Tombs of the Prophets

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Tomb of the Prophets Places of Interest

Places of Interest

Tombs of the Prophets

 

Location

 

1. The Tomb of the Prophets is located at the top of the Mount of Olives at the beginning of the Triumphal Entry descent.

 

2. Just above it is a popular viewing terrace of Old City Jerusalem.

 

Historical Background

 

1. The site has 26 burial niches and two adjoining burial caves.

 

2. According to medieval Jewish tradition, the tombs are those of the prophets Haggai, Zechariah, and Malachi, who lived in the 6th and 5th centuries BC. 

 

3. Haggai, Zechariah, and Malachi are the last books of the Old Testament.

 

4. Both Jews and Christians venerate the site as the tombs of these prophets. However, some dispute the authenticity of the tombs as being those of the prophets. 

5. Inscriptions indicate that the site was also used for the burial of Christians in the Byzantine period. 

 

6. The property is owned by the Russian Orthodox church but is overseen by a local Arab who lives on top of the tomb.

 

Places of Interest

 

1. The tombs of the prophets

 

2. Mount of Olives

 

3. Viewing terrace above the tombs

 

4. Triumphal Entry path

 

5. Old City Jerusalem

 

The Role of the Prophets in the Bible

 

1. A prophet was someone called by God to communicate a needed message to God’s people or surrounding nations. 

 

2. Prophets were also called seers because God gave them a special ability to discern and know the future.
1 Samuel 9:9: Formerly in Israel, when a man went to inquire of God, he used to say, “Come, and let us go to the seer”; for he who is called a prophet now was formerly called a seer. 

 

3. The prophet had two roles: (1) to speak forth God’s truth, and (2) to predict the future.

 

4. A prophet was to deliver God’s message accurately and responsibly, and if they didn’t, they were held accountable.
Ezekiel 33:7–9: Now as for you, son of man, I have appointed you a watchman for the house of Israel; so you will hear a message from My mouth and give them warning from Me. 8 When I say to the wicked, ‘O wicked man, you will surely die,’ and you do not speak to warn the wicked from his way, that wicked man shall die in his iniquity, but his blood I will require from your hand. 9 But if you on your part warn a wicked man to turn from his way and he does not turn from his way, he will die in his iniquity, but you have delivered your life.

 

5. A prophet sometimes had a unique appearance, i.e., Elijah, John the Baptist, etc. 

 

6. A prophet often led a hard life and was generally rejected by those to whom they spoke.
Isaiah 6:8–10: Then I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for Us?” Then I said, “Here am I. Send me!” 9 He said, “Go, and tell this people: ‘Keep on listening, but do not perceive; keep on looking, but do not understand.’ 10 “Render the hearts of this people insensitive, their ears dull, and their eyes dim, otherwise they might see with their eyes, hear with their ears, understand with their hearts, and return and be healed.”

 

7. The prophets came from all kinds of backgrounds, used various methods, and spoke to many different audiences.

 

Faith Lesson from the Role of the Prophets

 

1. Today, we are called to be small “p” prophets who speak God’s Word to those around us like the prophets of old did.

 

2. Like the Old Testament prophets, those to whom we are called to speak often reject and persecute us.

 

3. And like the Old Testament prophets, our lives can be difficult, lonely, and hard for standing up for the truth.

4. We must know God's Word well in order to share it accurately (2 Tim. 2:15).

 

5. We are called to speak the truth in love, but nonetheless, we must speak the truth regardless of how others might receive it.

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