History

Jewish presence in Hebron dates back over 3,800 years. The Bible elaborately relates Abraham's purchase of the field and cave of Machpela. This is the first Jewish acquisition in the land of Israel. The founders of the Jewish nation are buried here.

Around 2,00 years ago, Herod, king of Judea, built the structure atop the cave complex - the only intact building from that era. The 1st century Jewish historian Josephus Flavius describes the marble cenotaphs (memorial grave markers) within. In the 6th century, the Byzantines established a church in the eastern part of the structure and during the 7th century Arab conquest, the church was turned into a mosque. Staring in the year 1267, the Muslim rulers barred entry of Jews and Christians into the building. In the wake of the Jordanian occupation of 1948, Jews were banned from entering Hebron altogether. After Hebron's liberation in 1967, the site was opened to all.

History Topics

History Calendar

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