Museu das Terras da Bíblia – em Jerusalém história do antigo oriente médio e da bíblia reunidas em monumental edifício para as futuras gerações.
The Bible Lands Museum Jerusalem opened its doors to the public on May 11, 1992 and has since earned international acclaim as a universal center for cultural and educational programming. It is the only museum in the world dedicated to the history of the biblical period in the ancient lands of the Bible. Tracing history from the dawn of civilization to the early Christian era, this priceless collection of rare and exquisite ancient treasures is displayed chronologically allowing the visitor a walk through history. A guided tour through the museum traces the development of religious beliefs, worship, trade, commerce and communication from the beginning of urbanization through the Talmudic period. Innovative educational programs for school children, weekly lectures and courses for adults, and creative programs on the holidays are part of the active programming offered at the museum.
Elie Borowski’s work was never finished. He left this world while in the midst of preparing for the future. He was a man of action – always planning, working and dreaming. Plans for the expansion and growth of the museum have been developed in order to accommodate needed exhibition space, a research library and educational facilities.
This was his dream for the future – it is now in the hands of all those who have supported the museum in the past, and those who will be inspired to join it in the future. To this aim, we have initiated the Elie Borowski Memorial Fund. This fund will help to protect the future of the museum and all its vibrant programs.
Elie Borowski dedicated his life to nurturing a dream from its conception to its realization. The Bible Lands Museum, surpassing all initial expectations, became the ideal vehicle for his legacy, which will continue to touch many generations to come.
“the future of mankind has its roots in the past
only through understanding our history we can build a better future.”
(Dr. Elie Borowski)
The exquisite permanent collection invites you to embark on a fascinating journey through the ancient lands of the Bible, tracing history from the dawn of civilization to the early Christian era. The treasures on display represent the physical evidence of civilizations and events described in the Bible. Traditions, rituals, religions, and cultures are revealed through ancient ivories, mosaics, jewelry, seals, terra cotta and stone sculptures. The magnificent cultures of ancient Egypt, Sumer, Assyria and Babylon come to life before you.
INTRODUCTORY GALLERY Facing you at the entrance to the gallery are three cases illustrating the biblical concept of the unity of humankind by artifacts representing the cultures of the sons of Noah. Continue into the gallery and see the illuminated map which shows the boundaries of the lands of the Bible, highlighting the various ruling empires, and traces the journey of Abraham. On the opposite wall is a time-line illustrating major historical events according to region and date. The artifacts on display represent each of the 20 Galleries of the permanent exhibition.
FROM HUNTER TO URBAN DWELLER
This gallery depicts the development of society from hunting and gathering until the dawn of civilization. Vessels and tools reveal technological progress from the Old Stone onward.
THE COMING OF CIVILIZATION
The Anne and Joseph Ternbach Gallery The first urban settlements evolved in the fourth millennium B.C.E. Seals and amulets in the gallery represent concepts and beliefs in Mesopotamia at that time.
The Ana and Abraham Portnoy Gallery visit the interactive multi-media computer program, “Seals, A Journey in Time”, which displays the many different uses of seals in the ancient Near East, illustrating 6,500 years of glyptic art with examples from the Museum’s collection.
LITERATE VOICES, THE STORY OF WRITING
This gallery chronicles the development of written communication from its earliest forms – a revolutionary invention that changed the shape of history. On display are examples of the many different scripts of the ancient Near East, cuneiform, hieroglyphic and alphabetic writing.
THE PRE-PATRIARCHAL WORLD
In the third millennium B.C.E. Mesopotamia was the center of an international commercial system, reaching from India in the east to Syria and Anatolia in the west. Displayed here are examples of tools, documents and Vehicles of the merchants of the ancient Near East.
THE SUMERIAN TEMPLE
The Zeev Reuben Borowski Gallery This gallery shows the religious life of Sumer, in southern Mesopotamia. Represented here are Worshipper statuettes, seals, and the model of the Ziggurat of Ur, depicting the world of the gods and their relationship with mortals.
OLD KINGDOM EGYPT
The Egyptian artifacts in this gallery emphasize the great importance the Egyptians assigned to the afterlife. A model of the royal burial grounds at Giza is situated in the center of the gallery.
GENESIS 14, THE AGE OF WARFARE
The Harriet and Leon Pumerance Gallery Featured here are a variety of weapons and representation of warriors from the Early and Middle Bronze Age illustrating the story from Genesis 14, the war of the four kings against the five kings.
THE AGE OF PATRIARCHS
This gallery shows the cultural background of the Patriarchs in the lands of the ancient Near East. Abraham’s belief in one God may have emerged from contemporary religious beliefs existing in this region. A unique cuneiform tablet illustrates temple worship in the month of Shabatu (Shvat) in the land of Abraham’s birth.
