Tombs of the Prophets

The Tombs of the Prophets is a site on the Mount of Olives that a medieval Jewish tradition identifies as the tombs of the prophets Haggai, Zechariah, and Malachi, who lived in the 6th-5th centuries BC. Both Jews and Christians venerate the site as the tombs of these prophets of the last three books of the Old Testament. Map.

Tombs of the Prophets Map
Tombs of the Prophets Map

However, this cannot be so, since the tombs are kokhim shafts, which came into use only in the 1st century BC. The “Tombs of the Prophets” are actually a catacomb that was part of the pre-135 AD Jewish cemetery. Inscriptions above the burial places show that the tombs were used for the burial of foreign Christians in the 4th and 5th centuries AD.

The catacomb has an unusual plan, with a central circular chamber and radiating fan-shaped corridors leading to the burial places (kokhim). A little higher up from the tombs on the right is a terrace that provides an excellent view of Jerusalem, extending over the Temple Mount and the Old City to the high-rise blocks of West Jerusalem.

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