Today, our journey through biblical locations brings us to Tel Aviv, the largest, most populated city in Israel. At this point, some of you, especially if you happen to live in Israel, would wonder why Tel Aviv, which is only 106 years old, is mentioned here at all. What does Tel Aviv have to do with the Bible?
The point is that most people, including Israelis, are not aware of the fact that Tel Aviv is indeed mentioned in the Bible. True, the biblical Tel Aviv was built when Jews could not build in Israel because they were forced out of the Land to exile in Babylon.
Despite the claims that the name Tel Aviv was inspired by Theodor Herzl’s book “Altneuland” (The Old New Land), translated into Hebrew under the name “Tel Aviv” by Nahum Sokolow, there is no doubt that the real inspiration for the name came from this verse from the book of Ezekiel:
“Then I came to the exiles at Tel Aviv, who dwelt by the Chebar river, and I sat where they sat, and remained there overwhelmed among them seven days”
Today, Tel Aviv is municipally connected to its historic biblical neighbor, Yaffo, Jaffa, which we shall visit tomorrow. In the U.S., you can find many Tel Avivs in its English name, such as Spring Hill, FL.