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sIMG_3146

 

Ophni is mentioned only once in the bible Josh 18:24 The hebrew contains the idea of mouldy. It was one of 12 villages comprising part of the inheritance of Benjamin and located approx. 4.5 km NW of Bethel, which corresponds to Eusebius description of being 15 miles from Jerusalem.  Considered the Gophna of Josephus  and mentioned by Pliny (1,2) was considered a rabbinic centre and subjected by Cassisus (1c) and again later taken by Vespasian prior to the fall of Jerusalem (1b) Today it is an Arabic-christian village with numerous roman road fragments found to the north of the village, as well as some well-preserved crusader remnants.

Ref:  (1) Josephus wars iii.3.5;  (1b) iv.9.9 (1c) Antiq 14:11.2; 12:2 (2) Pliny Nat 5:14 (3) Robinson, Bib. Res. vol. iii. pp. 77–79

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