ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Eilat, Israel - Background and History

Updated on March 12, 2013

Photo of the Mountains of Eilat

Eilat is a popular tourist destination for people from Israel and foreign tourists alike.
Eilat is a popular tourist destination for people from Israel and foreign tourists alike.

Eilat is a busy seaport in the southernmost region of Israel. The Gulf of Eilat is a branch of the Red Sea, through which the city can maintain maritime connection with much of the world. The location of the city adjacent to both the sea and the Sinai Peninsula relates to its importance in the history of Israel and the entire region.

The history of Eilat begins deep in the past, previous even to the biblical era. Archaeologists have determined that the site was in existence during the 7th millennium BC. Ancient records in Egypt indicate that the area was an important focus for mining operations and for trade with Egypt itself. Trade items such as frankincense, myrrh, linen and copper jewelry passed through the city’s busy docks.

Old Testament scholars believe that the patriarch Abraham, mentioned in the book of Genesis, sojourned in the region. The Israelites, after their flight from Egypt in the book of Exodus, spent some time wandering in the desert region around Eilat, before Moses led them on lands east of the Dead Sea.

Eilat was also apparently a crucial zone for the defenses of the Kingdom of Israel when David ruled. His son, Solomon, developed the port and based a navy there some ten centuries before the Christian era. Allegedly the famous Queen of Sheba traveled through this port on her way to see King Solomon. Besides serving as a port, Eilat was also home to copper-based industry.

From there the history of the city becomes more turbulent. Generations later, a storm destroyed the navy built by King Jehoshaphat. Syria took the town from Israel when Ahaz was King, and after that the town experienced numerous changes of possession. Eventually, the Turks built a new port at Aqaba, not far from Eilat, and the city’s influenced waned for centuries.

In 1949, Israeli forces seized the town without a fight just before the end of hostilities in the Israeli War for Independence. Initially, little could be done with the now-tiny town on the southern coast of Israel, though tourism was immediately a source of revenue and development. Since the Sinai War opened the Straits of Tiran in 1956, however, Eilat has grown slowly into a prosperous resort and seaport, and many tours to Israel pass through here.

As in the past with the Kings of Israel, the town continues to be a crucial point in Israel’s defenses and a conduit through which it can maintain communication and trade with the rest of the world.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)