Shiloh was the first permanent tabernacle location for the tribes of Israel after they entered the land of Israel. The area was isolated, secure but also accessible to all the tribes for the three major feasts.
Of course, the tabernacle was designed by God and He instructed Moses to lead in the construction of this mobile worship tent. After man's fall, God would once again be dwelling with His people. The tabernacle was assembled and packed-up and moved to various locations for 40 years during their wilderness wanderings.
When Joshua led Israel across the Jordan, into the Promised Land, the Tabernacle was set up for an extended, but still, temporary, location in Gilgal for 14 years.
Then, it was moved to its permanent home in Shiloh.
Shiloh means "a gift from God" or "peaceful one."
Shiloh remained the home of the Tabernacle (or the "Tent of meeting") for 369 years! The land was allotted to Ephriam, but of course Levites lived there to attend to the ministry of the tabernacle. The other tribes would show up for, at least, the three annual feasts. They would all camp out on the hills facing the tabernacle.
Pottery and other items have been discovered on all these hills. In fact, some of our group were able to find some pieces of pottery to bring home.
Those 369 years of the Tabernacle being in Shiloh take place in Joshua, Judges and I Samuel. Eli was the High Priest in those days. His sons were wicked and Eli evidently did not rebuke or confront them. The people of Israel in many of those years "did what right in their own eyes." Consequently, many no longer made the trip to Shiloh a priority. Hannah, came to Shiloh to pray for a child because she was barren. She made a vow that if the Lord gave her a child, she would dedicate her child to lifelong ministry in the tabernacle. The Lord heard her prayer and gave her a son and she named him Samuel. He recieved a message from the Lord that Eli was going to be judged because his sons were wicked yet he had not rebuked them.
Near that time, the Philistines attacked Israel again. They had an idea. Like Joshua at the Battle of Jericho, they thought that if they took the Ark of the Covenant out to battle with them, it would cause them to defeat the Philistines. It backfired. Israel was defeated, thousands died, and the ark of the covenant was taken. Upon hearing this news, Eli fell backwards and died. That was the end of Shiloh.
Genesis Land / Abraham's Tent
After visiting Shiloh, we all enjoyed a very unique experience. We went to Genesis Land which is situated in the heart of the Judean desert, on the way to the Dead Sea, in the land where the Patriarchs, like Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob lived. We were able to experience life sort of as it was in biblical times.
We were greeted by Abraham's servant, Eliezer.
We rode camels down to Abraham's tent.
We enjoyed a delicious meal at Abraham's Tent. (Some of us reclined while we ate, just like they would have in the patriarchs day.)
The Upper Room
We finished the day by visiting the traditional site of the Upper Room.
This particular room is definitely not the original room for the last supper and of those gathered at Pentecost. For one, the old city of Jerusalem has been destroyed and rebuilt over 15 times. In addition, the upper room would probablly not have been nearly as ornate as the one pictured above. It was more than likely a very spacious, but modest, room. It was more than likely a large rooftob room. Now while this is not the exact room, it may be the approximate location. First, the upper room was near the kidron valley and the Mount of Olives. This room is. And, it has been the traditional site. Christians, rather early, began regularly visiting sites that were meaningful to them concerning the life and ministry of Christ. This has bee the site for hundreds of years. So, it's probaly either the location, or close.
Talk to you tomorrow from the empty tomb!