Tel Shiloh Excavations

Tel Shiloh Excavations

Tel Shiloh is a place of significant beginnings for the Jewish People, and even without grand palaces or powerful walls, it is one of the most dramatic sites in the country. 

In the territory of the tribe of Ephraim, the children of Israel brought the Tabernacle (Josh. 18:1), Making Shiloh a religious center for the Israelites even before Jerusalem
The path to the mound has a beautiful view of the valley where one of the most colorful stories in the Bible took place – the summer grape-harvest festival when the daughters of Shiloh came out dancing and the men of Benjamin sought brides from among them (Judges 21:15-23).  

Visitors can stand at the exact place on Tel Shiloh where some scholars believe the Tabernacle stood. This would also be the spot where Hannah came to pray for a son. Later, she dedicated that son, Samuel, to serve in the Tabernacle. It was from Shiloh that the Ark was taken into battle and temporarily lost to the Philistines. Shiloh has a visitor center with an interesting model of the Tabernacle and an engaging audiovisual presentation.

One unique group that attaches special religious importance to Tel Shiloh is devout Christians, mainly Evangelicals from the United States, Europe and Korea.  For example, in 2009 there were approximately 30,000 visitors at Tel Shiloh, of whom 60% were identified as Evangelical Christians. In 2011, the rabbis of the settlement opposed the inclusion of Evangelical volunteers in the archaeological digs, claiming that the latter view involvement in the excavation as an act of worship. Therefore, the Evangelicals could “have an impact on the weaker segments of the community” by bringing them closer to the Christian faith.

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