Evidence of Shiloh’s Destruction Gone Missing

Bible and archaeology news

This recently-discovered pottery from Shiloh, related to the Philistine destruction of the early Israelite capital, was stolen from the site.

Early last week, Arutz Sheva ( reported that archaeologists had uncovered a broken pottery vessel and ashes suggesting large-scale destruction at Biblical Shiloh, the Israelite capital for over three centuries before the Temple was built in Jerusalem. One week later, however, the vase went missing. Archaeologists excavating the site have filed a complaint of the theft with the Israeli police, and hope that it is returned soon. The Israelite defeat at Aphek and subsequent loss of the Ark of the Covenant to the Philistines in the First Book of Samuel is related to destruction of Shiloh elsewhere in the Hebrew Bible. In the BAR article “Shiloh Yields Some, But Not All, of Its Secrets,” Israel Finkelstein writes, “After defeating the Israelites, the Philistines apparently took advantage of their victory to press on up to the hills and burn Shiloh to the ground. The Bible does not explicitly report the destruction of Shiloh, but the fiery end is alluded to a number of times in the Book of Jeremiah (Jeremiah 7:12–14, 26:6, 26:9) and in Psalms (78:60). Hundreds of years after the Philistine destruction of Shiloh, the prophet warns the people in the name of the Lord

Just go to My place at Shiloh, where I had established my name formerly, and see what I did to it because of the wickedness of My people Israel … Therefore I will do to the House which bears My name, on which you rely, and to the place which I gave you and your fathers just what I did to Shiloh

(Jeremiah 7:12, 14).
Read more about the theft of the recently discovered vessel from Shiloh.
BAS Library Members, read Israel Finkelstein’s “Shiloh Yields Some, But Not All, of Its Secrets” as it appeared in Biblical Archaeology Review.

2 Responses

  1. Avery says:

    This would be a strange story to make up, even for Judea and Samaria.

  2. Tom says:

    It is troubling to see you relying on Arutz Sheva as a news source. They are practice journalism only in the very loosest sense of the word — see their entry on Wikipedia. As the highly ideological mouthpiece of the settler movement in the Occupied Territories, they are of course very interested in the Shiloh site, which is controlled by their people and being excavated by a department of the Israeli army.

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