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Shiloh was centrally located in Palestine, a city in Mount Ephraim and its location is described in the Bible as "a place which is on the north side of Bethel, on the east side of the highway that goes up from Bethel to Shechem, and on the south of Lebonah" (Judg 21:19). After the conquest of Israel under Joshua, Shiloh became a religious centre and an Assembly-place for the tribes, and the Tabernacle of Moses was set up there (Josh 18:1). Joshua also allotted territories for the tribes at Shiloh (Josh 18: 2-10). Eli and his sons ministered at the House of God in Shiloh (Judg 18: 31), and God also appeared to Samuel at Shiloh (I Sam 1: 9; 3: 1 ff). In the midst of a war against the Philistines at Ebenezer the Ark of the Covenant was brought from Shiloh into the battlefield and fell into the hands of the enemy (I Sam 4: 1-5; 5: 1). When the Philistines brought back the Ark to Israel it was not set up again at Shiloh (1 Sam 6:21-7:2). Ahijah, who prophesied that he would rule over the ten tribes, came from Shiloh (I Kings 11: 29-31). When the Jews returned from Babylon, the men of Shiloh were among them (Neh 11: 5). During the Roman times the city existed under the same name, and this continued in Byzantine periods.
The site is identified with Khirbet Seilun, about 20 miles N of Jerusalem. The mound is about 12 acres, and contains many of the remains of the biblical Shiloh. The word Shiloh has always been understood in Rabbiinic Judaism as referring to the Messiah because of Jacob's blessing of the tribe of Judah "until Shiloh comes" (Genesis 49: 10).
The many findings at the site attest to archaeology's ability to supplement information contained in the biblical account.
Josh. 18:1 ff; 18:10; Judg. 18:31; 21:19; 1 Sam. 1:3 ff; 1 Kgs. 14:2 ff; Ps. 78:60; Jer. 7:12.
Maps are essential for any serious Bible study, they help students of the Scriptures understand the geographical locations and historical backgrounds of the places mentioned in the Bible.
Map of NT Israel (Click to Enlarge)
Israel in the First Century
Map of Israel (First Century AD)