During the midst of the allocation of the land to the various tribes of Israel, all of them gathered at Shiloh (Shilo) and set up the tent of meeting or tabernacle (Hebrew mishkan) (Joshua 18:1), which is also called the house of God in Joshua 18:31. Here they made the final division of the land (Joshua 18:8-10).
Then the whole congregation of the people of Israel assembled at Shiloh and set up the tent of meeting there. The land lay subdued before them. (Joshua 18:1 ESV)
Several Israeli newspapers are reporting a brief notice that archaeologists have discovered holes in the ground at Shiloh which could have held the beams of the Tabernacle. The account in Israel Hayom (Tuesday July 2) is found here.
The findings, which will be presented at a conference of the Shiloh Association scheduled to take place this week in ancient Shiloh, include the discovery of holes carved into the ground which could have held the beams of a temporary structure.
I have visited Tel Shiloh three times in the past five years. The area where the tabernacle is thought to have stood looked this way in May of this year. It was difficult to see what archaeological work was being done. Some of the area looked more like reconstruction.
Area where the tabernacle is thought to have stood. Photo by Ferrell Jenkins, May 2013.
Below is a photo of the tabernacle in the wilderness in the park at Timna, a few miles north of Eilat.
The tabernacle in the wilderness at Timna. Photo by Ferrell Jenkins.
We await more information.
There is a web site devoted to Tel Shiloh, but it needs to be updated.
HT: Joseph I. Lauer
When the tabernacle (the temple of the LORD, 1 Samuel 1:9; the house of the LORD, 1 Samuel 1:24) was at Shiloh, the priests became corrupt. First Samuel 2 recounts the practices of the wicked sons of Eli.
The custom of the priests with the people was that when any man offered sacrifice, the priest’s servant would come, while the meat was boiling, with a three-pronged fork in his hand, 14 and he would thrust it into the pan or kettle or cauldron or pot. All that the fork brought up the priest would take for himself. This is what they did at Shiloh to all the Israelites who came there. (1 Samuel 2:13-14 ESV)
Three-pronged forks, like the one mentioned in this text have been found at a number of archaeological sites where sacrifices were offered by the Canaanites to their gods. The trident pictured here is from Akko (Acco), and is said to date to the 14th-13th century B.C. It appears to have had a wooden handle that would fit into it.
Bronze trident and tongs from Akko (14th-13th Century B.C. Israel Museum. Photo by Ferrell Jenkins.
For more information about Shiloh and the biblical events that took place there, see here.
The Bible, both Old Testament and New Testament, makes it clear that God’s people often depart from God’s way. There are numerous exhortation for His people who walk in the old paths.
This scene showing two paths at the site of biblical Shiloh reminded me of the Lord’s plea through the prophet Jeremiah in the days of the Babylonian threat against Jerusalem and Judah. The tabernacle was located at Shiloh for many years after Israel entered the land of Canaan. I was just reading the first few chapters of 1 Samuel that tell of Samuel living there during his early years.
Two paths at Shiloh. Photo by Ferrell Jenkins.
Thus says the LORD: “Stand by the roads, and look, and ask for the ancient paths, where the good way is; and walk in it, and find rest for your souls. But they said, ‘We will not walk in it.’ (Jeremiah 6:16)
To ask for the ancient path means to respect the revealed word of the Lord and follow it. This thought is similar to the teaching of Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 7:13-14).