What and who is…

Hebrew: שִׁילֹה —transliteration: Shiloh

This is a particular important Biblical place and a reference to the Messiah. The name of Shiloh the place is derived from שלה‎ and may be translated as “Tranquility Town”—a place of peace.

  1. Shiloh, an Israelite city in Ephraim

    For 300 years, it served as the spiritual capital of the Hebrew people, the home of the Tabernacle and the Ark of the Covenant.

    Shiloh was a city of the Tribe of Ephraim, 10 miles (16km) north side of Bethel (Judges 21:19). Archaeologists have positively identified ancient Shiloh’s location, which is called Khirbet Seilun (Arabic name), an archaeological mound, called in Modern Hebrew Tel Shiloh. The modern inhabited city is called Shiloh or Seilun.

    The correct site of ancient Shiloh was first identified in modern times by Bible scholar Edward Robinson using Scriptures details as a guide.

    Tel Shiloh and modern Shiloh—satellite view. The Tel is located on Road of the Partriarchs, the road from Jerusalem to modern Nabulas, the site of ancient Shechem, aka Sychem and Sychar). It is 19 miles (31 kilometers) north of Jerusalem.

    Here the Tabernacle of God was set up after the Conquest of Canaan (Joshua 18:1-10), and it remained here for about 3 centuries, during all of the period of the judges till the ark of the covenant fell into the hands of the Philistines.

    500 years after its destruction, it was referred to by the prophet Jeremiah (Jer. 7:12; Jer. 7:14; 26:4-9).

    “But go now to My place which was in Shiloh, where I made My name dwell at the first, and see what I did to it because of the wickedness of My people Israel. And now, because you have done all these things,” declares the Lord, “and I spoke to you, rising up early and speaking, but you did not hear, and I called you but you did not answer, therefore, I will do to the house which is called by My name, in which you trust, and to the place which I gave you and your fathers, as I did to Shiloh.” —Jeremiah 7:12-14 NASB

    “No spot in Central Palestine could be more secluded than this early sanctuary, nothing more featureless than the landscape around; so featureless, indeed, the landscape and so secluded the spot that from the time of St. Jerome till its re-discovery by Dr. Robinson in 1838 the very site was forgotten and unknown.”

    Christian Answers Team Member Associates for Biblical Research (ABR) has done much archaeological work at Shiloh and has ongoing digs there—collecting additional evidence that supports the reliability of Scripture.

    Associates for Biblical Research team at Tel Shiloh dig
    One of ABR’s archaeological excavation teams at Shiloh
    Streaming video— 
    Archaeological discoveries at Shiloh in 2018
    Presented by researcher Henry B. Smith Jr., Administrative Director of the Shiloh Excavations for Associates for Biblical Research, plus also ABR’s Scott Lanser and Gary Byers
    Video by Associates for Biblical Research, a Christian Answers Team Member
    Length: 27 minutes
    Streaming video— 
    “Amazing Discoveries from Shiloh 2023”
    Esteemed archaeologist Dr. Scott Stripling and Host Jim Scudder Jr.

    Dr. Scott Stripling is the Director of Excavations Associates for Biblical Research, a Christian Answers Team Member. He and ABR have been digging at ancient Shiloh from 2017 to the present). He also serves as Provost and Director of the Archaeology Institute at The Bible Seminary in Katy, Texas. Previously, Stripling directed the ABR excavations at Khirbet el-Maqatir, served as Field Supervisor at Tall el-Hammam in Jordan, Director of the Mt. Ebal Expedition, and as a supervisor of the Temple Mount Sifting Project in Jerusalem. Stripling did his graduate studies at the University of Texas (M.A.), Assemblies of God Theological Seminary (M.A.), and Veritas International University (Ph.D.).
    Video by InGrace
    Length: 38 minutes

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  2. Shiloh, a name of the Messiah

    Shiloh is an ancient Hebrew word and appears to mean “He Whose It Is” or “He Who Is to be Sent” or “that which belongs to him.”

    The name appears in Genesis 49:10:

    The sceptre shall not depart from Judah,
    nor a lawgiver from between his feet,
    until Shiloh come;
    and unto him shall the gathering of the people be.

    “The scepter shall not depart from Judah,
    Nor the ruler’s staff from between his feet,
    Until Shiloh comes [or Until he comes to Shiloh; or Until he comes to whom it belongs],
    And to him shall be the obedience of the peoples.” —Genesis 49:10 NASB

    The Vulgate Version translates the word, “he who is to be sent,” in allusion to the Messiah; the Revised King James Version, margin, “till he come to Shiloh;” and the Septuagint, “until that which is his shall come to Shiloh.”

    It is most simple and natural to render the expression, as in the King James Version, “till Shiloh come,” interpreting it as a proper name.

    Compare Isaiah 9:6 KJV:

    “For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.”

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Article Version: September 1, 2023