Herod's tomb of the patriarchs at Hebron (center) 
which later became a Muslim shrine


Pre-Davidic center of the tribe of Judah & reputed site of the tombs of all the Hebrew patriarchs & their wives (except Rachel). It was David's first capitol until the conquest of Jerusalem. Herod erected a massive 160' x 90' shrine for the patriarchs there, whose outer wall (minus the marble & gold), still provides an excellent example of the type of Herodian construction that was later used to expand & renovate the temple in Jerusalem.

References: Josephus, Antiquities 1.237, 256, 345;
                                                        2.1, 196-199;
                                                        7.7, 19, 24, 31-36, 53-65, 389
                   _____, War 4.529-533, 554.

For further information about archaeological & historical evidence, see:

  • Rousseau, John J. & Rami Arav. Jesus & His World. (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 1995), p. 123.

Other resources on line:

Perspective on the World of Jesus

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