This jumped out at me:
Genesis 35: 19-20
So Rachel died, and she was buried on the way to Ephrath (that is, Bethlehem), and Jacob set up a pillar over her tomb. It is the pillar of Rachel's tomb, which is there to this day.
When I was reading the Bible as a youngster, I remember coming to the words "there to this day", and thinking to myself: "to which day? The day in which Genesis was written by Moses? Or to the current day? Is this a place I could go see?" These four words transformed my entire approach to reading the Bible from a collection of stories to a historical record. Indeed, the Tomb of Rachel is still there to this day, and it is a place that I could go see. Like most sites in the holy lands, a building has been constructed at the site which has been built, rebuilt, updated, fought-over, and control of which has changed hands several times. And also, like many holy land sites, the location of the building is disputed. Rachel is considered the mother of Israel and her tomb is the 3rd holiest site in Judaism. The site is also revered by Christians and Muslims.
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