Search
Close this search box.

Cave of the Patriarchs

Destinations in Israel

So the Cave of the Patriarchs, also known as the Tomb of the Patriarchs; is a series of caves located in the heart of the Old City of Hebron in Israel’s southern West Bank. Furthermore, the caves are the final resting place of four esteemed and religiously significant couples: Chiefly, Adam and Eve; Abraham and Sarah; Isaac and Rebecca, and Jacob and Leah. Moreover, the caves are considered by Jews to be the second holiest place in the world, after Temple Mount.  



History of the Cave of the Patriarchs

As recounted in the Old Testament’s Book of Genesis; Abraham purchased the cave and the surrounding field as a burial place for his wife; Sarah, in 1677 BCE. The land became the first plot of land in the Holy Land to become the legal possession of the Jewish people. Abraham and Sarah were buried in the Cave of Machpelah, and Isaac, Jacob, Rebecca, and Leah, were all considered the patriarchs and matriarchs of the Jewish people. 


Genesis Creation Narratives
Genesis Creation Stories

A large imposing stone building was constructed above the cave by Herod in the 1st century BCE. And is the only fully intact Herodian structure standing today. Then, Byzantine Christians took over the complex and built a basilica before it was converted into the Ibrahimi Mosque after being conquered by Muslims. In fact, as descendants of Abraham’s son Ishmael, Muslims also honor the site of Abraham’s tomb, known as the Sanctuary of Abraham. 



The complex was once again taken over by Crusaders in the 12th century but was converted back into a mosque less than a hundred years later by Saladin. Israel took control of the site in 1967 and it was divided into a synagogue and a mosque. 

Today, the Cave of the Patriarchs is managed by the Muslim Waqf (Religious Trust) that control during the Arab conquest. So today there are many restrictions are imposed on Jewish prayers and customs at the Tomb of the Patriarchs despite its deeply religious significance. 

Visiting the Cave of the Patriarchs

The cave of the Patriarchs is divided into three rooms: Ohel Avraham, Ohel Yitzhak, and Ohel Ya’akov. One of the restrictions put in place by the Muslim Waqf (Religious Trust) is that Jews are only allowed to visit Ohel Yitzchak ten days a year. 


Beit Hadassah Hebron
The-Book-of-Genesis-The-Patriarchs-Cave-in-Hebron

The Cave of the Patriarchs is open to tourists and visitors every day. For an unforgettable experience, spend a few days over Shabbat in Hebron or the nearby Jewish community of Kiryat Arba and attend the Friday-night prayers in the synagogue at the Cave of the Patriarchs. On West Bank private tours I like to take my guests to Hebron. Why? Because this is a real experience that shows my guests the other side of Israel. The one that is less touristic and more authentic. 

arik-about

Hi! My name is Arik, an Israeli native who dedicated his life to sharing my passion for the Holy Land with those interested in knowing more about this incredible piece of land. I’m the Chief Guide at ‘APT Private Tours in Israel’.

Did you know the Hoopoe is Israel's national bird?! For more cool info about Israel, join our ever growing community and get exclusive travel tips, and giveaways!

Eshtaol Forest

RELATED POSTS

Keshet Cave

Keshet Cave is the name of a geological attraction in the northern ridge of Betzet Reserve in the Western Galilee, in the area of ​​Adamit ...

Dolphin Reef Beach

Have you ever wanted to swim with the dolphins? The Dolphin Reef beach in Eilat is a utopian destination for nature lovers!

Rachel’s Tomb

Rachel's Tomb is identified as the site where Rachel was buried. It is considered a sacred place in the eyes of Jews; Christians and Muslims.

Zion Gate

Zion Gate, is one of the eight gates of the Old City of Jerusalem. Located on the southern side of the city, it leads to ...

Megiddo National Park

Megiddo National Park is one of three Biblical Tels in Israel that was declared a World Heritage site by UNESCO!

Tel Aviv Promenade

This is very interesting story

Caesarea Philippi

Caesarea Philippi was an ancient Roman city located at the southwestern base of Mount Hermon. Caesarea is an archaeological site in the Golan

Timna Park

Just 25 Km from Eilat sits Timna Park. A thousand acres of land perched in a charming valley surrounded by cliffs make it a must-see ...

Gethsemane

Gethsemane is a garden at the foot of the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem. According to the Gospels, Jesus underwent the Agony in the garden.

Beth Alpha Synagogue

Beth Alpha Synagogue National Park houses a sixth-century CE synagogue at the Jezreel Valley near Beit Shean National Park.

Need help?

Skip to content