☼ Exhibit #15: (6) Shiloh in
The City of Shiloh, Shiloh in the Bible
After the conquest of Canaan, Joshua assembled the Israelites
and erected the Tabernacle (Joshua 18:1). Shiloh was established as
the religious center of
, a position it held throughout the period of the judges. Its location
is described in the Bible as “Shiloh,
to the north of
, and east of the road that goes from
to Shechem, and to the south of Lebonah” (Judges 21:19).
In the days of Eli and Samuel, the Ark of the Covenant was
taken from Shiloh to Ebenezer, where
battled the Philistines (1 Samuel 4:1–4).
was defeated, and the Philistines captured the
It was displayed in a tour of Philistine cities, unleashing a plague
at each. When the Philistines returned the
, it ended up at Kiriath-Jearim (1 Samuel 7:1–2). It was never
. No explanation is given as to why it was not returned to the
religious center, though many conclude from 1 Samuel 4:1-22 that
must have been destroyed at this time.
The site of Shiloh was still known in the Middle Ages; in the
nineteenth century it was identified as Khirbet Seilun, 20 miles north
. The mound covers 12 acres, and contains the remains of
. The later towns were situated on the southern slope of the mound.
(modern Seilun) was excavated by Danish archaeologists in four stages,
during the period 1926–1963. In the early 1980s, Israel Finkelstein
returned to excavate and reevaluate their findings. His excavation
confirmed an earlier conclusion of the Danes, that
had been destroyed by fire perhaps in 1050 BC.
Though the Bible does not record the event,
’s religious center was destroyed apparently when the
had been taken from it, making the return of the