Shiloh University Israel Tour 2017
May 1 through May 14, a group of 43 embarked on the first Shiloh University sponsored study trip to Israel. Among the 43 participants were Shiloh University leadership, faculty, and students; and pastors from The Living Word Fellowship churches. The University made available the Historical Geography of Israel course to all participants prior to their travel as a way to enhance their experience and provide context for their tour in Israel.
The University leadership worked closely with Shlomo Hizak and his staff at the AMI Jerusalem Center for Biblical Studies and Research to organize a uniquely tailored tour of the Holy Land. The days were filled with one incredible exploration after another. During the two weeks in Israel, the group spent time in Jerusalem, the Galilee, the Judean wilderness and Dead Sea, Caesarea, and the area of Hebron and southern Israel. They literally traveled from Dan to Beersheeba. The group toured many historical sites from the time of Abraham, the conquest of Canaan, the kings of Israel, the time of Jesus’ earthly ministry, and on through the establishing of the modern state of Israel. So much history for the Jewish and Christian people is centered in this relatively small area of land called Israel. And while faith does not rely on physical proof, it is amazing to see the abundance of archeological evidence that has been discovered in recent years.
In and around Jerusalem, the group experienced Synagogue services, prayer at the Western Wall, museums, archeological work around and under the Western Wall and at the old City of David, the temple mount, the Mount of Olives, the Israeli Knesset, and of course, shopping and dining. Some also walked on the ramparts surrounding the old city, which gives a beautiful panoramic view of Jerusalem, and visited the orthodox neighborhood of Mea She’arim.
In the Galilee, the group visited the Sea of Galilee and first century cities and synagogues where Christ would have grown up and ministered, including the cities of Sepphoris and Capernaum. The group also visited the Golan Heights, ancient archeological sites of Tel Dan and Hazor, and cities and synagogues where Jewish culture was preserved after the fall of Jerusalem in 70 AD.
Visiting Israel provided both educational and faith-building experiences, including:
- Deepening our understanding of the Jewish heritage of Jesus and the Jewish roots of our Christian faith.
- Bringing new depth and reality to the Word of God, the person of Christ, and God’s faithfulness.
- Observing the ongoing miracle of what God has blessed the Jewish people to accomplish in Israel in the areas of agriculture and industry since the days of returning to their land.
- Strengthening our connection to the nation of Israel and our prayer for the peace of Jerusalem.