Beth Shearim – House of Gates – was an important Jewish center following the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem in the 1st century AD. It was home to Rabbi Jehuda HaNasi who presided over of the Sanhedrin, before he moved this Rabbinical Court to Sepphoris (pages 48/9). He is known to have been buried here, and the tomb of his two sons were found during recent excavations of the large necropolis.
All three were descendants of Rabban Gamaliel the Elder, the great Jewish thinker and leading Pharisee of his day. He was a teacher of St. Paul. This we know from Paul’s own words, spoken to an assembled crowd by the Temple steps, “I am verily a man which am a Jew, born in Tarsus, a city in Cilicia, yet brought up in this city at the feet of Gamaliel, and taught according to the perfect manner of the law of the father”, Acts 22:3.
In all, thirty-one burial chambers were found carved deep into hillside. The central hall of the largest chamber is 160 feet long (50m) and its complex contained over 130 stone coffins. Some of them are as much as nine feet (3m) long, and weigh 5 tons. Beth Shearim’s “City of the Dead” is unique in all Israel.
This page is part of the book The Holy Land of JesusShare this page with your friends
Follow News from Jerusalem