DAY 17 Shephela Plain

Yaffo (Joppa), Valley of Elah, Beit Guvrin Caves (Oil Press), Tel Aviv

YAFFO – Joppa

Joppa’s Biblical fame records the famous story of Jonah, as the port from which he began his famous encounter with a great man-eating fish which delivered him on his way to Nineveh where he was shown the lesson that his God (of Israel) cares also for all mankind.

Interesting, because the Apostle Peter was tough the same lesson by way of a dream. All banking is acceptable to God on the basis of FAITH – faith in his Son Jesus.

Lovely arches and windows of Joppa

Beit Guvrin Caves – Bell Cave

There are 800 caves in the immediate area, and 2,000 in the district. Many are interconnected.

An obvious place to hide, especially for fugitives, or tax evaders, or enemies of King Saul – David found refuge in such giant cave systems.

Valley(emek) ELAH

An dramatic reenactment of the famed battle between David (Paul – transformed from Jezebel) and Goliath (Trevor), sees the giant come crashing into the briars

Meanwhile the Israelites, minutes before, cowering in fear, find courage in their newfound hero, they give a shout for the battle and pursue the Philistines back to their 5 fenced cities

DAY 16 Jezreel to Tel Aviv

Mt Tabor, Megiddo, Mt Carmel, Caesarea

Mt Tabor

Our first stop of the Morning. Fortunately the taxis were not busy which seems to have please our guide, Abraham, so much as he knows what a line up it can be. The scene was disappointingly hazy. So this photo has been worked on a lot

Mt Carmel – and Elijah

Though there was no sight of Elijah (that’s normal according to Obadiah), we still enacted the time of his confrontation with the prophets of Baal.

Trevor gave a dramatic reading, worthy of the fierce passion of Elijah, while Paul, stood by fluttering his eyelids, obviously impersonating Jezebel – don’t know about that hat though!


Once a magnificent enclave of Herod the great. with it amphitheatre, Hippodrome and Palace on the Mediterranean (literally). The sea has ravaged the palace with only his pool being above the water line.

Magnificent Aqueduct

Herod built many aqueducts. this one brought water from the springs of Shummi, 10 km away.

DAY 15 Upper Galilee

Golan, Mt Hermon, Banias, Tel Dan

Golan Heights

Reaching the heights of Golan, scattered across the hills were Oak trees. referred to in Isaiah, Zechariah and Ezekiel as “the Oaks of Bashan”. It came to represent a symbol of arrogance and self-reliance rather than trust in the God of Israel

Mt. Hermon

Plenty of snow hanging around from last season adding to the rivers of the Banias, the Dan, Snir


Beautiful lush scenes from the Banias region. Known in Jesus day as Caesarea Philippi, it was a centre of pagan worship. But such opposition to the Gospel would not prevail against the Gospel of Jesus Christ


Truly an amazingly preserved site. The gushing waters of the springs at Dan

DAY 14 The Arava

Jordan River Valley, Baptism sites, Beit Shean, Gan Ha Shlosha, Kibbutz Ginosar, Boat trip on Galilee, Ein Gev Accommodation

Jordan River

A Christian group, arriving at the same time, had some of their member christened and then took a dip in the muddy waters.

Others, having already been baptised, only needed their feet washed

Jordan River Valley – Arava

Beit Shean

Location where Saul and Jonathan had the beheaded bodies pinned to a wall.

The ruins – Buildings – not people

Great View from Beit Shean to Jabesh Gilead. The men of Jabesh Gilead remembered the kindness shown them by Saul when he rescued them from the Ammorites

Gan Ha Shlosha

Paul making a big entry – SHLOSHA

Small fish nibble at your feet while you hang near side of pool. This is a natural warm spring, fed by waters seating from the Mountains of Gilboa

Capernaum = Kafer Nahum

Capernaum, otherwise in Hebrew known as Kafer Nahum – town of Nahum

Symbols of the Star of David and the Menorah from Chapiters of columns from Jesus day

GETHSEMANE – a olive press

GALILEE … is Beautiful and Full of Water

After many years of poor rainfall, Galilee is brimming with water and looking beautiful. It explains why the water level of Jordan River is higher than usual

We all piled on the boat and set sail for our accommodation at En Gev

Happy faces as we moved across the calm waters. Turning off the motor in the middle of Kineret, we all marvelled at the sounds of silence as we saw in our minds eye Jesus with his disciples in their small boat

DAY 13 Free Day in Jerusalem – Option to visit Jericho and Bethlehem

Jericho (cable car), Herodion, Bethlehem

Jericho – aerial view from cable car

Note the relatively small size of the Jericho Tell

Taking the cable car, we headed west in the same direction that Rahab advised the Spies to flee. from here they had, as did we, a commanding few of the whole of Jericho and beyond

View to the north east toward Gilgal where the Israelites were camped and from which direction the marched toward Jericho

Herodion – Strong hold of and burial place of Herod

Herod cut off the top of a hill next to Herodion so as to elevate the hill on which he built his fortress. His idea in being buried there was to be above the People of Jerusalem even in his death.

Right before he dies, Herod realizes nobody will mourn for him at his death.  He hatched a diabolical scheme to make sure everybody will morn at his death, even if it was not for him.  He ordered all the notable Jews from all parts of his kingdom to come to him in Jericho under penalty of death.  He placed them in the hippodrome of Jericho and left instructions for the soldiers to kill all the notables upon his death (Antiquities 17:174-181; LCL 8:451-455; Netzer 2001:64-67).  Fortunately, after the death of Herod, his sister Salome countermanded the order and released the Jewish leaders.  Ironically, Herod died on the Feast of Purim and there was much rejoicing at the death of Herod the Wicked (cf. Esther 8:15-17; Faulstich 1998:110)!

Inside the fortress of Herodion
Inside the huge cistern under Herodion


DAY 12 Jerusalem

Ammunition Hill, Mt Hertzl, Yad Vashem, Sound and Light Show ( Tower of David)

Ammunition Hill

A critical hill taken during the 6 Day war, that opened the way to gaining the old city and ultimately the whole of the Jordanian held “disputed territories”

We arrived at Ammunition Hill at the moment the new recruits were being introduced to the IDF (Israel Defence Forces) for the 2 years (for females) and 3 years (for Men) military service.

Mt. Hertzl

Commemorating the work of Theodore Hertzl in establishing the first Zionist Conference at Basle in 1898, where he initiated the move to finding a national homeland for the Jewish people

Yad Vashem – Holocaust Museum

A brilliant confronting museum detailing the Jewish Holocaust. Well worth a visit again and again.