Experience Israel’s history from the Times of the Bible

October 18th 2012

Israel Tour Site - City of DavidExperience Israel’s history from the Times of the Bible

Israel is at once a modern cosmopolitan country and the land of the Bible. Here the Israelites conquered the Canaanite nations, the prophets spoke to the people and Israelite kings ruled Judah and Israel.

To follow in the footsteps of King David and his descendants, visit the City of David. Here you will see excavations of the biblical city of Jerusalem, including the famous Hezekiah’s Tunnel, a water tunnel built by the Judean king Hezekiah to defend the city against siege.

The Tower of David Museum provides visitors with a panoramic view of Jewish history, starting with the Canaanite period and ending with the British Mandate. Climb up to the top of the tower to get a great view of Jerusalem, both the Old City and the new. Buy tickets in advance for the Night Spectacular, a sound and light show on the museum’s walls. The show is 45 minutes long and Jerusalem nights can be cool, even in summer, so dress appropriately.

Travel north to Acco for some insight into the Canaanite period. Archaeological excavations show the importance of the city, which was part of an important trade route during biblical times. Take a picnic to one of Acco’s many parks and forests or sail around the ancient walls in a boat.

Also in the north, visit Megiddo (or Armageddon), the site of many important biblical battles. The city was destroyed by the Babylonians who destroyed the First Temple and exiled the Israelites. As it was never inhabited again, it preserves ruins from 586 BCE! Stables from the time of King Ahab (9th century BCE) are on display as well as a complex water system from the biblical period. You can walk down the shaft and through the tunnel to get a feel for the magnitude of this project.

Head south to Tel Beer Sheva, the city where Abraham lived and the southern border of Israel during this period. The city is beautifully laid out in a grid and contains evidence of a temple and ruins of an altar.

If you’re traveling to Eilat, stop along the way at Timna Park to see a model of the Tabernacle as it is described in the Bible. The park also offers family activities, such as pedal boats, crafts and a multimedia presentation about the ancient Egyptians. Hiking trails and a campground are available for a more rugged experience. There is also a restaurant and a gift shop to make your experience complete. Camping is by reservation only.