David Christian Clausen

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There are many sacred structures along the east side of Jerusalem, some dating back to before the time of King Herod (37-4 BCE). The oldest is the Tomb of the Bene-Hezir, a priestly family, from the 2nd century BCE. It can be seen to the left in the picture above. To its right is the monolithic Tomb of Zechariah, possibly built a century or two later. It is not the actual tomb of the Biblical prophet but may be associated with the Bene-Hezir tomb. Dating from the 1st century CE, the Tomb of Absalom sits to the left of both of these structures and can be seen beneath the trees in the photo below. Absalom was the son of King David who lived a thousand years earlier.

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A number of other sacred structures, these Christian in nature, sit on the western slope of the Mount of Olives. Three…

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