Mount of Olives, Jerualem.
At the top of the Mount of Olives at the beginning of the Triumphal Entry descent. Right beneath the popular viewing terrace of Old City Jerusalem.
All yaer Mon-Thu 9-15.
Adults NIS 5.
|Incandescent Electric Light System
Gideon Avni, Boaz Zissu (2015):
The “Tombs of the Prophets” on the Mount of Olives,
In: Viewing Ancient Jewish Art and Archaeology, Chapter 2, pp. 16–32.
Brill, 2016, E-Book ISBN: 9789004306592.
|Tomb of the Prophets, Mount of Olives, Jerusalem.
|As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
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|site purchased by Archimandrite Antonine for the Russian Orthodox Church.
מערת הנביאים, the Tomb of the Prophets, is located on the upper western slope of the Mount of Olives, Jerusalem. According to a medieval Jewish tradition this is the burial place of Haggai, Zechariah and Malachi. The last three Hebrew Bible prophets are believed to have lived during the 6th-5th century BC.
The grave has a central circular chamber called rotunda, surrounded by two semi-circular passages on the southern side. As they have different centers, they cross each other. There are three radial passages from the rotunda which run to the east, west, and south, not exactly but almost. From the outer passage 38 burial niches protrude outwards. To the north there are some small chambers and two winding passages. A staircase on the western side, flanked on both sides by a stone balustrade, is the entrance to the tomb.
The site was often visited by the Jews since the Middle Ages. At this time the tradition that Haggai, Zechariah and Malachi were buried here started. Those prophets are believed to have lived during the 6th-5th centuries BC but the grave was built 500 years later, so they were definitely not buried here. This is one more Jerusalem site where Bible, tradition, and reality differ. In 1882 the site was purchased by Archimandrite Antonine for the Russian Orthodox Church. He planned to build a church, but the Jews who visited and worshipped at the cave protested. In 1890 The Ottoman courts ruled that the transaction was binding and the Russian Orthodox Church owner of the site. But they agreed not to display Christian symbols or icons and keep it accessible for people of all faiths.
The site has no regular open hours and is located on private property, as it is still owned by the Russian Orthodox Church. The caretaker living on site allows self-guided visits and even provides candles, the fee is nominal. Nevertheless, we recommend bringing a headlamp.