Pillage of Ein Gedi

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Pillage of Ein Gedi
Location Ein Gedi, Roman Judea
Date Passover, 67 CE
Target Jewish residents of Ein Gedi
Attack type
Mass Killings
Deaths 700
Perpetrators Sicarii rebels, coming from Masada
Motive Pillage

The Pillage of Ein Gedi refers to the Sicarii raid of Ein Gedi during the Great Jewish Revolt. According to Josephus, on Passover, the Sicarii of Masada raided Ein-Gedi, a nearby Jewish settlement, and killed 700 of its inhabitants.[1][2][3] Josephus' account is the only known record of the pillage and its perpetrators. Pliny the Elder however described the destruction of Ein Gedi after the end of the war:

Below the settlement of the Essenes was once the village of Ein Gedi, second only to Jerusalem (Carei Jericho) in fertility of soil and groves of palm trees. But now it, like Jerusalem (Jericho), is but a heap of ashes

(Naturalis Historia 5: 73).

The excavation of a miqve in Ein Gedi revealed a large concentration of pottery sherds and stone tools on the floor, which had been covered by a layer of collapsed debris showing evidence of a heavy conflagration. It is possible that this represents the destruction inflicted by the Sicarii during the Great Revolt.[4]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ The Wars of the Jews, or History of the Destruction of Jerusalem, by Flavius Josephus, translated by William Whiston, Project Gutenberg, Book IV, Chapter 7, Paragraph 2.
  2. ^ Flavius Josephus, De bello Judaico libri vii, B. Niese, Ed. J. BJ 4.7.2
  3. ^ Ancient battle divides Israel as Masada 'myth' unravels; Was the siege really so heroic, asks Patrick Cockburn in Jerusalem, The Independent, 30 March 1997
  4. ^ Ein Gedi: A Large Jewish Village. [1]