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Ezakiel Tomb In Iraq

Posted January 9th, 2011 at 03:19 PM by Iraq Bruin
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Ezekiel's Tomb in Iraq

Beside one of the rivers of Babylon, Iraqi archeologists are digging into the past of the Prophet Ezekiel's reputed burial site, even as clerics and government officials draw up plans for its future.

The Babylonian Captivity - Tel Abib

According to the Scriptures the captives of Judah were deported to a place called Tel-abib in the land of Babylon. The name means "mound of the deluge" because it was flooded by the Euphrates River. It is not exactly clear exactly where the Biblical Tel-abib was located but many scholars believe it was near Nippur, about 50 miles southeast of Babylon.
The prophet Ezekiel was among the first to be taken captive to Babylon. According to the Bible he lived at a place called Tel-abib which was by the River Chebar or (grand canal)
Ezek 1:1-3
1 Now it came to pass in the thirtieth year, in the fourth month, on the fifth day of the month, as I was among the captives by the River Chebar, that the heavens were opened and I saw visions of God.
2 On the fifth day of the month, which was in the fifth year of King Jehoiachin's captivity,
3 the word of the LORD came expressly to Ezekiel the priest, the son of Buzi, in the land of the Chaldeans by the River Chebar; and the hand of the LORD was upon him there.
Ezek 3:15
15 Then I came to the captives at Tel Abib, who dwelt by the River Chebar; and I sat where they sat, and remained there astonished among them seven days.
Ezek 8:1
1 And it came to pass in the sixth year, in the sixth month, on the fifth day of the month, as I sat in my house with the elders of Judah sitting before me, that the hand of the Lord GOD fell upon me there.
The "river" has been identified as the "Naru Kabari" because of two cuneiform inscriptions from Nippur. According to these tablets there was an irrigation canal that brought the water of the Euphrates River from Nippur to Babylon and looped around to the River near Erech. The canal’s modern name is Shatt en-Nil.
The Jewish colonists were treated rather well and the prophet Jeremiah sent them a message from Jerusalem to take wives, build houses, plant gardens and take advantage of their situation because they were going to be there for seventy years.

Further Reading

  1. Ezekiel's Tomb in Iraq - Video Library - The New York Times
  2. [ame="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ezekiel"]Ezekiel - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia[/ame]
  3. Passover pilgrimage to Ezekiel's tomb in Iraq

Recent Photos

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A Muslim man sits under a green glow, praying in one of the alcoves at the shrine of the Jewish prophet Ezekiel, now a mosque, in Kifl.

Ahmad Al-Rubaye-AFP/Getty Images

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A single light bulb illuminates Hebrew script, engraved on the walls of a mosque built at the shrine of Ezekiel, in the small town of Kifl, Iraq.

Ahmad Al-Rubaye-AFP/Getty Images

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IRAQ'S INTERFAITH: A Muslim woman kissed one of the tombs belonging to the four companions of the Jewish prophet Ezekiel at his tomb, today a mosque, in the little town of Kifl, south of Baghdad, Wednesday.
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Total Comments 1


  1. Old Comment
    ghostexorcist's Avatar
    Interesting entry. This coincides with the research I have done into the tomb of Ezra. The following comes from a lengthy footnote from a past paper. You find it interesting:
    Ezra has remained a most beloved prophet throughout the centuries. The Jewish historian Josephus wrote that Ezra died and was laid to rest in the city of Jerusalem (David Marcus, Haďm Z'ew Hirschberg and Abraham Ben-Yaacob, “Ezra,” in Encyclopaedia Judaica, 2nd ed., ed. Michael Berenbaum and Fred Skolnik, vol. 6 (Detroit:: Macmillan Reference, 2007), 653). Hundreds of years later, however, a spurious tomb in his name was claimed to have been discovered in Iraq around the year 1050. The tombs of ancient prophets were believed by medieval people to produce a heavenly light. In his Concise Pamphlet Concerning Noble Pilgrimage Sites, Yasin al-Biqai (d. 1095) wrote that, instead, the “light descends” onto Ezra’s tomb (Joseph W. Meri, The Cult of Saints Among Muslims and Jews in Medieval Syria (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002), 23). Jewish merchants partaking in mercantile activities in India from the 11th-13th century often paid reverence to him by visiting his tomb on their way back to places like Egypt (S. D. Goitein, A Mediterranean Society: The Jewish Communities of the Arab World as Portrayed in the Documents of the Cairo Geniza – The Individual (Vol. 5) (Berkeley, Calif. [a.u.]: Univ. of California Press, 1999), 18). The noted Jewish traveler Benjamin of Tudela (d. 1173) visited the tomb and recorded the types of observances that both Jews and Muslims of his time afforded it. A fellow Jewish traveler named Yehuda Alharizi (d. 1225) was told a story during his visit (c. 1215) about a shepherd who had learned of its location in a dream 160 years before (hence the dating). He also commented the light that shown on the tomb was the “glory of God” (Meri, 21. See also Rabbi Petachia of Ratisbon, Travels of Rabbi Petachia of Ratisbon, who in the latter end of the 12. century, visited Poland, Russia, Little Tartary, the Crimea, Armenia ...: translated ... by A. Benisch, with explanat. notes by the translat. and W. F. Ainsworth( London: Trubner & C., 1856), 91 n. 56). Working in the 19th century, Sir Austen Henry Layer suggested the original tomb had probably been swept away by the ever-changing course of the Tigris since none of the key buildings mentioned by Tudela were present at the time of his expedition (Austen Henry Layard and Henry Austin Bruce Aberdare, Early Adventures in Persia, Susiana, and Babylonia, Including a Residence Among the Bakhtiyari and Other Wild Tribes Before the Discovery of Nineveh (Farnborough, Eng: Gregg International, 1971), 214-215). If true, this would mean the current tomb in its place is not the same one that Tudela and later writers visited. It continues to be an active holy site today (Raheem Salman, “Iraq: Amid War, a Prophet’s Shrine Survives,” LA Times blog, entry posted August 17, 2008, IRAQ: Amid war, a prophet's shrine survives - latimes.com (accessed July 21, 2011)).
    The India traders that I mentioned held Ezekiel in higher regard since he was associated with sailing. They too would visit his tomb on the way back to Egypt from India.
    Posted February 7th, 2012 at 09:04 AM by ghostexorcist ghostexorcist is offline

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