The mysterious, huge stone structure, known as Kubur Bani Yisra’il (“the tombs of the Children of Israel”), rises from a rocky plateau about 3.5 miles northeast of Jerusalem, in the biblical land of Benjamin.
No one knows for sure how these megaliths got the Arabic name that preserves a Hebrew tradition. Archaeologists tell us that they are tombs dating back to around 2000 BCE.
One of the most tantalizing theories about these rectangular walled structures, two or three rows of whose gigantic, rough-hewn stones are still carefully in place, is that they might be “the tomb of Rachel, in the territory of Benjamin” (1 Sam. 10:2). Some people say that members of the tribe of Benjamin, Rachel’s son, may have decided to name these structures in her memory.
Kubur Bani Yisra’il is located along highway 437 between the communities of Pisgat Ze’ev and Adam. It is not signposted, but watch for a broad curve in the road about 1.2 miles east of Pisgat Ze’ev, the opening of a valley and a small olive grove on the right. The site is about 30 yards east of the road.