Maresha-Beit Guvrin National Park is a UNESCO world heritage site and is one of the most famous national parks in Israel. The Park is located in the heart of the Judean lowlands, once a home of the Edomites people.
The Arabic Edomites were the descendants of Esau, the twin brother of Jacob. Even when in their mother’s womb, Esau and Jacob already started struggle each other.
As an adult, Esau recklessly sold his inheritance to Jacob for just a bowl of his beloved lentil stew. Soon after, Issak, who had got old and blind, decided to bless one of his sons and to let the one inheriting the Holy Land. Isaak meant to bless Edom, whom he loved more, but Jacob managed to mislead his farther, pretending to be Esau, and Isaak blessed him, instead. Esau became the father of the Arab Edomites and Jacob became the father of the Israelites, and the two nations continued to struggle through most of their history. And even today, the Israeli Jews and the Arabs continue arguing, if the Jews had stolen the Heritage, or the Arabs had sold it for a stew!
Notorious King Herod the Great was and Edomite (Idumean, as they were called then) and his family origin was from Maresha.
Today Maresha is famed for the numerous and fascinating caves dug by its ancient inhabitants. These caves served many purposes – as quarries, cisterns, storerooms and tombs. The underground structures of Maresha have been well-preserved, firstly because of the quality of their architectural design and also by a very long period of abandonment, filling up naturally over time, which has contributed to their preservation.
Visiting Maresha is a tremendously interesting and exciting experience for both the children and the adults, alike.
Esau's Lentil Stew - the origin of struggle
Tombs frescos 3rh Century BC
Stores, Olive Press and Columbarium at Maresha
Maresha man-made caves