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Tomb of Absalom (Hebrew: יד אבשלום, Transl. Yad Avshalom; literally Absalom's Shrine), also called Absalom's Pillar, is an ancient monumental rock-cut tomb with a conical roof located in the Kidron Valley in Jerusalem. Although traditionally ascribed to Absalom, the rebellious son of King David of Israel (circa 1000 BC), recent scholarship has attributed it to the 1st century AD.
Biblical References: 2 Samuel 3:3
Avshaolm first appears in the bible in this chapter - the 3rd son of David, a grandson of Talmai from Geshur, a kingdom north-east of the Jordan.
"And his second, Chileab, of Abigail the wife of Nabal the Carmelite; and the third, Absalom the son of Maacah the daughter of Talmai king of Geshur;"b 2 Samuel 14:32
Avshalom was a beautiful prince, with long hair: "But in all Israel there was none to be so much praised as Absalom for his beauty: from the sole of his foot even to the crown of his head there was no blemish in him. And when he polled his head, (for it was at every year's end that he polled it: because the hair was heavy on him, therefore he polled it:) he weighed the hair of his head at two hundred shekels after the king's weight.". 2 Samuel 18:9
Avshalom led a mutiny against his father, King David, and crowned himself in Hebron. After David's men managed to defeat his troops, Avshalom fled away on a donkey. However, his long hair caught on the branches of a large oak, and he was caught midair.
Yoav (Yoab), David's commander, was told on this, and he wounded him with 3 spears in the heart, then his men killed Avshalom, in spite of David's orders to spare "the boy".
"And Absalom met the servants of David. And Absalom rode upon a mule, and the mule went under the thick boughs of a great oak, and his head caught hold of the oak, and he was taken up between the heaven and the earth; and the mule that was under him went away. And a certain man saw it, and told Joab, and said, Behold, I saw Absalom hanged in an oak. And Joab said unto the man that told him, And, behold, thou sawest him, and why didst thou not smite him there to the ground? and I would have given thee ten shekels of silver, and a girdle.
And the man said unto Joab, Though I should receive a thousand shekels of silver in mine hand, yet would I not put forth mine hand against the king's son: for in our hearing the king charged thee and Abishai and Ittai*, saying, Beware that none touch the young man Absalom. Otherwise I should have wrought falsehood against mine own life: for there is no matter hid from the king, and thou thyself wouldest have set thyself against me.
Then said Joab, I may not tarry thus with thee. And he took three darts in his hand, and thrust them through the heart of Absalom, while he was yet alive in the midst of the oak. And ten young men that bare Joab's armor compassed about and smote Absalom, and slew him". * Webmaster note
: My brother, Itai, is mentioned in this text. Ittai from the city Gat) was David's close allay, and commanded 600 men. 2 Samuel 18:17-18
Avshalom was initially buried by Yoav Yoab in a pit near the battlefield, which is located near the Gilad west to the Jordan river. Later, he was buried in the grand monument called Yad-Avshalom the featured site, which according to the bible was built by Avshalom himself before he died.
"And they took Absalom, and cast him into a great pit in the wood, and laid a very great heap of stones upon him: and all Israel fled every one to his tent. Now Absalom in his lifetime had taken and reared up for himself a pillar, which is in the king's dale: for he said, I have no son to keep my name in remembrance: and he called the pillar after his own name: and it is called unto this day, Absalom's place". 2 Chronicles 17:1-3
This text descibes the Kingdom of Jehoshaphat, the 4th King in Judah. The cluster of burial caves behind Avshalom tomb is called Ma'arat Yehoshafat (the cave of Jehoshaphat).
"And Jehoshaphat his son reigned in his stead, and strengthened himself against Israel. And he placed forces in all the fenced cities of Judah, and set garrisons in the land of Judah, and in the cities of Ephraim, which Asa his father had taken. And the LORD was with Jehoshaphat, because he walked in the first ways of his father David, and sought not unto Baalim;
"Now Jehoshaphat slept with his fathers, and was buried with his fathers in the city of David. And Jehoram (Yoram) his son reigned in his stead". 2 Samuel 18 King James Version
18 Now Absalom in his lifetime had taken and reared up for himself a pillar, which is in the king's dale: for he said, I have no son to keep my name in remembrance: and he called the pillar after his own name: and it is called unto this day, Absalom's place.Yad Avshalom
Yad AvshalomYad Avshalom Hebrew: יד אבשלום, lit. Absalom's Shrine, also known as the Tomb of Absalom, is an ancient tomb with a conical roof located in the Kidron Valley in Jerusalem, Israel.
Archaeologists have dated the tomb to the first century CE. It has been traditionally identified as the tomb of Absalom, the rebellious son of King David, based on a verse in the Book of Samuel: "Absalom in his lifetime had taken and reared up for himself a pillar, which is in the king's dale: for he said, I have no son to keep my name in remembrance: and he called the Monument after his own name: and it is called unto this day, Absalom's Monument." 2 Samuel 18:18
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