The great trees of Mamre. This is a significant place in the life of Israel. There is a tradition, cited by the ancient Jewish historian Josephus, that the trees of Mamre are as old as the world itself and another tradition that says these trees mark the spot where the Temple would eventually stand.
But we can see this place’s importance just by reading Genesis. In Genesis 13, after Abraham separated with Lot, Abraham moved his tent and settled by the great trees of Mamre. And there, he built an altar to the Lord after God renewed the covenant with him. In Genesis 17, at the great trees of Mamre, God again blesses Abraham and Sarah by promising to give this elderly childless couple many offspring. And here, at the great trees of Mamre, Abraham and his family are circumsized as a sign of their covenant with God.
- Genesis 18:1 - 15