Our team members in Iraq get to visit some really cool historical places that you might not expect.
“An oracle concerning Nineveh. The book of the vision of Nahum of Elkosh.” ~Nahum 1:1
If you’re like us, you probably never really noticed the name of the town Nahum was from. But all of that changes when you are driving down the road and see a sign that says: Tomb of Nahum – Turn Left. Alqosh is a little town north of Mosul (the ancient city of Ninevah). The people that live there are mostly Christian with a long heritage of faith. For centuries Alqosh was the seat of the patriarchs of the Church of the East that stretched throughout Central Asia.
The Rabban Hormizd monastery was carved into the mountainside near the town in 640 AD, and the caves and building are still intact today.
But even before the Christian heritage, there was a Jewish heritage. Nahum’s father was taken into captivity by the Assyrians and so Nahum most likely grew up in this little town outside Ninevah.
The tomb of Nahum is inside the ruins of an old Jewish synagogue, complete with Hebrew writing on the walls as well as lamps and other uniquely Jewish decoration.
It is one of the only standing synagogues left in Iraq.
Alqosh actually housed a significant Jewish population until 1948 when they were expelled. The keys to the tomb were passed off to an Assyrian man whose family continues to keep his promise to look after the tomb. In fact, today, you still need to walk through the narrow winding streets and knock on the right door to get access.
This is just one of the many cool historical places our teams get to visit! Learn more here!