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The Tomb of the Prophets

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Climb Into the Tombs of the Prophets

Location – The Mount of Olives, at the top of Palm Sunday Road

Map Coordinates - 31.776691, 35.243157

In the picture above I am kneeling inside the so-called tomb of the prophet Zechariah.

The Tombs of the Prophets is a site on the Mount of Olives that a medieval Jewish tradition identifies as the tombs of the prophets Haggai, Zechariah, and Malachi, who lived in the 6th-5th centuries BC. Both Jews and Christians venerate the site as the tombs of these prophets, whose writings are the last three books of the Old Testament.

The catacomb has an unusual plan, with a central circular chamber and radiating fan-shaped corridors leading to the burial places. The chamber forms two concentric passages.

This is actually an ancient cistern that became a catacomb, part of a pre-135 AD Jewish cemetery. Inscriptions above the burial places show that the tombs were also used for the burial of foreign Christians in the 4th and 5th centuries.

The tomb of Zechariah cannot be authentic, because it is a deep kokhim shaft, a style which came into use only in the 1st century BC.

Looking down into the tomb of Malachi. You can see a burial bench on the left.

However, the tomb of Malachi is altogether different. This is a bench-type tomb in a large dedicated burial chamber. While this does not prove that Malachi was buried here, it does lend support to the notion that this tomb could have been the first tomb built on this site, perhaps for the last prophet of the Old Testament.

Here I am sitting on the burial bench in the tomb of Malachi. This tomb was obviously built for someone important, and not just an anonymous visitor who died while on a pilgrimage to Jerusalem.

The Tomb of the Prophets Map.

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