Hebron

Hebron is one of the oldest cities in Israel. It is about 18 miles southwest of Jerusalem. Hebron was settled in the beginning of the 18th century BC. The city was owned by the sons of Heth. Abraham, who lived there for a while, built an altar to God.

When Sarah died, Abraham bought the cave of Machpelah from the men of Heth, and buried Sarah there. Later, Abraham, Isaac, Rebekah, Leah and Jacob, were all buried in the cave of Machpelah. Joshua defeated Hoham, the King of Hebron, and gave the city to Caleb, who had conquered it.

David, after Saul's death, reigned in Hebron for seven years as King of Judah. (Judah is the southern part of the land of Israel). Representatives of all the tribes of Israel came to David at Hebron, and crowned him King of all Israel (Judah, as well as the northern part of the land of Israel).

David then conquered Jerusalem and took it from the Jebusites. Jerusalem then became the capital of the land of Israel. After the Babylonian Exile, Hebron was partly resettled, but during the Exile, Hebron and the southern region of Judah had been settled by Edomites, and the area became known as Idumea.

Today there is a large building called the "Tomb of the Patriarchs" standing over the Cave of Machpelah, and is considered the second holiest Jewish shrine.

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