Tel Shiloh – Shiloh (Biblical City)
Shiloh – Basilica
Shiloh was an ancient city mentioned in the Hebrew Bible. Its site is at modern Khirbet Seilun, south of ancient Tirzah and 10 miles (16 km) north of the Israeli settlement of Beth El in the West Bank.
It was the capital of Israel before the first Temple was built in Jerusalem.
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. (more…)
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.
There, 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.
For reservations and guided tours, call the visitor center at
+972-(0)2-9944019 or +972-(0)52-720-3415