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The burial places of characters from the Bible : Part 2 – Article

Burial tomb

PART 2

This article contains a comprehensive list of Biblical characters and the place of their burial. While the Old Testament holds plenty of references of place names of where people were buried or where they died, there is hardly any mention of burial places of characters in the New Testament. Apart from the biblical references, I have also included famous historical sites in around the areas of present day Israel that are believed to hold the tombs of these Bible characters. The keyword here to note is “believed” – no one knows with certainty if these were in fact the real burial sites, but Jews, Christians and Muslims hold these sites to be “holy” and they have been visited by pilgrims and tourists alike for many centuries. READ PART 1 HERE

Mount Ephraim, Timnathheres : Joshua

Joshua
Joshua 24:29-30
29 And it came to pass after these things, that Joshua the son of Nun, the servant of the LORD, died, being an hundred and ten years old.
30 And they buried him in the border of his inheritance in Timnathserah, which is in mount Ephraim, on the north side of the hill of Gaash.
Judges 2:8-9
8 And Joshua the son of Nun, the servant of the LORD, died, being an hundred and ten years old.
9 And they buried him in the border of his inheritance in Timnathheres, in the mount of Ephraim, on the north side of the hill Gaash.

The whereabouts of Timnathheres
Tibneh, West Bank
Tibneh or Khirbet Tibnah is in the hill country of Ephraim located in present day West Bank and is identified as the Biblical city of Timnath Serah – the residence of Joshua . The traditional tomb of Joshua, is said to be located in the rock cemetery at Tibneh. According to Charles William Wilson who traveled through Palestine in 1866, the rock cemetery contained nine tombs with niches on the walls for over 200 lamps at the tomb entrance. Inside was a chamber with fourteen graves with a passage leading into an inner chamber containing one grave. Pilgrims visited this location in great numbers which indicates that this was considered a highly revered shrine

Kifl Haris, West Bank
According to Joshua 24:30, the leader of the 12 tribes of Israel was buried in the former Timnath-heres, today called Kifl Haris, a Palestinian village in the northern West Bank in Samaria located near the Israeli settlement city of Ariel. Kifl Haris was a Canaanite village thousands of years ago and used to be called Tamnit Haris and before that Tamnit Sara – which means “a piece of the sun”. A small stone-and-stucco mausoleum covered by a dome marks Joshua’s grave in the center of this village. Israelis are allowed to visit only with special permission and the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) shuts down a section of the Palestinian village to allow the worshipers safe passage. Thousands make the pilgrimage to the tombs on the annual commemoration of Joshua’s death, 26th of Nisan on the Hebrew calendar.

 

Joshua Tibneh

Rock cemetery at Tibneh – Joshua’s tomb

Joshua_KiflHaris1

Tomb of Joshua in Kifl Haris, a Palestinian village


A hill, Mount Ephraim : Eleazar

Eleazar
Joshua 24:33
33 And Eleazar the son of Aaron died; and they buried him in a hill that pertained to Phinehas his son, which was given him in mount Ephraim.

Village of Awarta, West Bank
Three large tombs located in the town of Awarta, West Bank have been attributed to be the burial sites of Aaron’s sons Ithamar and Eleazar. His grandson Phinehas is also believed to be buried at the site alongside his son Abishu. These sites are revered by both the Jews and the Samaritans and the shrines are visited by Jewish worshippers on specific days, usually accompanied by army forces. Several clashes have been reported over the years between local Palestinians and IDF forces securing Jewish worshippers

Eleazar_Awarta

Eleazar’s tomb in Awarta – picture taken late 1800s

Eleazar_Awarta1

Eleazar’s tomb at Awarta, West Bank


Ophrah : Gideon

Gideon
Judges 8:32
32 And Gideon the son of Joash died in a good old age, and was buried in the sepulcher of Joash his father, in Ophrah of the Abiezrites.

