Excavate At Burgin, A Site Of Jewish Return From Exile In Babylon
Over Sukkot, archeologists are hosting amateurs at this resonant Second Temple-era community in the Judean Plains.
In the year 586 BCE, Solomon’s glorious Temple was destroyed by the Babylonians and thousands of Jews were sent into exile. Rather incredibly, only a few decades later, Babylonian’s newest ruler allowed them to go home. Many – although not all – took advantage of the opportunity to return.
You would think (or I did, at least) that they would flock to the capital city of Jerusalem. But this was not the case, for the Holy City lay in ruins. So the people set up housekeeping, all over the country in places like Kiryat Arba, Lachish, Lod and Beersheba.
Indeed, in order to populate Jerusalem, the prophet Nehemiah, a stalwart leader who rebuilt the walls of the city, was forced to hold a lottery: “The people also cast lots, to bring one of ten to dwell in Jerusalem the holy city, and nine parts in the other cities. And the people blessed all the men that willingly offered themselves to dwell in Jerusalem.” Nehemiah 11:1-2
Among the villages and cities to which the exiles had returned was Adullam, mentioned nearly half a dozen times in the Bible. It was situated in the Judean Plains between Beit Shemesh and Beit Govrin, in an area blessed with rolling green hills, rich natural foliage, picturesque, fertile vales and stunning views.