Posts Tagged ‘Hebron’

I apologize for taking a few days to get back to the tour highlights. I left off in my last post about our recent tour of Israel with our visit to Tel Arad. That is definitely a place to visit. From Tel Arad, we headed north and made our way out of the Negev basin. As we climbed, we noted places along the way such as Maon, Carmel (not the Mt Carmel on the coast), and Ziph. (See Joshua 15:55 for the reference to these cities as being part of the allotment to the Tribe of Judah). 

We were not able to visit all the tels, but from a vantage point in the wilderness of Ziph, we were able to remember David’s time in the wilderness of Ziph as described in 1 Samuel 23. We were able to see the route by which David would have easily traveled to En Gedi from Ziph. These connection in the land bring the scriptures to life.

In this area, we were also able to remember the story of Abraham and the three visitors. We could look out and see the Salt Sea, and the traditional location of Zoar at the south end and remember that Lot had asked to be able to go to Zoar after leaving Sodom when it was slated for destruction. Recent excavations and other findings at Tall el-Hamman to the north east of the Salt Sea suggest that the location for Sodom may be in that area, but I leave that for another day. (See article in Nature Journal A Tunguska sized airburst destroyed Tall el-Hammam a Middle Bronze Age city in the Jordan Valley near the Dead Sea)

We reached our final destination, Hebron, with time to visit both the tel and the cave of the Patriarchs. This was not the first time I visited tel Hebron or the Cave of Machpelah. You can see my earlier post here.

We visited the tel first. This is definitely worth the climb. The tel has been partially excavated.

After visiting the tel, we visited the cave of Machpelah – the burial place of the patriarchs. Here are some images from our visit.

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One of the places that I was able to visit on my recent trip to Israel was Hebron. Hebron, considered the first Hebrew City, is located in the Judean mountains south of Yerushalayim (Jerusalem). The location is important to the Jews because it is the burial place of the patriarchs, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and their wives. (See Genesis 23)


The building at Hebron was built by Herod the Great, one of his many building projects across the land. He also built a palace in Jerusalem, a palace in Jericho, a palace on Masada, an entire harbor at Caesarea Maritima and Herodium, where he was buried. However, the building at Hebron is the only structure built by Herod the Great that is still in tact.


The graves of the patriarchs are believed to be in caves below the structure. Because the Jews must share the building with the Muslims, with each occupying one half of the building, it is difficult to do further exploration or excavation to find out what is below the building.

As we were leaving the building, an afternoon prayer service was beginning. The Jews living in Hebron are mostly Modern Orthodox, but Orthodox Jews from other parts of the country visit Hebron and spend time there in prayer and study.

Not unlike the Temple Mount and Western Wall, police are stationed at the entrance for security.

The tombs are a short distance from the actual Tel of the ancient city of Hebron. One of the upcoming posts will be dedicated to the Tel itself.

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