, the Lord alone, love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength! Love your neighbor as yourself.
Would you please start hiding the Sh’ma away in your heart in Hebrew and English. We will be using this prayer many times throughout our experience.
Typical DayUsually our day begins with a 6:00 am wake up call, breakfast at 6:30, devotions at 7:00 am and by 7:15 we’re on our way. In order to accomplish what God sets out for us to experience, the majority of our days involve vigorous hiking. We travel to our various sites by bus where our hikes begin. It is at these locations where God’s word is studied in its context through onsite faith lessons. Lunch tends to fall between 2:00-3:00pm and will be served on location. At the end of the day, we will arrive at our hotel in the late evening for a wonderful dinner and welcomed sleep.
Hiking Boots!It is highly recommended that you purchase a good sturdy pair of hiking shoes or boots which provide good support. Obtain them well in advance and break them in thoroughly before your departure. Having a high quality, well broken in footwear is essential in benefiting the most from this experience.
Physical PreparationsWe recommend you prepare for 4-7 miles of vigorous to strenuous hiking/climbing/walking most days of the trip. You will profit greatly by training long before departure for these physical fitness requirements. The trip will be more meaningful, educational and fun if you prepare in advance for the activity level you will experience. Helpful types of training:
- Hiking stairs for at least 30-45 minutes (with your boots) is most beneficial
- Daily walking/running 3-5 miles
- Weightlifting with legs
- Walking on treadmill with an incline (4 or higher)
Clothing & Modesty KitsCasual dress is recommended such as lightweight pants/shorts and t-shirts (shoulders must be covered at all times – men and women). Dry-wicking material is recommended. A lightweight hat is a must, preferably one that covers the neck and ears. If you prefer to dress up somewhat for dinner, that is certainly appropriate but not necessary. Many times we will eat in our hiking attire. At several sites Modesty Kits are required. A Modesty Kit for women includes either long pants or long skirts or Capri and shirts that cover the shoulder. For men this includes long pants, t-shirts/golf shirts covering the shoulders.
WeatherIt will be hot & sunny so don’t forget sun screen and a good pair of sun glasses. The rainy season is November through April. May through October temperatures will be warm and dry ranging from the 90’s up to 115 degrees. Lows are usually in the 60’s.
Gadgets & GearThe modern age has its blessings and its curses. With all the great toys out there, it is tempting to want the best, fastest and most sophisticated. I know – I’m one of them. Please think about bringing minimal electronic gear and gadgets (I know this will be hard for some). I am not saying forget the camera and all the rest – I’m just saying be careful. I will ask that NO cell phones (unless used as a camera) or Ipods be brought with us during the day. Sometimes people experience an entire trip through their modern gear and not with their God-given five senses. Please don’t miss out. Sorry, no electronic recording of faith lessons.
First AidBring first-aid supplies, including anti-diarrhea medication, sleeping aids, pain relievers, mole skin, foot powder, alcohol rubs. And anything else you might think appropriate.
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|Lunch & Dinner Included|
*Competitor prices were last checked in September, 2019
"Amazing trip, awesome fellowship, wonderful teachings!"
— Sharon, Israel in Depth 2020