Biblical Tel Kiriath Jearim Excavation
Kiriath Jearim – Where the Ark of the Covenant Rested
Per a recent article in the Times of Israel, archaeologists plan to excavate the ancient site of Kiryat Ye’arim (transliterated Kiriath Jearim), one of the few biblical tels left in the Jerusalem hills which hasn’t been systematically studied. Mentioned over a dozen times in the bible, Kiryat Ye’arim is located about 7 miles west of the Old City of Jerusalem. It is the site, according to the Bible, where the Ark of the Covenant rested for 2 decades after it was returned by the Philistines to the Israelites. Later, King David brought the Ark to Jerusalem (1 Chronicles 13:5-8).
Largely bare, the mound is one of the largest in the Judean highlands. On the tel’s summit is the Monastery of the Ark of the Covenant, built in 1924, which sits atop the ruins of a 5th century Byzantine church. Tradition has it that this is the site of the house of Abinadab (1 Samuel 7:1-2). According to Tel Aviv University’s Israel Finkelstein, the dig will concentrate on studying this area.
Researchers hope the excavation will provide insight into the site’s importance during the Iron Age (For the Levant 1200 BC – 500 BC), the period associated with King David and King Solomon. It will be very exciting to see what this dig reveals. The excavation season begins August 7, 2017 and runs to September 1, 2017. Learn more by visiting the Shumis Family Excavations at Kiriath Jearim.
Kiriath Jearim in the Bible
Joshua 9:17 – Kiriath Jearim was mentioned to be a Hivite city and associated with the Gibeonites.
Joshua 15:9 – Kiriath Jearim identified the border between the tribes of Judah and Benjamin.
Nehemiah 7:29 – Among the Jewish exiles who returned to Judea with Zerubbabel were descendants from Kiriath Jearim.