Israel Study tour

March 20-30, 2017

Subscription options are no longer available for this tour.

Help support our friends in Israel in their time of need.

Jesus' Days

Today we packed up our bags and headed south to Jerusalem. The second half of this tour has officially started.

Israel is not a large size country, so it doesn’t take too long to get in between cities. After about an hour drive we ended up at Beth Shean and Scythoplois.

Beth Shean and Scythoplois

This Old Testament city is located at the intersection of the Jordan Valley and the Herod Valley. The New Testament city that grew up around the tel was called Scythopolis.

At this city, we saw a large amphitheater, a bath house, a market, and many large pillars.

Based upon the direction of the fallen pillars it was concluded that this town was evacuated before a giant earthquake took it out.

Beth Shean

Located 17 miles (27 km) south of the Sea of Galilee, Beth Shean is situated at the strategic junction of the Harod and Jordan Valleys. The fertility of the land and the abundance of water led the Jewish sages to say, “If the Garden of Eden is in the land of Israel, then its gate is Beth Shean.” It is no surprise then that the site has been almost continuously settled from the Chalcolithic period to the present.

Learn More


Ah, the place of Jesus’ birth. One notable surprise was that of stables. In my mind stables were just like barns, not so. Shepherds would build their stables into the mountains, in a cutout cave.


Biblical scholars believe Bethlehem, located in the "hill country" of Judah, may be the same as the Biblical Ephrath which means "fertile", as there is a reference to it in the Book of Micah as Bethlehem Ephratah.[17] The Bible also calls it Beth-Lehem Judah,and the New Testament describes it as the "City of David". It is first mentioned in the Bible as the place where the matriarch Rachel died and was buried "by the wayside" (Gen. 48:7). Rachel's Tomb, the traditional grave site, stands at the entrance to Bethlehem. According to the Book of Ruth, the valley to the east is where Ruth of Moab gleaned the fields and returned to town with Naomi. It was the home of Jesse, father of King David of Israel, and the site of David's anointment by the prophet Samuel. It was from the well of Bethlehem that three of his warriors brought him water when he was hiding in the cave of Adullam.

Learn More

Dead Sea Scrolls

One of the greatest archeological discoveries ever was the finding of the Dead Sea Scrolls. These

The Dead Sea Scrolls are a collection of some 981 different manuscripts discovered between 1946/47, 1956 and 2017 in 12 caves (Qumran Caves) in the immediate vicinity of the Hellenistic-period Jewish settlement at Khirbet Qumran in the eastern Judaean Desert, the modern West Bank.


10 miles south of Jericho, Qumran was on a “dead-end street” and provided a perfect location for the isolationist sect of the Essenes to live.

The site was excavated by Catholic priest Roland deVaux from 1953-56. More recent excavations of the site have taken place under the direction of Hanan Eshel.

Learn More

Mount of Olives

Our evening took us to the Mount of Olives where we got a panoramic view of the “old city” of Jerusalem. From our viewpoint, you could see most of the events of Jesus’ final days on Earth. The place where he wept, was led into the city, crucified, buried, and transcended were just a few of the spots worth pointing out. We all look forward to exploring more of the city in the days to come.

Mount of Olives

Separated from the Eastern Hill (the Temple Mount and the City of David) by the Kidron Valley, the Mt. of Olives has always been an important feature in Jerusalem’s landscape. From the 3rd millennium B.C. until the present, this 2900-foot hill has served as one of the main burial grounds for the city. The two-mile long ridge has three summits each of which has a tower built on it.

Learn More

Western Wall

A few of us made a night walk to the Western Wall. Even at 10:30 PM the wall was filled with many Jewish people praying and reading scriptures on the wall. The Jewish people’s high regard for the scriptures was a pretty humbling thing to behold.

Tomorrow we head to the Dead Sea for more exploration.

- Mike Ruman

Western Wall

The Western Wall is the most holy place accessible to the Jewish people because of Muslim control of the Temple Mount. Known in recent centuries as the “Wailing Wall,” this 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. At times tens of thousands of people gather here for prayer.

Learn More

Upcoming Signature Tours

With 30 years of experience creating trips for other ministries, we've prepared our own signature study tours featuring some of our favorite itineraries and compelling teachers! If you've never been on a GTI Study Tour, take a moment to learn more about what you can expect.

GTI Signature Germany Study Tour
Sep 11-19, 2024
Learn More

Turkey / Greece Signature Study Tour
Sep 15-25, 2024
Learn More

Egypt / Jordan Signature Study Tour
Mar 5-17, 2025
Learn More