Hebrew Voices #10 – Lost Tomb of the Maccabees (Rebroadcast)

Maccabee Tombs by Amit ReemIn this episode of Hebrew Voices, Lost Tomb of the Maccabees, Nehemia Gordon visits with Israeli archaeologist, Amit Reem, at the newly-discovered probable site of the Tomb of the Maccabees in Modi’in. Reem and Gordon once studied together at Hebrew University. Reem now works for the Israeli Antiquities Authority and is acquiring a PhD in archaeology. For the first twenty years of his career, Reem excavated the walls, fortifications and palaces of Jerusalem and thought he would be bored when reassigned to Modi’in, but has since become impassioned with the area and finding the lost tomb of the Maccabees. According to Reem, every inch of Israel is filled with marvelous things, and no less so in Modi’in. Reem and Gordon discuss the history of Modi’in, the setting of the Hanukkah story, and why Christian connections to this place gives credence to the site being the elusive tomb of the Maccabees. Reem also shows Gordon the place among the tombs where 23 Israelis created a fox hole in the 1948 War of Independence. Unused ammunition was found there, for like the ancient Maccabees, these Israelis sacrificed their lives for the nation of Israel.

The tomb disucssed in this episode is described in the First Book of Maccabees and in Josephus's Antiquities of the Jews. More pictures below.

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Show notes:

Amit Reem is a Jerusalem district archaeologist with the Israeli antiquities authority.  He is married, has 2 children, and lives in Modi'in.  He has been involved in more than 23 explorations in the field of archaeology, specialized in Crusader and Christian archaeology. He has excavated numerous sites mainly in Jerusalem, among these are: The Holy Sepulchre, Mount Sion, Jaffa Gate, Mount Olives, Christian Quarter and many more.


Israeli archaeologist Amit Reem at the Tomb of the Maccabees. His excavations suggest that this is probably where early Christians believed the tomb was located. However, further excavations at the site are required to prove it definitively.


A mosaic cross marking the spot where early Christians apparently believed the Tomb of the Maccabees to be located. Later Muslims worshiped a "sacred" fig tree on this spot. In 1948 it served as a fox hole where an Israeli soldier laid down his life defending the fledgling state during Israel's War of Independence.

Donate to the continuing excavation of the Tomb of the Maccabees.

Scientific Report (2006 Excavations)

Verses Mentioned:

6 thoughts on “Hebrew Voices #10 – Lost Tomb of the Maccabees (Rebroadcast)

  1. Nehemia, I love you, you are a NATIONAL TREASURE! Both American and Israeli! Your interviews are incredibly important and so interesting that I’m constantly on the edge of my seat. Thank you for your amazing work, Nehemia. Praying for a boat-load of Yehovah’s blessings on you. Happy Hanukkah, dear one!

  2. WOW … just WOW!!! What an incredible interview! I’ve been reading the book of I Maccabee’s the last couple of nights and had just read about this tomb. I love it when history comes to life and Todah Rabah Nehemia and Amit Reem for bringing this to life for us all!

    QUESTION FOR YOU: Who were the Assideans that were mentioned in I Maccabee’s 2:42. I wish I had an Hebrew/English of these books, as there are so many things I’d like to dig into a little deeper, but for now I’ll have to be content with studying in the KJV 1611, Brenton English Septuagint, Bishops 1568, Geneva 1587and Douay Rheims 1899.

    “Assideans who were mighty men of Israel, even all such as were voluntarily devoted unto the law.”
    {I Maccabees 2:42}

    Blessings and Chag Sameach Chanukkah!

  3. TY, Nehemia! This Hebrew Voices was excellent. The on-location Israeli archaeologist, story time Amit Reem is passionately knowledgeable about his work and captivating to listen to as well. The two of you made a very dynamic dialogue about one of the greatest stories from history in the last 2,200 years. Great job! it was as though I could see your words. Because of it, I can read John 10:22-38 with great appreciation, knowing there were some Jewish Jewels that put it all on the line. That is noteworthy valor and commitment. (There is coming another time for the same response.)

    May they continue digging…

  4. The best HV’s I was on the edge of my seat waiting to hear what was going to be said next. Love this. Please keep it up brother.

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