The Cannanite and Israeli Period
The site of ancient Shiloh, a city in the Ephraim hill-country and the amphictyonic capital of Israel in the time of the Judges, is situated north of Beth-El, east of the Beth El-Shechem highway (Judg. 21:19). Shiloh is mentioned in the Bible as an assembly place for the people of Israel where there was a sanctuary (Tabernacle-Mishkan) containing the Ark of the Covenant until it was taken by the Philistines. The Tabernacle rested at Shiloh for 369 years.
On the northern platau extension of the tel , stood, in all probability, the Tabernacle during the period of the Israelite settlement and the Judges. It was built with stone walls and its roof was covered with skins.
The Tabernacle Place
Shiloh was the center of Israelite worship. During one religious celebration, the daughters of the city danced in the vineyards, an occasion used by the Benjamites, who could not get wives in any way except by abducting them (see Judg. 21).
Archaeological excavations have shown that the place was already settled in about the 19th-18th centuries B.C. (Middle Bronze Age); however, it is not mentioned in any pre-biblical source. There is a tel and many impressive remains from the Caananite and Israelite eras, until the 8th century B.C. During the following 12 centuries Shiloh is solely noted as a station on sojourners’ routes, usually having only its religious-historical significance to offer.
A Judaea Amphora found in the Holy-land
For more Details click on the image
The Christian Period
St. Jerome, in his letter to Paula and Eustochius, dated about 392-393, writes: “With Christ at our side we shall pass through Shiloh and Bethel ” (Ep.46,13, PL 22, 492). Shiloh assumed messianic attachment amongst Christians due to the verse (Genesis 49:10) – “The scepter shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh come, and unto him shall the gathering of the people be.” Shiloh was taken to refer to Jesus.
Byzantine Basilicas (~ 600 A.D.)
The Mosaic floor
A Byzantine Bronze Follis
The Byzantine Basilicas ( ~400 A.D.)
The structure discovered recently lies under a Muslim free-standing structure known as Walli Yetaim.
The Mosaic floor
The mosaic contains geometric designs, a cross, flora representations and three inscriptions, one, a dedication of a bench, the second, a salute to the residents of Seilun and the third, a general wish for good tidings.
The Greek Inscription – “salute to the residents of Seilun “
A Byzantine Bronze Cross
The Moslem Period
In 638 the Moslems conquered the area. Moslem pilgrims to Shiloh mention a mosque called es-Sekineh where the memory of Jacob’s and Joseph’s deeds was revered.
The Moslem Mosque
Shalom for all.