Itamar, Samaria
Itamar or Ithamar is an Israeli community with predominately Orthodox Jews in Samaria, located on the hills south east of Shechem. Although Ophrah is identified by most scholars as being in another place but people have accepted according to some traditions, that the tomb located at Itamar is the one considered to be that of Biblical judge Gideon. No one knows the exact location of Ophrah

Gideon_Itamar

Gideon’s tomb at Itamar


Shamir, Mount Ephraim : Tola

Tola
Judges 10:1-2
1 And after Abimelech there arose to defend Israel Tola the son of Puah, the son of Dodo, a man of Issachar; and he dwelled in Shamir in mount Ephraim.
2 And he judged Israel twenty and three years, and died, and was buried in Shamir.

The whereabouts of Shamir
Khirbet Somerah
The location of Shamir where judge Tola dwelt and was later buried is not known for certainty. It could be one of the cities of Judah in the hill country – possibly it is Khirbet (or Umm) Somerah, 2,000 ft. above sea-level, a site with ancient walls, caves, cisterns and tombs

Sanur
Another theory is that Shamir is identified as Sanur, a place which is semi-fortified and strongly-placed that is located on the road from Nablus to Jenin

shamir_tola

The possible location of Shamir


Other Judges

Jair
Judges 10:5
5 And Jair died, and was buried in Camon.

Jephthah
Judges 12:7
7 And Jephthah judged Israel six years. Then died Jephthah the Gileadite, and was buried in one of the cities of Gilead.

Ibzan
Judges 12:10
10 Then died Ibzan, and was buried at Bethlehem.

Elon
Judges 12:12
12 And Elon the Zebulonite died, and was buried in Aijalon in the country of Zebulun.

Abdon
Judges 12:15
12 And Elon the Zebulonite died, and was buried in Aijalon in the country of Zebulun.


Between Zorah and Eshtaol : Samson

Samson
Judges 16:30-31
30 And Samson said, Let me die with the Philistines. And he bowed himself with all his might; and the house fell on the lords, and on all the people that were therein. So the dead which he slew at his death were more than they which he slew in his life.
31 Then his brothers and all the house of his father came down, and took him, and brought him up, and buried him between Zorah and Eshtaol in the burial plot of Manoah his father.

Samson’s Tomb or Kever Shimshon at Tel Zor’a
The burial site of Samson is at Tel Zor’a an Israelite city and is also considered his birth place and therefore the area is known as “Samson’s Country”. At Tel Zor’a visitors will see Samson’s blue-domed, white-washed tomb along the backdrop of the Judean Mountain. Samson’s tomb is of recent origin, it is only within the past few decades that someone identified this spot as Samson’s burial site – Nevertheless, tourists and pilgrims visit the tomb and pray here as they would at any other holy site

Samson Tomb

Samson’s Tomb or Kever Shimshon at Tel Zor’a

SamsonsTomb

Aerial View of Samson’s Tomb


Ramah : Samuel

Samuel
1 Samuel 25:1
1 And Samuel died; and all the Israelites were gathered together, and lamented him, and buried him in his house at Ramah.
1 Samuel 28:3
3 Now Samuel was dead, and all Israel had lamented him, and buried him in Ramah, even in his own city. 

Tomb of Samuel or Kever Shmuel or Nebi Samwil
The tomb of Samuel is located at An-Nabi Samwil also called al-Nabi Samuil, a Palestinian village in the West Bank area within the Jerusalem Governorate located four kilometers north of Jerusalem. A 6th-century Christian author identified the site which is atop a steep hill at an elevation of 908 meters above sea level as Samuel’s burial place, and since then it has been traditionally associated as such by Jews, Christians and Muslims. However, according to the Hebrew Bible, Samuel is buried at his hometown Ramah which is located to the east of this hill and is near Geba. The current site identified as the Tomb of Samuel contains an 18th-century mosque, built on the remains of a Crusader-era fortress; the tomb and a small synagogue are located in an underground chamber underneath the mosque. Due to its elevation and strategic importance, the Tomb of Samuel has played host to several battles in the modern era. Although excavations have not unearthed remains from Samuel’s time, both Jewish and Muslim prayers are held regularly at the site

SamuelTomb

Tomb of Samuel – aerial view

Samuel Tomb

Tomb of Samuel or Kever Shmuel


Hebron : Abner

Abner
2 Samuel 3:32
32 And they buried Abner in Hebron: and the king lifted up his voice, and wept at the grave of Abner; and all the people wept.

