The surroundings of Jerusalem include Bethlehem and Gibeon.
Abu Ghosh, Israel
On the road to Ramallah, 5km/3mi north of Jerusalem, is the hill of Givat Shaul (839m/2753ft), the site of Gibeath in the territory of the tribe of Benjamin (Joshua 18,28). 1km/0.75mi south is the Biblical Zuph (now Shufat), home of the prophet Samuel (1 Samuel 9,5-6), where Samuel anointed Saul as first king of the Jews (1 Samuel 10,1).
Nabi Samwil, Israel
West BankSituation and characteristicsNabi Samwil (= the Jewish Prophet Samuel), an Arab village in which Samuel's tomb is venerated, lies 9km/6mi northwest of Jerusalem on the West Bank of the Jordan. It is reached from Jerusalem by leaving on the Ramallah road and turning left beyond Shufat, or by taking the road which runs northwest through the Mahanayim and Sanhedriya districts. In 1948, during the Arab-Israeli war, Nabi Samwil was an Arab base. Since 1967 Jews as well as Arabs have been able to visit it.The 885m/2,904ft high hill near the village was known to the Crusaders in the 12th century as Mons Gaudii (Mount of Joy), since from here they could get their first glimpse of Jerusalem. They built a church - successor to an earlier church erected by Justinian in the sixth century - which was later converted by the Muslims into the present massive mosque, prominently situated on the hill. In the mosque is the cenotaph of Samuel, who lived in nearby Zuph and according to tradition is buried here. The tomb, like the tombs of the patriarchs in Hebron, is in a cave under the mosque. From the roof of the mosque there are wide views.
10km/6mi northwest of Jerusalem (and only a few kilometers north of Nebi Samwil), in the hills of Judaea, is the Arab village of Jib, which is believed to be the Gibeon of the Old Testament. Excavations here brought to light a remarkable water supply system, with a large circular cistern of the Canaanite period and a tunnel linking it with a nearby underground spring.
From Jib a narrow road runs west to the village of El-Qubeiba, a few kilometers away, which many people have believed since the Crusader period to be the Biblical Emmaus, where the risen Christ appeared to two of his disciples (Luke 24,13; but see also Latrun). There is a Franciscan church built in 1901 on the site of an earlier Crusader church.
Bet Shemesh, Israel
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