Places of Section 6

Mountain of Judah and Shephelah

78. Arbo, also the Terebinth. The Oak of Mambre - (Ramat al- Khalil)

Below the fragmented black and red inscription there are three elements. Abraham's holy oak or terebinth is in the middle. On the right is a partial church that probably doesn't belong to the complex. On the left the basilica is close to a two-storey edifice, probably the monastery or the interior of the sanctuary.

Arbo (Gen 23:2). In our codices it is written in a corrupted form, 'Arboc', while the Hebrew text reads 'Arba', that is, 'four', because the three patriarchs, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob are buried there, as well as 'the great Adam', as is written in the Book of Joshua (Jos 14:15), although some suppose that he is buried on the Calvary. 'That is Hebron', today a large village, in ancient times one of the main cities of the Philistines [Eusebius: 'the aliens', i.e. the Cannanites in general] and a dwelling place of giants, and later royal seat of David. It fell into the lot of the tribe of Judah, and was a priestly city and one of the cities of refuge. It is south of Jerusalem at a distance of about 20 [22] miles. (Eusebius, Onomasticon 6:8-12; Jerome 7:18-24; see also 77:1-5)

The oak of Abraham, also called Mambre, could be seen standing until the reign of Constantius, and the tomb of the same is visible to this day and while a church has been erected there by our people, the place of the oak is [greatly] venerated by all the pagan population around, because under it Abraham gave hospitality to the angels. At first the place was called Arbe, and later it was named Hebron after Hebron, one of the sons of Caleb, as we read in the Chronicles. (1Chron 2:42). (Eusebius, Onomasticon 6:12-16; Jerome 7:18-24)

Map Section 6 Ancient Sources Discussion

Photo: Ruins of the sacred precinct at Mambre.

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Created Saturday, December 16, 2000 at 10:24:54
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