Tomb of Abner Ben Ner – Hebron, Israel
Abner was King Saul’s army commander-in-chief and his burial took place in Hebron, the capital city under King David. The Tomb of Abner Ben Ner is one of the many grave sites of Biblical figures located in Hebron. It is a picturesque stone structure with several rooms arranged around a courtyard with a Mameluke-style gate and is located near the Tomb of the Patriarchs and Matriarchs in Mamre.

Tomb of Abner

Tomb of Abner

Tomb of Abner

Tomb of Abner – courtyard


Hebron : Ishbosheth

Ishbosheth
2 Samuel 4:12
12  But they took the head of Ishbosheth, and buried it in the sepulcher of Abner in Hebron.


Zelah: Saul and Jonathan

Saul and Jonathan
2 Samuel 21:12-14
12  And David went and took the bones of Saul and the bones of Jonathan his son from the men of Jabeshgilead, which had stolen them from the street of Bethshan, where the Philistines had hanged them, when the Philistines had slain Saul in Gilboa:
13 And he brought up from there the bones of Saul and the bones of Jonathan his son; and they gathered the bones of them that were hanged.
14 And the bones of Saul and Jonathan his son buried they in the country of Benjamin in Zelah, in the sepulcher of Kish his father: and they performed all that the king commanded. And after that God was entreated for the land.ut they took the head of Ishbosheth, and buried it in the sepulcher of Abner in Hebron.


Jerusalem : David and the kings of Judah

David
1 Kings 1:10-11
10 So David slept with his fathers, and was buried in the city of David.
11 And the days that David reigned over Israel were forty years: seven years reigned he in Hebron, and thirty and three years reigned he in Jerusalem. 

Mount Zion – Jerusalem, Israel
Mediaeval tradition tracks David and the other kings of Jerusalem’s tombs to be on Mount Zion. The site which is located outside of the old city walls is venerated by Jews, Christians and Muslims to this day, although it contradicts the Biblical indication that David was buried in the City of David

T1-T3 Tombs in the City of David – Jerusalem, Israel
Biblical references makes it clear that David and many other Old Testament kings were buried in the the City of David in ancient Jerusalem. Raymond Weill in the early twentieth century excavated what he identified to be tombs in Jerusalem’s City of David — and these tombs could possibly be the royal necropolis of the earliest Old Testament kings. Weill discovered ancient walls, ritual pools, cisterns, a circular tower and most remarkably, nine rock-cut features that he identified as “tombs.” Weill interpreted the three most prominent tombs (labeled T1–T3) to be part of royal sepulchers of the Old Testament kings of ancient Jerusalem. However, some scholars have since disputed this claim

KingsTombsZion_2

The tomb of David in Mount Zion – picture taken around 1860-1890

 

KingsTombsZion

The tomb of David in Mount Zion

KingsTombs

The Kings Tombs in the the city of David

Solomon
1 Kings 11:42-43
42 And the time that Solomon reigned in Jerusalem over all Israel was forty years.
43 And Solomon slept with his fathers, and was buried in the city of David his father: and Rehoboam his son reigned in his stead.
2 Chronicles 9:31
31 And Solomon slept with his fathers, and he was buried in the city of David his father: and Rehoboam his son reigned in his stead.

Rehoboam
1 Kings 14:31
31 And Rehoboam slept with his fathers, and was buried with his fathers in the city of David. And his mother’s name was Naamah an Ammonitess. And Abijam his son reigned in his stead.
2 Chronicles 12:16
16 And Rehoboam slept with his fathers, and was buried in the city of David: and Abijah his son reigned in his stead.

Abijam
1 Kings 15:8
8 And Abijam slept with his fathers; and they buried him in the city of David: and Asa his son reigned in his stead.
2 Chronicles 14:1
1 So Abijah slept with his fathers, and they buried him in the city of David: and Asa his son reigned in his stead. In his days the land was quiet ten years.

Asa
1 Kings 15:24
24 And Asa slept with his fathers, and was buried with his fathers in the city of David his father: and Jehoshaphat his son reigned in his stead.
2 Chronicles 16:13,14
13 And Asa slept with his fathers, and died in the one and fortieth year of his reign.
14 And they buried him in his own sepulchers, which he had made for himself in the city of David, and laid him in the bed which was filled with sweet odors and divers kinds of spices prepared by the apothecaries’ are: and they made a very great burning for him.

