“Before Jerusalem There Was Shiloh”

The Jerusalem Post runs a column by Wayne Stiles on biblical sites in Israel. This week features Shiloh, the first place where God’s Presence resided in Canaan.

Shiloh should be more famous among Christians than it actually is. Joshua divided Canaan among the tribes at Shiloh. The Tabernacle stood there for centuries before its destruction by the Philistines. Other important events took place at Shiloh, many of which I summarized in a post earlier this year.

Stiles’ article gives a good biblical summary of the site along with a few photos. An excerpt:

As I looked around the ruins of Tel Shiloh, I was amazed at how places change over time, and how times change as well. For three hundred years, only the high priest could stand in the place of the Holy of Holies. But today, anyone can wander where the Tabernacle stood, because “the glory has departed” (1 Samuel 4:22).

Once the presence of God dwelt at Tel Shiloh, but now only weeds and rocks remain. Once the Israelites came to Shiloh to worship at the feasts, but now only archaeologists, a few tourists, and schoolchildren visit.

I have not yet visited Shiloh. Travel is a little complicated since the site is in the West Bank. Few rental car agencies in Israel permit vehicles into the territory. I hope to be able to make the necessary arrangements in a future visit.

HT: Todd Bolen


About LukeChandler

Luke holds an M.A. in Ancient and Classical History and has been an adjunct professor at Florida College in Temple Terrace, Florida. Luke and his wife Melanie have five children. He serves as a minister in English and Spanish with the North Terrace Church of Christ and participates annually in archaeological excavations in Israel. Luke also leads tours to Europe and the Bible Lands.
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