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7 Days in Israel: Our Last Two Days

7 Days in Israel: The Last 2 Days

If you missed my other trip posts, read the Day #1 recap, the Day #2 recap, the Day #3 recap, the Day #4 recap, the Day #5 recap, the Day #6 recap, the Day #7 recap, and the Day #8 recap

Day #9 of our Epic Trip to Italy and Israel with the Museum of the Bible was a very exciting day — because it was our last full day in Israel. I was excited about what we had planned for the day… but mostly, if I’m being honest, I was excited about being home. I had missed my family so, so much!

7 Days in Israel: Our Last Two Days

We started the day by going to Nazareth Village. While it didn’t seem impressive from the outset, I quickly fell in love with this place.

Here’s more about what Nazareth Village is:

A first-century farm and village presenting the life, times and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth for all the world.

Two thousand years after the birth of Jesus, Nazareth Village opened its doors to visitors. Nazareth Village is located on a site that was remarkably untouched and unchanged since Jesus time. In fact, Nazareth Village preserves the last remaining fields worked by Jesus’ friends, family and fellow villagers.

The surrounding terraces and farm features did exist in Jesus’ time. Today, Nazareth Village features a carefully researched re-creation of Jesus hometown. The original farm has been restored with olive trees, terraces, ancient wine press, irrigation system and stone quarry. Exact replicas of first century houses, synagogue, mikveh and olive presses have been carefully built using the same methods that would have been used by Joseph the carpenter. The scenes are brought to life as “Villagers” populate the farm and houses, living and working with the same type of clothing, pottery, tools and methods that Mary and Jesus would have used.

Pilgrims to the Holy Land usually only see the dead stones of ancient ruins. And yet, the geographical and cultural nuances of Jesus’ teaching are often crucial for understanding his full meaning. At Nazareth Village, visitors can experience how a first-century audience heard and was impacted by Jesus’ words. Gifted and knowledgeable guides take visitors through a living representation of the parables. Visitors step into life as it was in the time of Jesus and learn from his parables in the context in which they were created.

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7 Days in Israel: Last Two Days

I loved seeing the re-created olive press and hearing more about the three difference presses that olives went through to make olive oil. The oil was what was most valuable about olives, but it could only be obtained through putting immense pressure on the olives — splitting and breaking them so that they no longer resembled olives.

Olives would be put through the press three different times. The first press was the best oil and that’s what they would give to God. The second press was what they would use themselves. The last press would be the oil they would use for lighting their lamps.

It gave so much new significance to how we are to live our lives as Christians — completely poured out for God and others.

7 Days in Israel: Two Days in Israel

7 Days in Israel: The Last Two Days

7 Days in Israel: the Last Two Days

After we went through Nazareth Village, they had tables set up with a fresh snack for us. And it was SO good!

We had fresh fire-baked flat bread, Za’atar dip (ground hyssop, sesame seeds, and olive oil), Hummus dip, olives, and herbal tea. Yum! It was especially fun because they were making it in the traditional methods right there in front of us. I wanted to just sit there and watch them make it and keep eating it as the bread came off the fire!

I have fallen fast in love with the Israeli food! In fact, as soon as I got back, we had to find a local Mediterranean restaurant so I could eat these foods regularly and introduce my family to them!

7 Days in Israel: the Last Two Days

7 Days in Israel: the Last Two Days

Speaking of food, after we went to Nazareth Village, then we drove for a ways and stopped to get some Shawarma at a local restaurant. It reminded me of Subway… only Israeli style. 🙂

7 Days in Israel: the Last Two Days

After lunch, we drove to Caesarea and saw the Roman theater and all of the ruins there. It was amazing, overwhelming, beautiful, and c-o-l-d!

7 Days in Israel: the Last 2 Days

7 Days in Israel: the Last Two Days

7 Days in Israel: the Last Two Days

7 Days in Israel: The Last 2 Days

7 Days in Israel: The Last 2 Days

Then we headed to a local school that is using really cool technology from Museum of the Bible to teach the students their Bible classes. The school was SO excited for us to visit… they had balloons, flowers, signs, a special music program, food, and even a guy serenading us on the accordion!

7 Days in Israel: The Last 2 Days

I wanted to get a picture with him and he was trying to get me to dance with him. It was funny and memorable!

7 Days in Israel: The Last 2 Days

And then we drove to Tel Aviv… and oh my! I was not prepared for how beautiful it would be here or how incredible our view from the hotel would be. It was breath-taking!

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We had dinner on the roof that night and said goodbye to the people who had headed up the tour. And then I packed for the long flight home and went to bed.

The next morning, we headed to the airport and got on a 12-hour flight from Tel Aviv to Newark and then from Newark to Nashville. After 10 days of being gone, I was so, so, so ready to be home, to hug my husband and kiddos, and to sleep in my own bed!