Jehoshaphat
1 Kings 22:50
50 And Jehoshaphat slept with his fathers, and was buried with his fathers in the city of David his father: and Jehoram his son reigned in his stead.
2 Chronicles 21:1
1 Now Jehoshaphat slept with his fathers, and was buried with his fathers in the city of David. And Jehoram his son reigned in his stead.

Ahaziah
2 Kings 9:27,28
27 But when Ahaziah the king of Judah saw this, he fled by the way of the garden house. And Jehu followed after him, and said, Smite him also in the chariot. And they did so at the going up to Gur, which is by Ibleam. And he fled to Megiddo, and died there.
28 And his servants carried him in a chariot to Jerusalem, and buried him in his sepulcher with his fathers in the city of David.
2 Chronicles 22:9
9 And he sought Ahaziah: and they caught him, (for he was hid in Samaria,) and brought him to Jehu: and when they had slain him, they buried him: Because, said they, he is the son of Jehoshaphat, who sought the LORD with all his heart. So the house of Ahaziah had no power to keep still the kingdom.

Amaziah
2 Kings 14:18-20
18 And the rest of the acts of Amaziah, are they not written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Judah?
19 Now they made a conspiracy against him in Jerusalem: and he fled to Lachish; but they sent after him to Lachish, and slew him there.
20 And they brought him on horses: and he was buried at Jerusalem with his fathers in the city of David.
2 Chronicles 25:27,28
27 Now after the time that Amaziah did turn away from following the LORD they made a conspiracy against him in Jerusalem; and he fled to Lachish: but they sent to Lachish after him, and slew him there.
28 And they brought him on horses, and buried him with his fathers in the city of Judah.

Jotham
2 Kings 15:38
38 And Jotham slept with his fathers, and was buried with his fathers in the city of David his father: and Ahaz his son reigned in his stead.
2 Chronicles 27:9
9 And Jotham slept with his fathers, and they buried him in the city of David: and Ahaz his son reigned in his stead.

Hezekiah
2 Chronicles 32:33
33 And Hezekiah slept with his fathers, and they buried him in the most chief of the sepulchers of the sons of David: and all Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem did him honor at his death. And Manasseh his son reigned in his stead.

Jehoida 
2 Chronicles 24:16
15 But Jehoiada waxed old, and was full of days when he died; an hundred and thirty years old was he when he died.
16 And they buried him in the city of David among the kings, because he had done good in Israel, both toward God, and toward his house.


Not in the sepulchers of the kings – Jerusalem : Joram/Jehoram, Joash, Ahaz, Azariah/Uzziah

Joram/Jehoram
2 Kings 8:24
24 And Joram slept with his fathers, and was buried with his fathers in the city of David: and Ahaziah his son reigned in his stead.
2 Chronicles 21:19,20
19 And it came to pass, that in process of time, after the end of two years, his bowels fell out by reason of his sickness: so he died of sore diseases. And his people made no burning for him, like the burning of his fathers.
20 Thirty and two years old was he when he began to reign, and he reigned in Jerusalem eight years, and departed without being desired. However, they buried him in the city of David, but not in the sepulchers of the kings.

Joash
2 Kings 12:21
21 For Jozachar the son of Shimeath, and Jehozabad the son of Shomer, his servants, smote him, and he died; and they buried him with his fathers in the city of David: and Amaziah his son reigned in his stead.
2 Chronicles 24:25
25 And when they were departed from him, (for they left him in great diseases,) his own servants conspired against him for the blood of the sons of Jehoiada the priest, and slew him on his bed, and he died: and they buried him in the city of David, but they buried him not in the sepulchers of the kings.

Ahaz
2 Kings 16:20
20 And Ahaz slept with his fathers, and was buried with his fathers in the city of David: and Hezekiah his son reigned in his stead.
2 Chronicles 28:27
27 And Ahaz slept with his fathers, and they buried him in the city, even in Jerusalem: but they brought him not into the sepulchers of the kings of Israel: and Hezekiah his son reigned in his stead.

