Israel National News, Arutz Sheva, reported today that the site of Mamre near Hebron has been visited recently and may be opened soon.
The site is mentioned three times in Genesis, in chapters 13,14, and 18. This is where Abraham settled after separating from his nephew Lot, where he built an altar to G-d, and where G-d sent him three angels to inform him that his son Isaac would be born the following year.
It was also here that Abraham established the first Hebrew army, for the purpose of rescuing Lot, who had been kidnapped by the Four Kings during their war against the Five Kings as described in Genesis.
Today, Elonei Mamre is also one of Israel’s most important archaeological sites. A two-meter-high, 70-by-30-meter wall has been found there, apparently built by King Herod 2,000 years ago. The wall’s construction has similar characteristics to that in the Machpelah Cave [the Cave of the Patriarchs, ed.] and the Western Wall in Jerusalem. Remains of two towers from an earlier period have also been found in Elonei Mamre.
In the 1980’s I visited the site and made this reconstruction drawing of the Herodian enclosure. It was amazing to see how closely the architectural style of the outer walls resembled those of the Tomb of the Patriarchs in Hebron and the Temple Mount in Jerusalem.