World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Tomb of Benei Hezir

Article Id: WHEBN0008624309
Reproduction Date:

Title: Tomb of Benei Hezir  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Jerusalem, Rock-cut tombs in Israel, Mount of Olives, Nefesh
Collection:
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Publication
Date:
 

Tomb of Benei Hezir


The Tomb of Benei Hezir (Hebrew: קבר בני חזיר‎) is the oldest of four monumental rock-cut tombs that stand in the Kidron Valley, Jerusalem and date to the period of the Second Temple. It is a complex of burial caves. The tomb was originally accessed from a single rock-cut stair-well which descends to the tomb from the north. At a later period an additional entrance was created by quarrying a tunnel from the courtyard of the Tomb of Zechariah. This is also the contemporary entrance to the burial complex.

Architecture

The facade of the tomb is a classical dystillos-in-antis two pillars between two pilasters above which there is undecorated architrave containing an engraved a Hebrew inscription. Above the architrave there is a Doric frieze and a cornice. The tomb's architectural style is influenced by ancient Greek architecture only (two pillars with Dorian capitals), without ancient Egyptian architectural influences.

History

The tomb dates to the second century B.C., the Hellenistic period and the time of the Hasmonean monarchy in Jewish history. Architecturally the Tomb of Zechariah postdates the complex, and the Tomb of Absalom is considered to have been erected even later. The tomb is effectively a burial cave dug into the cliff. It features a Hebrew inscription which makes it clear that this was the burial site of a Priestly family by the name of Bnei Hazir. The inscription reads:

זה הקבר והנפש שלאלעזר חניה יועזר יהודה שמעון יוחנן בני יוסף בן עובד יוסף ואלעזר בני חניה כהנים מבני חזיר — This is the grave and the Nefesh - burial monument of Eliezer Hania Yoazar Yehuda Shimon Yochanan Bnei-(sons of) Yosef Ben-(son of) Oved Yosef and Elazar Bnei-(sons of) Hania, priests of the Hazir family

Bnei Hazir family

The tomb's inscription reveals that the cave was used by several generations of the Bnei Hazir family. As well, it indicates that this was a wealthy family, able to afford a burial cave in the Kidron Valley. In the Hebrew Bible there is a mention of a family of Jewish priests, by the name of Hazir,[1][2] but it is not known if there is a relation.

Nefesh

The inscription mentions a nefesh (נפש : literally meaning soul), which is also a designation for a magnificent structure built on or alongside the tomb. It has been proposed that the Tomb of Zechariah, a solid rock-hewn object which stands by the entrance, and is thought to date from a similar period to the inscription,[3] is actually this nefesh.[4] Another option is that the additional facade to the north of the Doric dystilos-in-antis was the original nefesh. Although it did not survive it is possible to reconstruct the upper part of the above mentioned facade as a Nabatean tower with a decorative door and window, similar monuments can be seen in Petra.

Coordinates: 31°46′35.21″N 35°14′20.87″E / 31.7764472°N 35.2391306°E / 31.7764472; 35.2391306

References

This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and USA.gov, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for USA.gov and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
 
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
 
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.
 


Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.