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The American Cyclopædia (1879)/Shiloh (Palestine)

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SHILOH (Heb., rest, peace), a town of ancient Palestine, in the division of Ephraim, on a high mountain N. of Bethel. It was the seat of the ark of the covenant from the last days of Joshua to the time of Eli. An annual “feast of the Lord” was observed at Shiloh, and one of these celebrations was made an opportunity for the remnants of the defeated Benjamites to supply themselves with wives, by lying in ambush in the vineyards and seizing some hundreds of the dancing women. After the carrying off of the ark by the Philistines, at the close of Eli's life, Shiloh sank into total insignificance. Its site is now identified with Seilun, a small place with some Roman remains, 20 m. N. of Jerusalem. The words in Gen. xlix. 10, which are rendered in the authorized English version “until Shiloh come,” and are by Christian theologians referred to Christ as prince of peace, are explained by Jewish writers as meaning “until he (Judah) come to Shiloh,” and by Vater, Gesenius, and other critics translated “until rest come.”