Kidron Valley (Yehoshafat Valley) separates the Mount of Olives from the walls of the Old City of Jerusalem. The valley is home to several ancient monumental tombs built into the rocky slopes of the Mount of Olives. One of these tombs belongs to Zechariah, son of Jehoiada, a priest who once served in the Jewish Holy Temple that stood on Temple Mount.
Who was Zechariah?
Chronicles II 24:20 tells us that “the Spirit of God came upon Zechariah, the son of Jehoiada the priest… and they conspired against him and stoned him with stones at the commandment of the king.” Jehoiada is believed to have lived during the 9th century BC (the First Temple period).
He was a priest and a prophet who was eventually condemned to death by stoning by the king of Judah, King Yoash. There is no inscription on the tomb associating the tomb with Zechariah. But around the 13th century Jews began praying at the tomb, and it became the traditional burial site of Zechariah.
Another biblical figure, the prophet Zechariah, lived during the Second Temple period (6th-century BC). His burial site is among the tombs of the prophets on the Mount of Olives and not at the Kidron Valley site.
Highlights of the Tomb of Zechariah
The Zechariah tomb has a cube-shaped base with pilasters (columns built into the flat surface of the facade) and an external staircase. The base supports a four-sided pyramid-shaped roof. Both the base and pyramid roof are carved out of a single piece of rock. Below the base is a small opening where stairs lead into an internal chamber although the tomb does not contain human remains.
To visit the Tomb of Zechariah please book Jerusalem Classical Private Tour.