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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Jerusalem, Jerusalem District, Israel — The Middle East
 

Jehoshaphat's Cave

מערת יהושפט

 

مغارة يهوشافاط

 
Jehoshaphat''s Cave Marker image. Click for full size.
By Dale K. Benington, March 13, 2013
1. Jehoshaphat''s Cave Marker
Inscription. This is a burial complex from the Second Temple period. The facade of the cave features the relief of a gable resembling the roof facade of a sacred building. The decorative style is drawn from Hellenistic art, which influenced Jewish burial architecture at the end of the Second Temple period. The complex contains a number of burial niches; the identity of those interred here is not known. The cave's name comes from the identification of this part of the Kidron Valley as the biblical Valley of Jehoshaphat.
 
Location. 31° 46.641′ N, 35° 14.324′ E. Marker is in Jerusalem, Jerusalem District. Marker can be reached from Derech Jericho (National Route 417) just south of Derech HaOfel, on the right when traveling south. Click for map. I used the HMDB.org, Google map feature to help me identify locational information. This marker is located off road, in what I will call a community park area, along a well traveled walkway named Derech HaShiloah. This walkway begins along the west side of the Derech Jericho roadway and drops down into the Kidron Valley. Both the historical marker and the rock cut burial cave that the marker features are located at the base of the Kidron Valley.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Absalom's Tomb (here, next to this marker); Gethsemane
Jehoshaphat''s Cave Marker image. Click for full size.
By Dale K. Benington, March 13, 2013
2. Jehoshaphat''s Cave Marker
View of the historic marker, affixed to the side of a cut stone wall, next to a rock cut burial cave.
(about 210 meters away, measured in a direct line); Ritual Baths and Water Conduits (approx. 0.3 kilometers away); Double Gate Monumental Stairs and Observation Plaza (approx. 0.3 kilometers away); Beit Hatzofeh Lookout (approx. 0.4 kilometers away); Western Wall (approx. 0.4 kilometers away); The Royal Quarter (Area G) (approx. half a kilometer away); The Burnt Room and the House of the Bullae (approx. half a kilometer away). Click for a list of all markers in Jerusalem.
 
More about this marker. The subject of this historical marker is actually an immense, rock cut, late Second Temple Period (Herod to First Jewish Revolt), burial complex, that is located directly behind Absalom's tomb. The burial complex was cut into a limestone escarpment that juts out of the eastern side of the base of the Kidron Valley. There is a rock cut gable over the entrance to this complex that is decorated with floral motifs carved into the stone. The rock cut burial cave contains eight burial chambers which branch off from the entrance.
 
Regarding Jehoshaphat's Cave.
Jehoshaphat's Cave Entrance image. Click for full size.
By Dale K. Benington, March 13, 2013
3. Jehoshaphat's Cave Entrance
View of the entrance to the rock cut burial chambers, just to the left rear of Absalom's Tomb.
According to the Jerusalem Archaeological Park website, "The details of the decoration on the facades of the cave and of the monument represent a mixture of artistic styles borrowed from the Hellenistic, Oriental and Egyptian realms. At the same time, the depiction of human figures, so typical of Hellenistic culture, is absent. This probably reflects the injunction of Jewish law against graven images."
 
Also see . . .
1. Tomb of Avshalom. This is a link to information provided by BibleWalks.com (Submitted on March 23, 2013, by Dale K. Benington of Toledo, Ohio.) 

2. Tombs in the Kidron Valley. This is a link to information provided by a website entitled Jerusalem 101 (Submitted on March 23, 2013, by Dale K. Benington of Toledo, Ohio.) 

3. Jerusalem, the lintel of the entrance to Jehoshaphat Cave in Kidron. This is a link to a photograph provided by Hanan Isachar Photography (Submitted on March 23, 2013, by Dale K. Benington of Toledo, Ohio.) 

4. Site 39: Absalom's Tomb and the Cave of Jehoshaphat. This is a link to information provided by the Jerusalem Archaeological Park. (Submitted on March 24, 2013, by Dale K. Benington of Toledo, Ohio.) 
 
Categories. Cemeteries & Burial SitesMan-Made Features
 
Jehoshaphat's Cave Entrance image. Click for full size.
By Dale K. Benington, March 13, 2013
4. Jehoshaphat's Cave Entrance
Close-up view of the entrance to the rock cut burial chambers, just to the left rear of Absalom's Tomb. Note the gable over the entrance.
Jehoshaphat's Cave Entrance image. Click for full size.
By Dale K. Benington, March 13, 2013
5. Jehoshaphat's Cave Entrance
Close-up view of the gable over the entrance to Jehoshaphat's Cave, which is decorated with floral motifs carved into the stone.
Jehoshaphat's Cave image. Click for full size.
By Dale K. Benington, March 13, 2013
6. Jehoshaphat's Cave
View looking through the gated entrance and directly into the Jehoshaphat's Cave.
Jehoshaphat's Cave image. Click for full size.
By Dale K. Benington, March 13, 2013
7. Jehoshaphat's Cave
View looking through the gated entrance and off to the right into the Jehoshaphat's Cave burial complex.
Tomb of Bnei Hezir image. Click for full size.
By Dale K. Benington, March 13, 2013
8. Tomb of Bnei Hezir
View of the rock cut burial complex (called the Tomb of Bnei Hezir) that is farther along the path, down from the Jehoshaphet Cave tomb complex, along the bed of the Kidron Valley, on the east (left).
The Tomb of Zachariah image. Click for full size.
By Dale K. Benington, March 13, 2013
9. The Tomb of Zachariah
View of the rock cut burial complex (called the Tomb of Zachariah) that is a little farther along the path, down from the Jehoshaphet Cave tomb complex, along the bed of the Kidron Valley, on the east (left).
Absalom's Pillar and Tombs of St. James and Zachariah image. Click for full size.
By American Colony (Jerusalem), Photo Department, circa 1900
10. Absalom's Pillar and Tombs of St. James and Zachariah
Photo courtesy of the US Library of Congress, taken from Catalogue of Photographs made by the American Colony 1898-1914
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Dale K. Benington of Toledo, Ohio. This page has been viewed 659 times since then and 29 times this year. Last updated on . Photos:   1, 2. submitted on , by Dale K. Benington of Toledo, Ohio.   3, 4, 5, 6, 7. submitted on , by Dale K. Benington of Toledo, Ohio.   8, 9. submitted on , by Dale K. Benington of Toledo, Ohio.   10. submitted on . • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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