WHEN ISRAEL SOJOURNED IN EGYPT
Seen here are exhibits from the New Kingdom Period in Egypt and its northern neighbors (Canaan, Syria and the land of the Hittites). This period is reflected in the story of the Exodus, the exact route and date of which scholars are debating, some of their opinions are presented here.
THE SEA PEOPLE
Known by the Egyptians as Sea Peoples, they included the Philistines and other groups originating from the Aegean world. During this period the Israelites were settling in Canaan.
THE ARRIVAL OF THE IRANIAN HORSEMEN
The invasions of horsriding nomads, from the steppes to Asia into Iran during the 14th century B.C.E., are chronicled here. Elam, in southern Iran, was at the height of its power in the twelfth century and its influence spread across southern Mesopotamia.
STONES OF ARAM
During the first Millennium B.C.E. new city-states were established in northern Syria and eastern Anatolia. Aram of Zoba, Aram of Damascus, Aram of Beth-rehob, all mentioned in the Bible, are examples of such city-states. Other artifacts displayed here exemplify the Neo-Hittite culture.
ISRAEL AMONG THE NATIONS
The culture of Israel, Judah and their neighbors during the first Temple period are shown here. On display is a model of Jerusalem at the end of the first Temple period. Note the display of seals bearing theophoric names like Jonathan, Adonizur and Adoniyahu. Relics from Israel’s ancient neighbors exquisite carved ivories from the palace of Hazael, king of Damascus, and an in-depth display on the West Semitic Gods.
ASSYRIA, THE ROD OF MY ANGER
This gallery centers on the Assyrian Empire, despoiler of the kingdom of Israel. A relief from the palace of Sennacheib shows the Assyrian policy of mass deportation, which befell the ten tribes after Assyria conquered Israel. Models of Senncherib’s palace and the city of Babylon are also featured in this gallery along with artifacts from Assyrian’s rivals at the time – Elam, Babylon, and Urartu.
THE SPLENDOR OF PERSIA
The Lily and Nathan Silver Gallery Shown here is the richness of Persian Empire, as background to the story of the book of Esther. The gallery reflects the wealth and magnitude of the Empire, a tolerant regime, which allowed the Jews in Babylon to return from their exile and rebuild their Temple. The customs of the Persian royal house with its banquets are illustrated here/
After Alexander the Great’s empire broke up into several kingdoms, ruled by dynasties founded by his generals, Judaea fell under the dominion of the Ptolemaic dynasty of Egypt, and was later conquered by the Seleucid dynasty of Syria. The artifacts in the gallery describe the events of the period including the Maccabean Revolt.
ROME AND JUDAEA In 63 B.C.E.
Judaea became a client state of the Roman Empire; in 70 C.E. after the Jewish War, it became a Roman province. Note the Jewish sarcophagus from Jerusalem of the Second Temple period, and the elaborate Christian sarcophagus from the fourth century C.E. Mishnaic Judaism, early Christianity and the last vestiges of paganism are shown here.
ROMAN AND COPTIC EGYPT
The Rachel and Moshe Schoenberg Gallery The gallery describes the fading of Egyptian culture during the period of Roman and Byzantine rule. Intricate burial wrappings replaced mummification. With the rise of Christianity, the Egyptians stopped embalming their dead,
SASSANIAN MESOPOTAMIA – HOME OF THE BABYLONIAN TALMUD
The Rabbi Mordecai and Sylvia Green Gallery Under the rule of the Parthians and Sassanians the flourishing Jewish communities in southern Mesopotamia created the Babylonian Talmud. On display are magic Jewish incantation bowls and elegant silver vessels from the Sassanian period.
Glories of Ancient Greece
Exquisute Greek jewelry and ceramics from Bronze Age Crete to Classical Athens.
|Gallery 4 – PERSIAN JAR OF DARIUS I
(BLMJ 1979)Achaemenid Period, 486 BCE.
This jar bears a unique quadralingual inscription of Darius I. The three cuneiform inscriptions in Akkadian, Elamite and Old Persian languages read: “Darius [great] king”.
|Gallery 2 – VESSEL SUPPORTED BY A PAIR OF BULLS
(BLMJ 0860)ca. 3300-3100 BCE
These recumbent animals are carved in high relief. There are subtle differentiations between the two animals.
|Gallery 6 – SUMERIAN FEMALE WORSHIPPER
(BLMJ 0954)Early Dynastic II-IIIA Period , Ca. 2700-2500 BCE
Worshippers such as this one stand in perpetual reverence and supplication to a god.
|Gallery 9 – ANATOLIAN FAMILY
(BLMJ 0577)Middle Bronze Age I-II, 2000-1550 BCE
Of the wide range of possible functions and meanings for these miniature human representations, one might have been as an icon in household worship.
|Gallery 8 – MESOPOTAMIAN FEMALE HEAD
(BLMJ 0174)Old Babylonian or Old Elamite Periods , 2000-1750 BCE
This head has a hollow channel inside, indicating that it was modeled on a stick or temporary stand.
