After forty years of wandering in the wilderness, the Israelies have entered the Promised Land.
Shiloh is chosen as the spiritual center of the Israelites: “The entire community of Israel gathered in Shiloh. They placed the Tent of Meeting there, and the land was conquered before them” (Joshua 18:1).
Joshua places the Tabernacle, which had traveled with the Israelites since they left Egypt, in Shiloh, where it remains for 369 years — the eras of Joshua and the Judges. This is where the Land of Israel was apportioned to the Tribes of Israel by lot, and this is where Hannah, who suffered from infertility, came to pray and was blessed with a son, Shmuel. This is where Shmuel grew up and prophesied for the first time, during the era of Eli the High Priest. The vineyards that once covered the hills around Shiloh were where the young Israelite women danced on the festival of the fifteenth day of Av.
Travelers and scholars identified Shiloh centuries ago by the description that appears in Judges 21:19: “[It lies] north of Beit El, east of the road that goes from Beit El to Shechem, and south of Levona.”
Jewish settlement in Shiloh was resumed in 1978. A synagogue in the style of the Tabernacle was built in its center. Once the settlement had been resumed, archaeological excavations were also resumed in the early 1980s. The main excavations, which exposed sections of the wall of the Canaanite city, as well as the ruins of storehouses and adjacent granaries, can be seen. Some of the artifacts are on display in the Shiloh Chronicles exhibit.
The excavations in Shiloh were resumed in recent years. The Seer’s Tower, which offers a multimedia presentation and houses a museum, was constructed at the center of the site. The well-kept site also offers an abundance of options for meaningful and fun outings, from workshops on ancient handicrafts to sports and extreme athletic activities.
Each year, the site receives tens of thousands of visitors from all over the world.