There shall come forth a shoot from the trunk of Jesse…” Isaiah 11:1
Step into the biblical landscape of our ancestors where the words of the prophets and Jesus come alive!
Christian Bible Tour Duration: 1.5-3 hours
Station 1 – Orientation and lookout.
An introduction to Neot Kedumim and its location. Learn about the history of this fascinating and unique landscape – first the dream which inspired it, then the love and the sweat which made the dream a reality.
Station 2 – “Let anyone who is thirsty come to me” (John 7:37)
Visit an authentic, ancient cistern from which you may draw water as our ancestors did thousands of years ago. Several very significant biblical encounters took place at water cisterns – including Rebecca and Eliezer (the servant of Abraham), Moses and Zipporah, and Jesus and the Samaritan woman among many others. While on the tour, you can discuss and even re-enact some of these encounters (also a wonderful "Get To Know One Another" activity of the group has arrived directly from the airport). At the cistern you will come to understand the centrality of water in ancient Israel and today. Pilgrims will learn why Jesus, on the last day of the Feast of Tabernacles called out: “Let anyone who is thirsty come to me.” John 7:37
Station 3 – “Purify me with hyssop, and I shall be clean” (Psalms 51:7)
Throughout scriptures, the hyssop plant played a major role in many biblical stories. The Children of Israel used a hyssop brush to paint their doorposts when leaving Egypt, and the Roman soldiers used a hyssop dipped in vinegar to quench the thirst of Jesus' on the cross. In addition to these historical references, the hyssop is known as a cleansing and healing plant, as well as a very popular spice to this day. With pestle and mortar you will have the chance to make your own traditional spice mixture and enjoy it with oil and pita.
Station 4 - “And he (Zacchaeus) ran before, and climbed up into a sycomore tree to see him” (Luke 19:4)
The sycamore tree produces a delicious fruit, which you will have the chance to taste (when in season). Pilgrims will also learn of the significance of the sycomore tree in the Judeo-Christian tradition as a symbol for rehabilitation. When Jesus saw Zacchaeus sitting in a sycamore tree, he called for him to come down so that Jesus may dine with him that evening. This marked the point when Zacchaeus ceased his dishonest ways and began a life of charity (Luke 19).
Station 5 – “There shall come forth a shoot from the trunk of Jesse" (Isaiah 11:1)
Visit an ancient olive tree and see how the offshoots and its branches are related to the prophecy of the Messiah in Isaiah. 11:1. Olive oil is one of the Seven Species of the Land of Israel and was used to anoint kings throughout biblical times. The Hebrew word for Messiah is Mashi'ach, which literally translates to "Annointed One" – referring to anointing with olive oil.
Station 6 – “(they) took branches of palm trees, and went forth to meet him" (John 12:13)
Another of the Seven Species, you will learn the many uses of the tree known as the “tree of life” and victory. It was with date-palm fronds that Jesus was greeted when entering Jerusalem on the eve of the festival of Passover. You will also have the chance to taste the delicious honey extracted from the date fruit.
Station 7 (winter) – “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness” (John 8:12)
Here you will have the opportunity to pluck olives straight from the trees, operate an ancient olive press and see how olive oil was produced in ancient times. Understand how olive trees, the tree of light, became so significant in the Judeo-Christian tradition.
Station 7 (summer) – “Give us this day our daily bread” (Matthew 6:11)
With a sickle in hand, you will harvest wheat, bring the sheaves to the threshing floor and go through the whole process of threshing, winnowing and finally grinding grain for flour. There are endless biblical stories to recall and symbols to explain regarding bread—this basic staple of life.
Additional activities which we recommend (additional cost):
Herding sheep and goats – “The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want” (Psalms 23:1)
The group can experience life as did Moses, David and many of our ancestors by leading a flock of sheep and goats. Besides the fun involved in this very challenging activity, you will also learn first-hand the direct connection between the qualities of a “good shepherd" and those of a leader of the people.
Torah Scribe – “Till heaven and earth pass, not one jot or title shall not pass from the law (Matthew 5:18)
Watch our skilled and friendly scribes demonstrate the ancient art of writing scrolls for Jewish holy texts, including the Torah itself. See how the ink and parchment are prepared. Participate in a real reed-pen calligraphy session.
Tree Planting ceremony – “When you come into the land and plant any kind of tree” (Leviticus 19:23)
Getting your hands a little bit dirty has never been so much fun as when you take an active role in restoring the indigenous “forest of milk and honey” by planting oak, terebinth, or other forest trees. You will receive certificates in honor of the occasion.
Study tours and seminars – “Jesus told the crowd all these things in parables” (Matthew 13:34)
You will step into the world of parables and discover the natural reality behind the symbols and metaphors described in the New Testament. Our professional guide will distribute prepared written text handouts for the theme which you choose. Suggested themes include: the Fig Tree and its parables, the Workers in the Vineyard, the Sower and many more.
(3 hours and more)