Article - ( Nebi Shuaib" (Jethro's Tomb "
Nebi Shuaib, set among the silvery-green olive groves of Lower Galilee, houses the traditional Tomb of Jethro, the revered prophet of the Druze and father-in-law of Moses.
An ancient custom ordains that on April 25th Druze from Galilee and Mt. Carmel gather at Nebi Shuaib. Clad in festive dress, with snow-white kerchiefs on their heads, throngs of Druze worshippers make the annual spring pilgrimage.
Inside the rambling, white-domed building is a large prayer hall decorated in pastel colors. Jethro's rock-hewn tomb, covered by heavily embroidered cloths, forms part of the west wall of the "Makom" (Holy Place). The southern wall is paved with a natural stone slab bearing the impression of a foot. Legend tells that Jethro, stamping his foot in anger, left a lasting footprint on this rock.
The buildings above and around the Tomb were erected during the period of Ottoman rule and the British Mandate with the help of donations from Druze from Eretz Israel, Lebanon and Syria. After the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948, these buildings were renovated and enlarged, especially the Prayer Hall. A spacious room for guests and a new wing to lodge Druze pilgrims were added since then.
From the misty past of nearly 2,500 years ago, the figure of Jethro emerges as one of the strong characters of biblical days. A wise, learned man, held in high esteem by his own people and a loving father to his seven daughters, Jethro was appreciated and honored his remarkable son-in-law. Moses, too, valued the older man's advice and judgement, and their conversations, as related in the Book of Exodus, are as lively and relevant today as they were so very long ago.
The stamp depicts Jethro's Tomb. The inscription on the tab is: "Jethro's Tomb" and "Tomb of Nebi Shuaib."