Shilo, in the Land of the Benjamin tribe, was where the tabernacle and Ark of Covenant were set up for approximately 390 years. The ancient Shiloh is situated near several high hills, similar to ancient Jerusalem located in the City of David. In recent years, archeologists discovered that the temple of Shiloh and the priest's house were situated only a few feet from the tabernacle area. When visiting Tel Shiloh, a feeling of ancient ambiance sweeps over you, taking you back to how the People of Israel lived more than 3000 years ago.
“And the whole congregation of the children of Israel assembled together at Shiloh and set up the tabernacle of the congregation there. And the land was subdued before them.”
Joshua 18:1 KJV
During the Byzantine era, between the 5th and 6th century, a citadel and a monastery with two churches were built on the acropolis of Avdat on the top hill. The city includes important churches, Saint Theodore's Church is the most interesting Byzantine relic in Avdat.
In the church, marble tombstones was inserted in the floor are covered with cleared Greek inscriptions. St. Theodore was a Greek martyr of the 4th century. The Monastery stands next to the church and nearby a lintel is carved with lions and it marks the entrance to the castle.
As you stand among the ruins of the Negev Highland city of Shivta, the echoes of the bells tinkling on the bridles of the camels that passed this way in their caravans of hundreds, bringing the riches of the East – frankincense and myrrh – to market via the Mediterranean. Avdat was founded by Nabatean traders, the masters of those caravans as a way station on this Incense Route. Long before, the Israelites had wandered near here through the Wilderness of Zin.
At the visitor center a short film will introduces you to the mysteries of this site. Then you’ll visit a luxurious ancient bathhouse with a dressing room, two steam rooms, a furnace and a 210-foot-deep well. At the top of the city, you’ll discover a third-century guard tower with a Greek inscription, and a Nabatean shrine to their god Oboda (after whom Avdat was named). This temple eventually became a church, whose pillars frame a magnificent Negev deserts cape.
Source: Israel Ministry of Tourism
A town in the lot of Ephraim where Israel assembled under Joshua at the close of the war of conquest (Josh 18:1). Here territory was allotted to the seven tribes who had not yet received their portions. A commission was sent out to “describe the land into seven portions”; this having been done, the inheritances were assigned by lot. Here also were assigned to the Levites their cities in the territories of the various tribes (Josh 18–21). From Shiloh Reuben and Gad departed for their homes E. of the Jordan; and here the tribes gathered for war against these two, having misunderstood their building of the great altar in the Jordan valley (Josh 22). From Jgs 18:31 we learn that in the period of the Judges the house of God was in Shiloh; but when the sanctuary was moved thither from Gilgal there is no indication. The maids of Shiloh were captured by the Benjamites on the occasion of a feast, while dancing in the vineyards; this having been planned by the other tribes to provide the Benjamites with wives without involving themselves in responsibility (21:21 ff). While the house of the Lord remained here it was a place of pilgrimage (1 Sa 1:3). To Shiloh Samuel was brought and consecrated to God’s service (1 Sa 1:24). The sanctuary was presided over by Eli and his wicked sons; and through Samuel the doom of their house was announced. The capture of the ark by the Philistines, the fall of Hophni and Phinehas, and the death of the aged priest and his daughter-in-law followed with startling rapidity (1 Sa 3; ch 4).
The sanctuary in Shiloh is called a “temple” (1 Sa 1:9; 3:3) with doorpost and doors (1 Sa 1:9; 3:15). It was therefore a more durable structure than the old tent. See TABERNACLE; TEMPLE. It would appear to have been destroyed, probably by the Philistines; and we find the priests of Eli’s house at Nob, where they were massacred at Saul’s order (1 Sa 22:11 ff). The disaster that befell Shiloh, while we have no record of its actual occurrence, made a deep impression on the popular mind, so that the prophets could use it as an effective illustration (Ps 78:60; Jer 7:12–14; 26:6). Here the blind old prophet Ahijah was appealed to in vain by Jeroboam’s wife on behalf of her son (1 Ki 14:2,4), and it was still occupied in Jeremiah’s time (Jer 41:5).
The position of Shiloh is indicated in Jgs 21:19, as “on the north of Beth-el, on the E. side of the highway that goeth up from Beth-el to Shechem, and on the S. of Lebonah.” This is very explicit, and points definitely to Seilun, a ruined site on a hill at the N.E. of a little plain, about 9 miles N. of Beitin (Bethel), and 3 miles S.E. of Khan el-Lubban (Lebonah), to the E. of the highway to Shechem (Nablus). The path to Seilun leaves the main road at Sinjil, going eastward to Turmus ‘Aya, then northward across the plain. A deep valley runs to the N. of the site, cutting it off from the adjoining hills, in the sides of which are rock-hewn tombs. A good spring rises higher up the valley. There are now no vineyards in the district; but indications of their ancient culture are found in the terraced slopes around.
The ruins on the hill are of comparatively modern buildings. At the foot of the hill is a mosque which is going quickly to ruin. A little distance to the S.E. is a building which seems to have been a synagogue. It is called by the natives Jami‘ el-‘Arba‘in, “mosque of the Forty.” There are many cisterns.
Just over the crest of the hill to the N., on a terrace, there is cut in the rock a rough quadrangle 400 ft. by 80 ft. in dimensions. This may have been the site of “the house of the Lord” which was in Shiloh.
“Shiloh (2),” ISBE, paragraph 52971.
The blessing and curse here have played out repeatedly in history. The nations or groups (plural: “those”) who have blessed Abram or his descendants have been blessed by God. The individuals (singular: “him”) who have cursed Abram or Israel have been “cursed,” coming eventually to a bad end. This, however, is not a blank check for the actions of unbelieving Israel, as if the nation could do no wrong or deserves no criticism or has no accountability for its actions. It is a general ongoing promise. Acts 3:25 and Gl 3:8 indicate that all the families of the earth are blessed in the availability of salvation through Jesus Christ, and Gl 6:16 refers to the church as “the Israel of God” through which, by implication, that blessing is extended.
Ted Cabal, ed., The Apologetics Study Bible, Nashville: Holman Bible Publishers, 2007, paragraph 712.
In referring to “the people [Abram] had acquired in Haran” the Bible is not sanctioning slavery. “Acquired” may refer to household servants, which wealthy families of the era had, rather than to slaves. Furthermore, even characters whom the Bible views favorably do not always act in accordance with what God approves. In evaluating their actions, we must recall that God did not reveal His will in its entirety at the beginning, but rather gradually throughout the course of biblical history. Biblical narrative often conveys the divine and human authors’ evaluation of a character’s actions implicitly rather than explicitly, not by denouncing the actions but by recording their outcome. The disgrace resulting from Abram’s lie in verses 12–13 is an example of this.
Some have supposed the note “At that time the Canaanites were in the land” (see note on 13:7) means that in the author’s day they were no longer there. If so, Moses could not be the author. But “that time” is clearly not being contrasted to the author’s time but to Abram’s time. The point is that when God made His promise to Abram the land was already occupied.
Ted Cabal, ed., The Apologetics Study Bible, Nashville: Holman Bible Publishers, 2007, paragraph 713-714.