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Cave of the Patriarchs

Guided tour to the Cave of the Patriarchs- (Ma’arat HaMachpela) in Hebron with Yehudah Glick

The Patriarch Abraham bought the field and Cave of Machpela from Ephron the Hittite, as a burial place for his wife Sara, for four hundred shekels of silver (Genesis 23:16). Traditional claims that this is the burial place of Adam and Eve. The next burial in the cave of Machpelah is that of Abraham (Genesis 25:9). Isaac was buried there (Genesis 35:28-29). Jacob told his sons to bury him in Canaan in the Cave of Machpela (Genesis 49:29) and Joseph later carried out his wish (Genesis 50:1-14). There is no mention of where or when Isaac’s wife Rebekah and Jacob’s wife Leah died, but they are included in the list of those that had been buried in Machpelah.

King Herod (called the Great) built a large, rectangular enclosure over the original burial cave/s of the field of Machpela. This is the only fully surviving Herodian structure from the period of Hellenistic Judaism. Herod’s building was built with 6-foot-thick stone walls made from stones that were at least 3 feet (0.91 m) tall and sometimes reach a length of 24 feet (7.3 m). The Herodian building did not have a roof.

Cave of the Patriarchs
Cave of the Patriarchs

During the Early Muslim, Byzantine, Crusader and Second Muslim periods the enclosure changed back and forth from basilica to  mosque, each conqueror remodeling the building.


  • The Ma’ara is open all day from 4 AM until 9 PM.
  •  (During Daylight Savings Time the Ma’ara is open until 10 PM.)
  • This is subject to change during holidays.
  • During the month of “Ramadan” the Ma’ara is closed on Fridays.
  • To find out which ten days the entire Ma’ara is open to Jews, call: 02-9965333
  • Entrance to the Ma’ara Plaza and to the Seventh Step is accessible 24 hours a day. 


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