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Tomb of Joseph Arimathea

Exploring Jerusalem

According to tradition, the tomb of Joseph of Arimathea is the traditional burial tomb where Joseph of Arimathea was buried. Joseph of Arimathea was a friend of Jesus, and it is believed that he buried Jesus near by in a tomb designated for himself.

Tomb of Joseph Arimathea
In This Photo: The Tomb as Seen From the Inside

So the tomb of Joseph of Arimathea Is designed in a traditional first-century CE way with five small burial chambers. Two of these chambers are accessible to the public today and can be accessed from a chapel behind the Tomb of Jesus at the western end of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre.

Who was Joseph Arimathea? 

Moreover, Joseph of Arimathea was a secret follower and a friend of Jesus of Nazareth. He was also a prominent member of the Sanhedrin, the Jewish Council in Jerusalem, and the court which condemned Jesus to death.

The Stone of Unction
In This Photo: The Stone of Unction, in the Church.

According to all four canonical gospels, Joseph of Arimathea was the man who assumed responsibility for the burial of Jesus after his crucifixion. After the crucifixion, Joseph went to Pilate and boldly asked for Jesus’ body, risking his reputation among the religious leaders to give his Lord and friend a proper burial.

Joseph of Arimathea laid Jesus’ body to rest in a tomb designated for himself, showing great love and courage and that his faith was stronger than his fear.

The Church of the Holy Sepulchre

Christians believe Jesus’s empty tomb is in the Holy Sepulcher Church in Jerusalem’s Old City. The most venerated site in the Christian world, the tomb today consists of a limestone shelf or burial bed that was hewn from the wall of a cave.

In This Photo: The Crusader Facade of the Church of the Holy Sepulcher

The original limestone slab upon which Joseph of Arimathea laid Jesus was believed to be covered in marble to prevent pilgrims from taking pieces of rock from the burial bed as souvenirs. The marble cladding was temporarily removed for restoration and cleaning on October 26, 2016, and the original slab was seen for the first time since 1555.


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’.

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