Israel Study tour

March 20-30, 2017

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First day in the Land


All 44 of us made it safely from the USA to the beautiful land of Israel. Thank you all for your thoughts and prayers!

Starting in Joppa

We wasted no time. As soon as we landed (in Tel Aviv) we grabbed our bags, hopped on the bus, and headed to Joppa.

Joppa is beautiful with historic buildings, new buildings, and a gorgeous beach (see photos).

Here we learned about Jonah. This was the city that Jonah came to get away from the Lord. (Remember the Lord told him to go to Ninevah). Jonah jumped on a boat, headed out onto the beautiful waves, and yada yada yada ended up in a big fish, then back to the beautiful beach.

We also visited the home of Simon, the Tanner. See Acts 9 and 10 for this story.

Caesarea Maritimia - Herod’s Beachfront Fortress

We then headed north up the coast to Caesarea Maritimia. Here we encountered a large theater and a hippodrome (which is where horses would race).

One moment that sticks out is the diversity of the groups that were there. Germans, Asians, Americans, and others. One of the Asian groups broke out in hymns and captured everyone attention. Their deep love for God and the land of Israel.

Caesarea Maritima

The city and harbor were built under Herod the Great during c. 22–10 BC near the site of a former Phoenician naval station known as Stratonos pyrgos (Στράτωνος πύργος).[2] It later became the provincial capital of Roman Judea, Roman Syria Palaestina and Byzantine Palaestina Prima provinces. The city was populated throughout the 1st to 6th centuries CE and became an important early center of Christianity during the Byzantine period, but was mostly abandoned following the Muslim conquest of 640. It was re-fortified by the Crusaders, and finally slighted by the Mamluks in 1265.

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Cows … and Ezekial

We headed WAY off the beaten path for our next stop, Mount Carmel. So far off we were walking through a cow field. Like up close and personal with the cows.

It was here that Josh told us the story of Ezekial and the other prophets. The story found in 1 Kings 22. We stood on the mountain range where this story took place. It was a gorgeous view but the way Josh told the story you really felt like you were there.

Mt. Carmel

Biblically, Mt. Carmel is referenced most often as a symbol of beauty and fertility. To be given the “splendor of Carmel” was to be blessed indeed (Isa 35:2). Solomon praised his beloved: “your head crowns you like Mount Carmel” (Song 7:5). But for Carmel to wither was a sign of devastating judgment (Nahum 1:4).

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Our New Home

Now we are tucked away in our hotel in Tiberius, near the Sea of Galilee. Till tomorrow …

- Mike Ruman

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