Archaeologists may be close to a huge discovery at what was once the ancient Biblical city of Shiloh. It’s where Joshua divided the Promised Land between Israel’s 12 tribes; where Hannah prayed for a son who became the prophet Samuel; and where the Tabernacle of the Lord stood for nearly 400 years.
The director of the excavation site Dr. Scott Stripling told CBN News it’s also where: “Eli the high priest at the time was in the gate of Shiloh when he gets the news that the Ark of the Covenant has been captured by the Philistines and that his sons have been killed. He falls over backward and dies in the gate.”
He believes his team has now discovered that gate: “We thought that we had a monumental building here from the period of the Tabernacle. We’ve come way down, five metres or so, maybe six metres in some places, and so now we can see the various structures that are here, and indeed we can now say that this is very likely the gate that’s referred to in the Bible, and that’s pretty big stuff.”
In regards to that ‘monumental building,’ CBN News asked Dr. Stripling if he believed they’d actually found the Tabernacle. He answered: “I’m not ready to say I know for certain, but I’ll tell you what we do have is a building that is matching the dimensions of the Tabernacle. It’s from the Iron One Period, which is the Tabernacle period of Eli and Samuel. This entire area is this massive, monumental building. It orients east-west and it’s divided on a 2:1 ratio, just like the Tabernacle was.” Dr. Stripling explained.
The head of the dig showed the CBN News team where the locations for the Holy of Holies and the Ark of the Covenant would have been if the archaeologists are correct in their theory. Dr. Stripling gave them a guided tour of the site, describing how at the time: “Jerusalem remained a pagan city for another 300 years. The Ark is here. The Tabernacle is here, and this is where you came to connect with God.”
“What I take from this is that God did something in history. He recorded it for us in the Bible. We have evidence of it here. One of the great things about our faith is that you can question it. You know, God’s ego isn’t bruised. People have questions. Express those, and I would just invite people to look at that evidence, and if they’ve bought into the idea that the Bible’s mythology or it’s not historical, I would encourage them to look at what we’re finding here at Shiloh. Read the text, pray about it, decide for themselves. This is where the Bible comes to life. We don’t just walk the Bible. We dig the Bible here at Ancient Shiloh,” Dr. Stripling proclaimed.
The excavation site in Samaria or what’s commonly known outside Israel as the West Bank, is the biggest annual dig in the Holy Land. It’s been going on and off for decades and has just been completed for another year. So it could still be years before Dr. Stripling can confirm that his team have indeed discovered the Biblical Tabernacle.