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About This GigapanToggle
- Taken by
- Zoran Strajin
- Explore score
- 0.78 Gigapixels
- Date added
- Sep 11, 2013
- Date taken
- geology, landscape, nature, travel
The site of ancient Shiloh, a city in the Ephraim hill-country, was the religious capital of Israel for 300 years before Jerusalem. Mentioned in the time of the Book of Joshua and Judges, it is north of Beth-El, east of the Beth El–Shechem highway and south of Lebonah in the hill-country of Ephraim (Judg. 21:19). Shiloh has been identified unambiguously with Khirbet Seilun by American philologist E. Robinson in 1838. The location had been established long before by the Roman writer Eusebius and by Nestorius ha-Parhi.
Shiloh is mentioned in the Hebrew Bible as an assembly place for the people of Israel. The "whole congregation of Israel assembled...and set up the tabernacle of the congregation..." (Joshua 18:1), built under Moses' direction from God (Exodus 26) to house the Ark of the Covenant, also built under Moses' direction from God (Exodus 25). According to Talmudic sources, the tent sanctuary remained at Shiloh for 369 years until the Ark of the Covenant was taken into the battle camp (1 Samuel 4:3–5) at Eben-Ezer and captured by the Philistines at Aphek (probably Antipatris). At some point during its long stay at Shiloh, the portable tent seems to have been enclosed within a compound or replaced with a standing structure that had "doors" (1 Samuel 3:15) a precursor to the Temple. The Mishkan left Shiloh when Eli HaCohen died.
The erection of the Tabernacle and the Sacred vessels, as in Exodus 40:17–19; from the 1728 Figures de la Bible
Shiloh was the center of Israelite worship. The people assembled here for the mandatory feasts and sacrifices, and here lots were cast for the various tribal areas and for the Levitical cities. This was a sacred act, revealing how God would choose to parcel out the land within the tribes.
Generations later, Samuel was raised at the shrine in Shiloh by the high priest Eli. Samuel began prophesying at a young age and continued to serve in the Tabernacle, but not as a priest because he was not from the family of Aaron.