Charles W. Wilson, Picturesque Palestine, 1880

The Oak of Mamre spreads its protective shade over a tent and its inhabitants in an 1880 sketch by Charles W. Wilson. “Arise, walk through the length and breadth of the land, for I will give it to you,” God says to Abram in Genesis 13:17. The next verse records, “So Abram moved his tent, and came and dwelt by the oaks of Mamre, which are at Hebron; and there he built an altar to the Lord.”

From the earliest years of Christianity, the faithful esteemed the Holy Land as the place where Jesus lived and conducted his ministry, and also venerated it as the site of Old Testament events.