I’m SO thankful for the opportunity I had to go on this trip… I will cherish so many of the lessons and memories for years and years to come!

Have Any Questions About the Trip?

Tomorrow, I’ll be sharing how I packed for 10 days in a carry-on. And then the rest of this week, I’ll be sharing some of the deeper lessons I took away from this trip.

If you have any questions you’d love for me to answer about the trip, you are more than welcome to ask them and I’ll either answer them here or try to answer them in a post. Thanks so much for joining me on this journey! It was fun to “bring you along” with me!

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20 Comments

  • Jody says:

    Thank you for taking the time to share about your trip day by day! I enjoyed reading all about it! I am really looking forward to the posts about the deeper lessons learned as well.

    I enjoyed your scope today on marriage and am looking forward to the rest of the week for those as well! I shared the link with a group of my friends that encourage each other in our marriages.

    Lots to look forward to as a reader here this week, but honestly that’s every week here ?!

  • Your little tidbit on the olive press is sticking most in my mind. The most valuable part of the olive, the oil, is only given after “immense pressure.” Much like our faith! We go through seasons of “immense pressure” and it changes us! It brings out what is most valuable – our faith, our character building, our hope in Christ.

  • Mary says:

    Thank you for sharing your trip experience on your blog. I enjoyed reading about it.

  • Haely says:

    I am glad you had the chance to experience this, it is a feeling that is hard to explain, but you did it well. I was hoping you would have seen both sides of the story but that is to much to ask of a one sided guided trip. Oh and the food like shawarma, za’tar and hummus are Arabic. Sad you don’t even mention the Arab Christians.

    • JL says:

      I agree, I was really hoping she’d mention the ancient Arab Christian communities there. Never had such amazing hospitality shown as when among them 🙂

    • I would have LOVED to have gotten to meet some Arab Christians! In all honesty, I was surprised that we weren’t with locals who were Christians. That was definitely not what I was expecting! However, I do feel like it gave me a new appreciation and understanding of Jewish history than I’d had before.

      Our itinerary was planned ahead of time for us (we had no say in where we went or what we did — they planned it all for us every day) and, unfortunately, there was so much we couldn’t do in such a short timeframe. 🙁 I can’t wait to someday go back again and experience more of the amazing things that Israel has to offer!

      • Haely says:

        That’s why I waited till your last day to say anything, I knew they would probably steer you away. I was so hoping you would meet and understand the tragedy of the life of all the Palestinians.

        • Because of some different things that people have commented here, I definitely want to make that a priority when I go back. We did get to fly over some of the area in the helicopter and it was so clear that there was such a divide… and it just broke my heart! 🙁

  • While I’m not able to travel currently, it was SO exciting to live through your pictures. Thank you for sharing.

  • JC says:

    I was wondering if you might tell us more about the museum of the bible, what it is exactly and why you chose to support it? Will other trips like this be offered in the future? What is the cost? I am not an adventurous traveler, would this be an ok trip if you have zero aptitude for languages? Was the itenery set, or did you have to do lots of research to figure it out? ( and if it was set, would a similar trip be offered in the future?).

    • The trip was completely planned and paid for by Museum of the Bible. They invited me to go since I am an online influencer. However, they didn’t require us to blog about the trip; they just wanted us to come and experience things we hadn’t experienced before and get to interact and engage with others who are excited about the Bible and the impact it has had on history.

      The Museum opens in DC in 2017 and it sounds like it is going to be SO amazing!! You can read more about it here: https://www.museumofthebible.org/

      I can’t wait to go with our family!

      • JC says:

        Thanks! I checked out the website this morning in the 30 seconds I had before the baby woke up. I saw “traveling exhibits” and I thought it might mean the museum sponsored these types of trips regularly. Oh well. A turn key trip like this would be nice for someone like me. Thanks for sharing! I enjoyed reading about it

  • I would definitely love to see the Nazareth Village. I can only imagine how differently you’d read the Gospels after visiting the actual land they come from and seeing how it would have looked in action. Talk about the Bible coming to life! What a fascinating trip.

    • YES! It’s completely transformed how I view Scripture!

      • Jody says:

        I’m so interested in how seeing what you saw and being there has changed the way you view scripture. I would love to hear more about that! I’m sure you already have it planned to be part of the deeper lessons learned posts so I’m double asking but I wanted to put it out there that it’s something as a reader I’d definitely love to read about! I’m always like whoa that really gave me a whole different look at God whenever I learn of a custom from biblical times in light of something that took place in scripture. I can only imagine what it would be like to actually be in the places you’ve read about as you mentioned! I’m so glad you blogged about the trip even though it wasn’t something expected of you for going on the trip.

      • Jody says:

        I know I already commented but saw your comment about this and couldn’t help myself!

  • S.T. says:

    I loved reading these posts. Thank you so much for sharing with us all! I might never be able to go, and I so enjoyed getting to see the pictures and read about your experience. Thank you!

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