Exploring Israel’s Timna Park

Earlier this year I visited Israel’s Timna Park for the first time in years. Most visitors to Israel never see the southern part of the country since most of the biblical record occurred farther north.

Exploring Israel's Timna Park

(Photo: “Solomon’s Pillars” at Timna Park. Courtesy of the Pictorial Library of Bible Lands)

So I thought I’d share a few photos, video, and maps to give you a taste of this seldom-seen site in southern Israel.

Between the copper mines, the formations called “Solomon’s Pillars,” and a replica of the Tabernacle, there’s plenty to see.

Let’s take a look.

A Moving Picture is Worth a Thousand Words

This time-lapse video was published the same month I visited Timna Park (March 2014). The beautiful photography captures well the spectacular landscapes offered by this beautiful part of Israel.

(Note to your ears: Unless you enjoy the rock group Strangeways, you might mute your audio and play some Mozart instead.)

Patches of black on the red, brown, and white of the Arava cliffs betray the presence of heat even more intense than that furnished by nature. —Jerome Murphy-O’Connor (The Holy Land: An Oxford Archaeological Guide)

“Solomon’s Pillars”

The beautiful Nubian sandstone formations called “Solomon’s Pillars” are Timna Park’s best-known attraction. If you’re surefooted, a climb up these formations offers a rewarding view for hikers of all ages.

This Google Street View at Solomon’s Pillars gives you a sense of the beauty of this area.


Beside and behind the pillars rest ruins from Egyptian idol worship, complete with a carving of Ramesses III offering a sacrifice to the god Hathor.

Hathor's Temple at Timna Park

(Photo: Hathor’s Temple at Timna Park. Courtesy of the Pictorial Library of Bible Lands)

Copper Mines

The Lord promised the Hebrews after they entered the Promised Land, they could dig copper out of the hills (Deuteronomy 8:9). Nowhere is this better seen in Israel than in the Timna Valley.

Here are some of the oldest copper mines in the world, dating to the Chalcolithic period (3500 BC). Visitors today can see the quarries and carefully explore them.

  • The copper slabs dug from these pits and caves were made into bronze tools and weapons.
  • Some archaeologists believed that Solomon dug copper here, but more probably he mined at Punon, or modern Feinan.
  • Until the 1970s, the Timna Copper Mines—an Israeli company—quarried copper from the Timna Valley.

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A Chalcolithic copper mine in Timna Park

(Photo: A Chalcolithic copper mine in Timna Park. Courtesy of the Pictorial Library of Bible Lands)

Timna Park’s Tabernacle

In Timna Park, a full-scale replica of the Tabernacle stands in the very wilderness where Moses and the children of Israel wandered for forty years. The model is reproduced in exact accordance with the specifications outlined in Exodus 40:34-38.

A Christian group offers tours of the model and educates guests on its various pieces of furniture as well as the rituals involved in the annual Yom Kippur—the Day of Atonement—when the sins of the people fell upon a sacrifice.

Tabernacle model and courtyard

(Photo: Tabernacle model at Timna Park. Courtesy of the Pictorial Library of Bible Lands)

The book of Hebrews likens these elements to the Messiah. Read these verses out loud and ponder:

Since therefore, brethren, we have confidence to enter the holy place by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way which He inaugurated for us through the veil, that is, His flesh, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful. —Hebrews 10:19-23

We may have hearts sprinkled clean, and while we rejoice in our freedom from sin, we never should forget our debt to Jesus.

Question: Have you ever seen Timna Park before? To leave a comment, just click here.


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  • David

    August, 1986. When my wife and I visited Timna Park the temp that day reached 127, the hottest day of my life to be sure! Because it is such a remote and out of the way location very few tourists visit, although perhaps more come these days. It is a day and experience I will never forget. If you take the time to visit you will never forget.

    • Wow, David—127 degrees? You should have gotten a traveler’s discount for that day. August in Israel is a great time to go nocturnal. 🙂
      I agree with you; it’s a hidden place but a great place to visit. Thanks for your comments.

  • Pingback: Timna Park —A Portrait of Your Atonement on Yom Kippur()

  • Cerese Sweeley

    I went to Timna Park in March of 2014, there were only 5 of us in my group touring Israel. I have been twice before, this was my first time going south into the desert. The Tabernacle was the main thing I wanted to experience as I have prayed through the Tabernacle for quite a few years. There were only the five of us and one other couple at the Tabernacle, it was wonderful. I got to open the curtain to the courtyard as well as the curtain to the Holy Place. Our tour guide at the Tabernacle was just great. We got to spend a great deal of time in the Tabernacle, and it was an experience of a lifetime and my heart was touched deeply. My feet remember every step I have taken in the Land of Israel and some day Jesus will walk there again. Israel was the experience of a lifetime; it put God’s words into the most beautiful picture which is forever a keepsake within my heart.

    I enjoy your posts and have your books on my iPad. They are wonderful!

    • So good to hear from you, Cerese. I enjoyed hearing of your special time in the Tabernacle at Timna. Like walking in the book of Exodus, isn’t it? Thanks so much for your words. You make me want to return to Israel again next week! 🙂