Tomb of Benei Hezir, Jerusalem

Tomb of Benei Hezir, Jerusalem

Dating back to the time of the Second Temple (2nd century BCE), this is the oldest of four monumental rock-cut tombs that stand in the Kidron Valley, bearing witness to the Hellenistic period and the era of the Hasmonean monarchy in Jewish history. Carved into the cliff, the tomb resembles a burial cave and exhibits architectural elements influenced by ancient Greece (two pillars with Doric capitals) and Nabataean culture (popular among some Judaean families for its decorative motifs), but notably lacks any Egyptian influences.

The tomb's Hebrew inscription identifies it as the burial site of a priestly family known as Benei Hezir. In the Hebrew Bible, there are two mentions of men named Hezir: one was the founder of the 17th priestly division, while the other was among the leaders who sealed the covenant with Nehemiah. Whether there is any connection between the family interred here and the biblical Hezirs remains unknown.

Tip:
You can approach the tomb complex on foot, or watch it from the roadside just outside the Old City. Walk along Maale Ha-Shalom on the valley side of the road until you are directly above the tomb. There you'll find a viewpoint equipped with a layout map and an audio device providing insightful commentary on the monuments below.

Want to visit this sight? Check out these Self-Guided Walking Tours in Jerusalem. Alternatively, you can download the mobile app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" from Apple App Store or Google Play Store. The app turns your mobile device to a personal tour guide and it works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.

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Tomb of Benei Hezir on Map

Sight Name: Tomb of Benei Hezir
Sight Location: Jerusalem, Israel (See walking tours in Jerusalem)
Sight Type: Attraction/Landmark
Guide(s) Containing This Sight:

Walking Tours in Jerusalem, Israel

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