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Lenten Journaling in Community- #1

Tel Shiloh- 2

Shiloh was the ancient city in Samaria 
from the Old Testament and located today
 in the West Bank- 10 miles north of Bethel.
Shiloh was the major Israelite worship center 
before the first Temple was built in Jerusalem.

Long before the advent of the Israelites, 
Shiloh was a walled city with a religious shrine or sanctuary 
during Middle and Late  Bronze Age Canaan. 
When the Israelites arrived in the land, 
they set up there the ancient wilderness tent shrine. 
There Joshua and  Eleazar divided the land among the tribes
who had not yet received their allocation  Joshua 18:1-10.
 and dealt with the allocation of cities 
to the Levites- Joshua 21:1-8.
Subsequently, Shiloh became one of the leading
 religious shrines in ancient Israel, 
a status it held until shortly 
before David's elevation of  Jerusalem.
(photo from The Holy Land by John Beck)

Shiloh is connected to the stories 
of Joshua, Hannah, Samuel and Eli.
Though it might be challenging to picture
 this from the ruins today, it was a significant site.
Shiloh was one of the main centers of Israelite worship 
 by virtue of the presence 
there of the Tent Tabernacle and Ark of the Covenant. 
The people made Pilgrimages there for major feasts and sacrifices, 
and Judges 21 records the place 
as the site of an annual dance of maidens among the vineyards.
Beautiful vineyards 
still surround the excavated location.
Later history is told in the Byzantine churches.

This inscription is significant 
as it mentions the site as Shiloh.

The recently uncovered mosaics
(some  2013)
 are a beautiful reminder of the artistry here.
The Ark of the Covenant was here 
and was lost to the Philistines.
Eli mismanaged his family 
and lost the heritage of faithfulness
 in his worthless sons.
But, in this very place-
God met His people
and brought to them His presence.
God still seeks to be present with us
 in our everyday lives.
A map to help locate Shiloh.Videos and teaching materials here are helpful.
There is a significant plan
 to build an event center here.
There was no set up of the Tabernacle
 during our visit in January 2020 but are told 
that is part of a summer visit.
It seems like there is also significant updates
 for parts of the exhibit. 
Media centers are good and helpful.
(You need to tell them at the visitors center 
to play the movie in English and they give you a time for that.)


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Lenten Journaling in Community- #1

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