|Gallery 7 – OLD KINGDOM EGYPT
(0729)Ca. 2800-2400 B.C.E. Late Sixth Dynasty
This vase, slightly carinated at shoulder level, has a rounded, almost hemispherical lower body, a short narrow neck, and a flared rim.
|Gallery 1 – BOWL
(BLMJ 0956)Early Chalcolithic Period
This bowl is handmade with painted decoration in red that has been applied to a pale brown slip and then burnished.
|Gallery 3 – STAMP SEAL WITH A MYTHOLOGICAL SCENE
(BLMJ 2337)ca. 725-675 BCE
This seal depicting a woman holding a smaller figure.
|Gallery 5 – ANATOLIAN RITUAL STANDARD
(BLMJ 3022)Early Bronze Age III
This image of a bull formed a finial of a ritual standard.
|Gallery 10 – SET OF FOUR CANOPIC JARS
(BLMJ 3916)Nineteenth-Twentieth Dynasties, 1307-1070 BCE
During the process of mummification, the soft internal organs of the deceased were removed, individually preserved and placed into separate vessels termed canopic jars.
|Gallery 11 – RHYTON IN THE FORM OF A BULL’S HEAD
(BLMJ 0131)Iron Age, 700-400 BCE
The rhyton in the form of a bull’s head is an example of the type of “trick” vessels popular in Anatolia.
|Gallery 12 – ANTHROMORPHIC VESSEL
(BLMJ 0233)Iron Age II, 900-600 BCE
This anthropomorphic vessel depicts a person holding a spouted libation vessel and was itself used for libations.
|Gallery 13 – NEO-HITTITE FUNERARY STELA
(BLMJ 1060)Neo-Hittite Culture, 950-750 BCE
This stela depicts a man and a woman, probably husband and wife, sitting opposite each other with a table between them.
|Gallery 14 – ROYAL SEAL IMPRESSION
(BLMJ 0830)First Temple Period, 705-701 BCE
Seen here is a jar handle stamped with a royal seal bearing an inscription in the Hebrew language.
|Gallery 15 – STELA OF ENTHRONED KING RECEIVING TRIBUTE
(BLMJ 4206)Neo-Assyrian, ca. 800-700 BCE
The relief depicts an enthroned king holding a cup and receiving tribute from two couriers. Behind the king stands his attendant.
|Gallery 16 – URATIAN PAINTED TITLE
(BLMJ 4230)Neo-Assyrian, 800-700 BCE
This architectural plaque is painted on a baked clay surface.
|Introductory Gallery – FRAGMENTARY VASE IN THE SHAPE OF HEAD
(BLMJ 0164)ca. 450 BCE
This splendid vase fragment represents a Lydan of the mid-fifth century BCE wearing huge earrings and with rouged cheeks.
|Passage Gallery – SEATED STATUE OF RAMESSES II
(BLMJ 1055)Nineteenth Dynasty, 1290-1224 BCE
This life-size statue is identified as that of Ramesses II by his name and titulary on the two sides of the throne.
|Gallery 18 – ROMAN “JUDAEA CAPTA” COIN
(BLMJ 2909)71 CE
Portrait of Vespasian.
|Gallery 19 – EGYPTIAN PAINTED SHROUD
(BLMJ 1097)Roman, Ca. 40-70 CE
This shroud covered the mummified body of the woman depicted in the portrait.
|Gallery 20 – GOLD MEDALLION DEOCRATED WITH EAGLE
(BLMJ 3759)Sassanian Empire, 300-600 CE
The Sassanians were excellent silversmiths and goldsmiths, who displayed their imaginative powers to the full in iconography and decoration.
|Gallery 17 – EGYPTIAN APIS BULL
(BLMJ 3928)Third Intermediate to Ptolemaic, 712-30 BCE
The ancient Egyptians equated the bull’s virility with the creative powers of the god Ptah of Memphis.
For general information call: 02-5611066
Museum Opening Hours
Sun., Mon., Tues., Thurs. 9:30 – 17:30
Weds. 9:30 – 21:30
Fri. & Holiday Eves. 9:30 – 14:00
Saturday: 10:00 – 15:00
Holidays – closed
The Museum will be closed on September 11,17,18.
Daily Guided Tours:
English 10:30, Hebrew 11:00.
Additional Tours on Wednesdays: English 17:30, Hebrew 18:00.
Saturday: Please check in advance
Private tours, additional languages and groups by advance reservation.
BLMJ Store Hours
Sun., Mon., Tues., Thurs. 9:30 – 17:30
Weds. 9:30 – 19:30
Fri. & Holiday Eves. 9:30 – 14:00
Saturday Night Music evenings shop opens one hour before show time
Cafe Opening Hours
Sun., Mon., Tues., Thurs. 10:30 – 19:30
Weds. 10:30 – 19:30
Fri. & Holiday Eves. 10:30 – 13:30
Sat. and Holidays – closed