Akeldama is a valley located in the south-west part outside the old city of Jerusalem, the location is known as the place where children were sacrificed during the times of King Solomon, where judas Iscariot hanged himself after selling Jesus for 30 coins of silver and identified as a punishment area and hell on earth.
One of the monasteries in Akeldama or the valley of death called the Greek Orthodox Monastery of St Onuphrius, built over the place believed to be where judas Iscariot hanged himself, the monastery facing mount zion, and the catholic cemetery of Jerusalem.
Built in the late 19th century over the remains of a byzantine monastery held by a small gree orthodox community, dedicated to Onuphrius who was a Munk with a long beard wearing nothing but a loincloth of leaves. next to the monastery, you can find a system of burial caves in which pilgrims who visited Jerusalem and didn't survive the way home are berried
Over the years the burial caves were occupied by poor monks who lived there and isolated themselves the same way as many others in the Judean desert, a later tradition may claim that the burial holes were the hiding place of Jesus disciples while Jesus was caught by the Romans in the Gethsemane garden. The crusaders buried patients who died in the old city near the church of the holy sepulcher.
The translation of Akeldama from Aramaic means the field of blood or hell on earth.
According to the gospels, after judas betrayed Jesus and received the payment of 30 coins he regretted and felt remorse, he took the coins to the temple and gave them to the priests and elders who refused to accept the money.
“The chief priests picked up the coins and said, ‘It is against the law to put this into the treasury since it is blood money. So they decided to use the money to buy the potter’s field as a burial place for foreigners. That is why it has been called the Field of Blood to this day.”
KING SOLOMON TIMES
During the times of King Solomon 1000 BC. Gay Ben Hinnom was known as the place where children were sacrificed by the wives of King Solomon to the Baal god or Molech, this period was the early stage of monotheism and still, human sacrifice was considered as the best gift to the gods.
Ever since Akeldama or Gay Ben Hinnom is recognized by Christians and Jews as hell on earth.
And fear not them that kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul; but rather fear Him that can destroy both soul and body in hell.
Jeremiah Chapter 19, 1-6
Thus said the LORD: Go, and get a potter's earthen bottle, and take of the elders of the people, and of the elders of the priests;and go forth unto the valley of the son of Hinnom, which is by the entry of the gate Harsith, and proclaim there the words that I shall tell theeand say: Hear ye the word of the LORD, O kings of Judah, and inhabitants of Jerusalem; thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel: Behold, I will bring evil upon this place, which whosoever heareth, his ears shall tinglebecause they have forsaken Me, and have estranged this place, and have offered in it unto other gods, whom neither they nor their fathers have known, nor the kings of Judah; and have filled this place with the blood of innocentsand have built the high places of Baal, to burn their sons in the fire for burnt-offerings unto Baal; which I commanded not, nor spoke it, neither came it into My mindTherefore, behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that this place shall no more be called Topheth, nor the valley of the son of Hinnom, but the valley of slaughter.
VISIT AKELDAMA IN JERUSALEM
Today you can visit on my guided tours of Christian Jerusalem the bloody valley, the place is absolutely safe and very recommended to visit to expand your knowledge about Jerusalem and discover new sites.
Monastery of St Onuphrius opening hours:
Administered by: Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Jerusalem
Tel.: Monastery, +972-505-315530; Patriarchate, +972-262-85636
Open: Apr-Sep, Tuesdays and Thursdays 9 am-12 noon, 4-7 pm
Oct-Mar, Tuesdays and Thursdays 9 am-12 noon, 3-5 pm