It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.

Please white-list or disable in your ad-blocking tool.

Thank you.


Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.


From Shiloh to the Temple

page: 1

log in


posted on Jun, 19 2020 @ 05:00 PM
Shiloh was the location of the ark of the Lord and the associated sanctuary during the time of Judges.

The priest Eli was warned (1 Samuel ch3) that his own house at least would be destroyed. This warning began to be fulfilled when the Philistines invaded in the next chapter. As far as we can tell, the Israelites had no commander in that battle. The Lord chose not to send a prophet to appoint one, and the elders of Israel did not appoint one. Instead, they called for the ark to be brought from Shiloh. This device was based on a misunderstanding. When the Lord is present with his people, the function of the ark is to be the sign of his presence, but the Lord is not controlled by human action. Bringing the ark onto the battlefield does not, in itself, bring the Lord onto the battlefield.

Israel was defeated, the ark was captured, and Eli died when he heard the news. We don’t need to follow the ark through the various wanderings. The important point is that it found a resting-place, for the moment in Kiriath-jearim, on the western side of the hill-country. The townspeople took it to the house of Abinadab (the local priest?) and consecrated his son Eleazar to take charge of it (ch7 v1).

But what happened to the rest of the sanctuary? Later Jeremiah warns Jerusalem about suffering the fate of Shiloh; “I will do to the house which is called by my name… as I did at Shiloh” (Jeremiah ch7 v14). The most natural explanation is that it was destroyed by the Philistines in these wars. Surely that was part of the import of the warning given to Eli?

The modern consensus, as illustrated by Wiki, is that we don’t know what happened to Shiloh and when it happened. But that consensus is obtained by disregarding various references in the books of Samuel to the descendants of Eli. If we collect these references together and trace the family lines, we may see the dim outlines of a story in which the sanctuary itself is destroyed, but contents and people survived by scattering.

Hophni and Phinehas, the two sons of Eli, were killed in the battle. Phinehas had a son called Ahitub, known only as the ancestor of several lines of descent from Eli.

Ahijah, son of Ahitub,, was present at one of Saul’s battles (ch16), with Urim and Thummim and also (confusingly) with the ark. This appears to deny the loss of the ark, but he could have collected it from Kiriath-jearim.

David found Ahimelech, son of Ahitub, in a sanctuary at Nob, continuing the ritual of offering the shewbread (ch21). The ritual of shewbread belongs to the presence of the Lord, and therefore to the ark. So this is not just “a priestly sanctuary” but THE priestly sanctuary, living in exile from Shiloh (and therefore indirect evidence that Shiloh has been destroyed). This implies that the tabernacle, or some form of tabernacle, and at least some of the vessels had found refuge there. On the orders of Saul, that community of priests was destroyed in turn, for the crime of helping David. Abiathar, son of Ahimelech, reported the news to David and stayed with him (ch22 vv20-33).

Did anything else manage to escape from Nob? We may be able to pick up this trail in Chronicles. When David brought the ark into Jerusalem, “he left Zadok the priest and his brethren the priests before the tabernacle of the Lord in the high place that was at Gibeon” (1 Chronicles ch16 v19). Zadok is named as another son of Ahitub (1 Chronicles ch18 v16). The implication is that the tabernacle found refuge again in Gibeon before being moved on to Jerusalem.

We’ve seen that the ark and the tabernacle, with its vessels, went off in different directions after the Philistine attacks, and fell into the hands of two sets of custodians. This could be the clue explaining the presence of two sets of priests in David’s Jerusalem, the family of Zadok and the family of Abiathar.

It was David who brought the ark of the Lord into Jerusalem, initially providing his own tent as a covering (2 Samuel ch6). My working assumption is that Abiathar came in to Jerusalem as David’s favourite priest, and newly appointed custodian of the ark, while Zadok had slightly less prestige at the time as custodian of the tabernacle. David’s reign sees the two families in subdued rivalry. They were both resident in Jerusalem during such episodes as the rebellion of Absolom.

Their relative positions were reversed on the dramatic day when David was lying on his deathbed, and his eldest son Adonijah tried to proclaim himself the new king of Israel (1 Kings ch1). Abiathar was with Adonijah on that day. I think his place in the plot was that he was going to anoint the new king.

On the orders of the alerted David, Solomon was publicly proclaimed as his successor, and anointed by Zadok. Adonijah and his confederates survived for a few days, until Adonijah made a tactless request which showed that his ambitions had not subsided. Then Solomon took strong action, which included sending Abiathar away from Jerusalem. His life was protected by his former services to David. Zadok took his place as custodian of the ark.

Abiathar’s expulsion was “fulfilling the word of the Lord which he had spoken concerning the house of Eli in Shiloh” (1 Kings ch2 v27), though that comment ignores the claim that Zadok was also a descendant of Eli. In fact the main genealogy of the priesthood (1 Chronicles ch6 vv1-15) ignores Eli altogether as a disgraced man. Zadok is given as the son of Ahitub who was the son of Amariah. But my confidence in that genealogy is a little weakened by the fact that the sequence Amariah-Ahitub-Zadok appears twice over.

At the inauguration of Solomon’s Temple, the ark and the tabernacle were both brought into it. The genealogy just quoted says that Johanan, four generations down from Zadok, “served as priest in the house that Solomon built”. Although Solomon puts himself at the centre of the inauguration and the priests are pushed into the background, the line of Zadok would continue to hold the leading place in the priesthood. Thus the different elements of the sanctuary at Shiloh have been recombined.

