Daily Archives: December 7, 2009

Locating the Philistine city of Ekron

It was a rainy day and we barely stayed ahead of the showers. The overcast sky had some affect on the photos.

We visited Ekron today. I had attempted two other times to visit the site. On both occasions I ran out of time in my search. Today I stopped by Kibbutz Revadim to visit the museum, but soon learned that the museum had been closed. One person told me it had been moved to Ashdod. Another said she did not know if it would open again. A lady at the Kibbutz office gave us a map and some instruction about how to reach the tel. It involves driving about 4 to 5 miles on dirt roads through fields. It is certainly among the places most difficult to locate.

The photo below is made on the tel. The field is in the middle of the tel. The mound you see is the acropolis of the city. I understood the lady at the Kibbuz to say that the inscription identifying the site as Ekron was found in this area.

The Acropolis of Ekron. Photo by Ferrell Jenkins 2009.

The Acropolis of Ekron. Photo by Ferrell Jenkins 2009.

My time is limited while traveling, so I am copying a few words from Dothan and Gittin, excavators of Ekron, to describe the site.

Ekron is identified with Tel Miqne (Khirbet el-Muqanna … 35 km SW of Jerusalem and 4.5 km E of Kibbutz Revadim. The tel is situated on the W edge of the inner Coastal Plain, the natural and historical frontier zone that separated Philistia and Judah, overlooking the ancient network of highways leading NE from ASHDOD to GEZER and inland via the Nahal Soreq to BETH-SHEMESH. One of the largest Iron Age sites in Israel, Tel Miqne is composed of a 40-acre lower tel and a 10-acre upper tel…. The lower tel is flat, almost square, and at its N end has a 2.5-acre mound-shaped acropolis. A 10-acre settlement exists off its NW slope. The tel’s low profile rises 108.25 m above sea level, only 7 m above the surrounding plain. The true height of the tel is masked by a heavy buildup at its base of post-Byzantine alluvium from the downflow of the Nahal Soreq. (Anchor Bible Dictionary)

Ekron was noted for the olive press installations in the area. The photo below shows two of the vats and one of the stone pans for collecting the oil as it is being pressed. Except for the portion of the tel that has been cultivated, the site is overgrown with weeds.

Olive press installation at Ekron. Photo by Ferrell Jenkins 2009.

Olive press installation at Ekron. Photo by Ferrell Jenkins 2009.

Ekron was one of the five important cities of the Philistines in Bible times (1 Samuel 6:17). The ark of the covenant resided at the city for a short time.

So they sent the ark of God to Ekron. And as the ark of God came to Ekron the Ekronites cried out, saying, “They have brought the ark of the God of Israel around to us, to kill us and our people.” (1 Samuel 5:10).