Azariah/Uzziah
2 Kings 15:7
7 So Azariah slept with his fathers; and they buried him with his fathers in the city of David: and Jotham his son reigned in his stead.
2 Chronicles 26:23
23 So Uzziah slept with his fathers, and they buried him with his fathers in the field of the burial which belonged to the kings; for they said, He is a leper: and Jotham his son reigned in his stead.


Garden of Uzza – Jerusalem : Manasseh, Amon, Josiah

Manasseh
2 Kings 21:18
18 And Manasseh slept with his fathers, and was buried in the garden of his own house, in the garden of Uzza: and Amon his son reigned in his stead.
2 Chronicles 33:20
20 So Manasseh slept with his fathers, and they buried him in his own house: and Amon his son reigned in his stead.

Amon
2 Kings 21:25-26
25 Now the rest of the acts of Amon which he did, are they not written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Judah?
26 And he was buried in his sepulcher in the garden of Uzza: and Josiah his son reigned in his stead.

Josiah
2 Kings 23:29,30
29 In his days Pharaohnechoh king of Egypt went up against the king of Assyria to the river Euphrates: and king Josiah went against him; and he slew him at Megiddo, when he had seen him.
30 And his servants carried him in a chariot dead from Megiddo, and brought him to Jerusalem, and buried him in his own sepulcher.
2 Chronicles 35:23,24
23 And the archers shot at king Josiah; and the king said to his servants, Have me away; for I am sore wounded.
24 His servants therefore took him out of that chariot, and put him in the second chariot that he had; and they brought him to Jerusalem, and he died, and was buried in one of the sepulchers of his fathers. And all Judah and Jerusalem mourned for Josiah.


Tirzah : Baasha

Baasha
1 Kings 16:6
6 So Baasha slept with his fathers, and was buried in Tirzah: and Elah his son reigned in his stead.

Tirzah – West Bank, Palestine
When Omri became king, the capital of Israel was based at Tirzah and he reigned there for six years before establishing his capital at Samaria. Tirzah was a town in the Samarian highlands northeast of Shechem and it is generally identified with the site of Tell el-Far’ah (North) northeast of Nablus, in what is currently known as the West Bank.

Tirzah

Aerial view of Tirzah – Israel’s first capital


Samaria – Israel: The kings of Israel

Omri
1 Kings 16:28
28 So Omri slept with his fathers, and was buried in Samaria: and Ahab his son reigned in his stead.

Ahab
1 Kings 22:37,40
37 So the king died, and was brought to Samaria; and they buried the king in Samaria.
40 So Ahab slept with his fathers; and Ahaziah his son reigned in his stead.

Jehu
2 Kings 10:35
35 And Jehu slept with his fathers: and they buried him in Samaria. And Jehoahaz his son reigned in his stead.

Jehoahaz
2 Kings 13:9
9 And Jehoahaz slept with his fathers; and they buried him in Samaria: and Joash his son reigned in his stead.

Joash
2 Kings 13:13
13 And Joash slept with his fathers; and Jeroboam sat on his throne: and Joash was buried in Samaria with the kings of Israel.

Jehoash
2 Kings 14:16
16 And Jehoash slept with his fathers, and was buried in Samaria with the kings of Israel; and Jeroboam his son reigned in his stead.

Jeroboam
2 Kings 14:29
29 And Jeroboam slept with his fathers, even with the kings of Israel; and Zachariah his son reigned in his stead.

Samaria – West Bank, Palestine
Samaria was Israel’s greatest capital city and was established by Omri – Ahab’s father. Only the acropolis of Samaria has been extensively excavated and the palace was recognized as the Palace of Omri. In 1908, Harvard University archaeologists began excavating this site and they immediately recognized the significance of a palatial structure atop a man-made, 13-foot-high rock-cut scarp. In 2007, University of Haifa researcher Norma Franklin re-investigated the already neglected site to discover two forgotten tombs of the Israelite kings. Despite the site’s impressive remains and sacred value to Jewish, Muslim and Christian visitors, the Associated Press recently reported that the Biblical capital is marred with weeds, graffiti and garbage. The area is part of a National Park and it is recognized as being of immense archaeological importance.

Samaria

Omri’s palace remains at Samaria

READ PART 1 HERE

– By SAP for almondtreerod.com

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