Olive oil press at Shiloh

Olive oil press at Shiloh

On my last two tours, Shiloh has been a “highlight” site for many.  Nestled in the heart of the Samaritan (or Ephraim) Hill Country, Shiloh is one of the newest sites now assessable for groups.  Shiloh is where the Tabernacle was located (prior to Solomon’s Temple) for 369 years.  The stories of Hannah and Samuel, Eli, and the Ark of the Covenant being taken by the Philistines (1 Samuel 1-4) are all associated with Shiloh.

The location where the Tabernacle once stood?

The location where the Tabernacle once stood?

Three primary theories have been proposed as to the actual location of the Tabernacle here at Shiloh.  The first theory is is that the Tabernacle was placed just outside of the primary gate of the city. Today there is a flat area that seems large enough for this to be a possibility.  The second theory is that the Tabernacle was placed on an adjacent hill top to the north of the city (incidentally, it could have been on one of these hills where Joshua would have stood, allotting the tribes to Israel). This places the Tabernacle on a mountain peak that looks down to the actual site of Shiloh.  This means from all the valleys and ridges of the area, the Tabernacle was in site in all directions.  The third theory is that the Tabernacle was located on the flat area just below the acropolis of the actual city.  Near this flatten area (also large enough to fit a 150 X 75 foot structure) wine presses have been found.

The following amateur video was taken by a JUC student last year (Jerusalem University College, where I studied for one year, 1981-82). As he explains a little of the Biblical history of Shiloh, the video primarily features the third theory location (as mentioned above) of the Tabernacle.  He does a very nice job describing this specific area of the site.

Where ever the Tabernacle stood for 369, Shiloh as where people went to worship the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. It was the place where God made His dwelling.  Centuries later, the prophet Jeremiah said, “Go now to the place in Shiloh where I first made a dwelling for my Name…” (Jeremiah 7:12).

A visit of Shiloh is now on most of my tour itineraries. Getting to Shiloh includes a beautiful drive through the Samaritan Hill Country.

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