That is how we get from Shiloh to the Temple.

posted on Jun, 19 2020 @ 05:11 PM
Some observations on the doleful news that ATS may disappear. I would greatly miss ATS.. The site has been an important focus of my life for a decade. Like many others, I make it the first thing I look at in the morning. It has provided a platform for my theological contribution to the world. But more than that, it has been the space where I have been able to work out ("solvitur ambulando") exectly what my contribution is. When I first began writing threads here, I wsn't expecting to cover anything except the book of Revelation.

All the more reason to continue writing here as long as the site is available. In a couple of weeks, I will begin looking at a theme which has been at the back of my mind but not yet properly explored, viz. the "division between two" theme which fills the Bible from "dividing light from darkness" in the first chapter to "in or out of the new Jerusalem" in the last chapter. If time remains beyond that, I''ll come back to sharing what I've been writing on the prophets.

A reminder that anyone who wants to revisit my older threads while they are still there can find them listed on Ten years of Bible threads. A reference list so useful that I keep using it myself, much quicker than scrolling down the profile. A reminder, also, that the quickest way of saving an opening post is to click on "quote" and then using your browser to "select all" and "copy" and finally "paste" to an empty Word document or something similar.

As mentioned in that thread, I'm now engaged in converting a lot of the material into book format for potential publication. For example, the above opening post is a modifed extract from a draft chapter of "Prophets, priests, and politics", which aims to cover the background of every prophet from Deborah to Malachi.
edit on 19-6-2020 by DISRAELI because: (no reason given)

posted on Jun, 19 2020 @ 06:59 PM
Actually that location of the Ark what if they went and hid it down in the caves under the skull in Jesus was crucified right above it and then when the earthquake hit a little crack opened and some of his water and blood went down and drift on the mercy seat right on top of the Ark since I was a teenager I figured the ark was under his cross and the blood flows right down on top of The Mercy Seat just about sealing the deal.

I'm not sure of course and I'm going off to read more of your other threads on the blood atonement right now thanks for that old buddy

posted on Jun, 19 2020 @ 07:18 PM
a reply to: DISRAELI

I would like to continue following your threads assuming you continue with them in another place. I have greatly enjoyed over my time here.

posted on Jun, 19 2020 @ 07:24 PM
a reply to: GBP/JPY
I've always gone for the dull view that the ark was probably burnt by the Babylonians. Or taken off to Babylon and destroyed the next time babylon was captured.

posted on Jun, 19 2020 @ 07:27 PM
a reply to: ketsuko
I'm continuing as long as I can, though there's also the problem of gradually running out of Biblical areas which I haven't touched already. If I can get published, I hope to include "Disraeli" in the pen-name for the sake of coninuity.

posted on Jun, 19 2020 @ 08:24 PM
a reply to: DISRAELI

I've been interested in the name Shiloh for awhile and have done some research. I find it interesting That Shiloh is affiliated with Ephraim in the book of Jeremiah 7:12-15 and the city of Shiloh was also in the land of Ephraim also when the philistines captured the ark it was found in the field of Joshua from the tribe of Ephraim. So when I read Genesis 49:10 it seems to be saying that Ephraim represents Shiloh the adopted son of Israel or Jacob. The scepter shall not depart from Judah , nor a lawgiver from between his feet until Shiloh comes or the heir for that is Ephraim. I believe the parable of the prodigal son also represents Ephraim as the youngest son.
Just a thought that I've been studying.

posted on Jun, 19 2020 @ 09:30 PM
a reply to: DISRAELI

DISRAELI, do you want to be part owner of ATS? If the site owners don't get enough money from a multi member buyout then all our past content may fade away. I believe you will have voting rights per purchased share amount. Sound interesting to you?

Do You Want To Be An ATS Owner?

Transparency On The Future of ATS

posted on Jun, 20 2020 @ 12:39 AM
a reply to: lostinspace
I don't have large quantities of money, so I would have to see what was being expected.

posted on Jun, 20 2020 @ 01:05 AM
a reply to: Joeshiloh
Ephraim was the leading tribe of Israel during the Judges period, which is one reason why they were reluctant to yield supremacy to the house of David and broke away again. For that, you should study Genesis ch49 and Deuteronomy ch33 and what they say about the house of Joseph. The story of Jacob blessing the sons of Joseph (Genesis ch48) shows how Ephraim took over the leadership from his "elder brother" Manasseh. You may observe the central location of these two tribes in any map of the tribes of israel. The Samaritans of the time of Jesus were still thinking of themselves as the heirs of Ephraim.

The younger son motif is not specific to Ephraim. Jacob himself was the younger of two sons. Joseph, David and Solomon were nearly the youngest of several sons. For that matter, God often picks people from unimportant families, such as Saul the king, or Israel themselves amongst the nations. The significance is that God works with the little people, because the great ones are prone to rely upon their own strength. Compare Paul writing to the Corinthians- "not many powerful among you, not many of noble birth".

My take on "until Shiloh comes" is that "Shiloh" represents the time when God was leading his people directly, before the kings were introduced. Hence the meaning is that the house of David will continue to supply the kings until the time of God's direct rule returns, making kings redundant.

top topics


log in