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Oak of Mamre

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[[Image:philoxenie-abrahaam.jpeg|right|thumbnail|Abraham's Hospitality at the Mambre Oak Tree, Η Φιλοξενία του Αβρααμ (gr.)]]The '''Oak of Mamre''' (also called the '''Oak of Sibta'''), at Hirbet es-Sibte, two kilometres southwest of Mamre<ref>'''Genesis 13:18''' ''Then Abram removed his tent, and came and dwelt in the plain of Mamre, which is in Hebron, and built there an altar unto the LORD''(KJV)</ref>, also called ''The Oak of Abraham''<ref>The Hebrew term ''Eloney Mamreh'' of Genesis 13:18 is considered by some translators to be a name of a region in Canaan. Other scholars dispute this and suggest that it is the reference to the terebinth trees of Mamre; or to the ''Oak of Mamre'', which is know known as ''Abraham's Oak''</ref> is an ancient tree which, in tradition, is said to mark the place where Abraham entertained the three angels<ref> [http://www.stetson.edu/~psteeves/relnews/hebron.html ''New Challenge for Arafat: A Russian Church''] by Serge Schmemann for the New York Times, July 11, 1997. </ref> or where Abraham pitched his tent. It is estimated that this oak is approximately 5,000 years old.
The site of the oak was acquired in 1868 by Archimandrite [[Antonin (Kapustin) ]] for the [[Church of Russia]] and the nearby Monastery of the Holy Trinity was founded nearby.<ref>The Hebron Monastery has emerged as a political issue between Russia and Palestinian authorities.</ref> The site has since been a major attraction for Russian [[Pilgrimage|pilgrims]] before the revolution, and is the only functioning Christian shrine in the Hebron region. After the Russian Revolution, the property came under the control of the [[ROCOR]].
A long-standing tradition is that the ''Oak of Abraham'' will die before the appearance of the Anti-Christ. The oak has been dead since 1996<ref>[http://www.accessmylibrary.com/coms2/summary_0286-6392441_ITM Hebron's holy tree is dead but its successors live. Publication Date: 27 December 1996]</ref><ref>[http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=3PkGAAAAIBAJ&sjid=5zYDAAAAIBAJ&pg=7056,3033524&dq=mamre+tree Rome News-Tribune. Publication Date: 29 December 1996]</ref>.
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