Beth @ occurs frequently as the appellation for a house, or dwelling-place, in such compounds as the words immediately following:
Beth-anath @ house of response, one of the fenced cities of Naphtali Joshua:19:38). It is perhaps identical with the modern village 'Ainata, 6 miles west of Kedesh.
Beth-anoth @ house of answers, a city in the mountainous district of Judah Joshua:15:59). It has been identified with the modern Beit-'Anun, about 3 miles northeast of Hebron.
Beth-arabah @ house of the desert, one of the six cities of Judah, situated in the sunk valley of the Jordan and Dead Sea Joshua:18:22). In Joshua:15:61 it is said to have been "in the wilderness." It was afterwards included in the towns of Benjamin. It is called Arabah Joshua:18:18).
Beth-aram @ house of the height; i.e., "mountain-house", one of the towns of Gad, 3 miles east of Jordan, opposite Jericho Joshua:13:27). Probably the same as Beth-haran in Numbers:32:36. It was called by king Herod, Julias, or Livias, after Livia, the wife of Augustus. It is now called Beit-haran.
Beth-arbel @ house of God's court, a place alluded to by Hosea (10:14) as the scene of some great military exploit, but not otherwise mentioned in Scripture. The Shalman here named was probably Shalmaneser, the king of Assyria ( 2Kings:17:3).
Beth-aven @ house of nothingness; i.e., "of idols", a place in the mountains of Benjamin, east of Bethel Joshua:7:2Joshua:18:12; 1Samuel:13:5). In Hosea:4:15Hosea:5:8Hosea:10:5 it stands for "Bethel" (q.v.), and it is so called because it was no longer the "house of God," but "the house of idols," referring to the calves there worshipped.
Beth-barah @ house of crossing, a place south of the scene of Gideon's victory Judges:7:24). It was probably the chief ford of the Jordan in that district, and may have been that by which Jacob crossed when he returned from Mesopotamia, near the Jabbok Genesis:32:22), and at which Jephthah slew the Ephraimites Judges:12:4). Nothing, however, is certainly known of it. (See BETHABARA
Beth-car @ sheep-house, a place to which the Israelites pursued the Philistines west from Mizpeh ( 1Samuel:7:11).
Beth-dagon @ house of Dagon. (1.) A city in the low country or plain of Judah, near Philistia Joshua:15:41); the modern Beit Degan, about 5 miles from Lydda. (2.) A city near the south-east border of Asher Joshua:19:27). It was a Philistine colony. It is identical with the modern ruined village of Tell D'auk.
Beth-diblathaim @ house of two cakes of figs, a city of Moab, upon which Jeremiah (48:22) denounced destruction. It is called also Almon-diblathaim Numbers:33:46) and Diblath Ezekiel:6:14). (R.V., "Diblah.")
Beth-gamul @ camel-house, a city in the "plain country" of Moab denounced by the prophet Jeremiah:48:23); probably the modern Um-el-Jemal, near Bozrah, one of the deserted cities of the Hauran.
Beth-gilgal @ house of Gilgal, a place from which the inhabitants gathered for the purpose of celebrating the rebuilding of the walls on the return exile Nehemiah:12:29). (See GILGAL.)
Beth-haccerem @ house of a vineyard, a place in the tribe of Judah Nehemiah:3:14) where the Benjamites were to set up a beacon when they heard the trumpet against the invading army of the Babylonians Jeremiah:6:1). It is probable that this place is the modern 'Ain Karim, or "well of the vineyards," near which there is a ridge on which are cairns which may have served as beacons of old, one of which Isaiah:40 feet high and 130 in diameter.
Beth-horon @ house of the hollow, or of the cavern, the name of two towns or villages ( 2Chronicals:8:5; 1Chronicles:7:24) in the territory of Ephraim, on the way from Jerusalem to Joppa. They are distinguished as Beth-horon "the upper" and Beth-horon "the nether." They are about 2 miles apart, the former being about 10 miles north-west of Jerusalem. Between the two places was the ascent and descent of Beth-horon, leading from Gibeon down to the western plain Joshua:10:10-11Joshua:18:13-14), down which the five kings of the Amorites were driven by Joshua in that great battle, the most important in which the Hebrews had been as yet engaged, being their first conflict with their enemies in the open field. Jehovah interposed in behalf of Israel by a terrific hailstorm, which caused more deaths among the Canaanites than did the swords of the Israelites. Beth-horon is mentioned as having been taken by Shishak, B.C. 945, in the list of his conquests, and the pass was the scene of a victory of Judas Maccabeus. (Comp. Exodus:9:19Exodus:9:25Job:38:22-23; Psalms:18:12-14; Isaiah:30:30.) The modern name of these places is Beit-ur, distinguished by el-Foka, "the upper," and el-Tahta, "the nether." The lower was at the foot of the pass, and the upper, 500 feet higher, at the top, west of Gibeon. (See GIBEON.)
Beth-jeshimoth @ house of wastes, or deserts, a town near Abel-shittim, east of Jordan, in the desert of Moab, where the Israelites encamped not long before crossing the Jordan Numbers:33:49; A.V., "Bethjesimoth"). It was within the territory of Sihon, king of the Amorites Joshua:12:3).
Beth-le-Aphrah @ (R.V. Micah:1:10), house of dust. The Authorized Version reads "in the house of Aphrah." This is probably the name of a town in the Shephelah, or "low country," between Joppa and Gaza.
Beth-phage @ house of the unripe fig, a village on the Mount of Olives, on the road from Jerusalem to Jericho Matthew:21:1; Mark:11:1; Luke:19:29), and very close to Bethany. It was the limit of a Sabbath-day's journey from Jerusalem, i.e., 2,000 cubits. It has been identified with the modern Kefr-et-Tur.
Beth-shean @ house of security or rest, a city which belonged to Manasseh ( 1Chronicles:7:29), on the west of Jordan. The bodies of Saul and his sons were fastened to its walls. In Solomon's time it gave its name to a district (kjvKings:4:12). The name is found in an abridged form, Bethshan, in 1Samuel:31:10-12 and 2Samuel:21:12. It is on the road from Jerusalem to Damascus, about 5 miles from the Jordan, and 14 from the south end of the Lake of Gennesaret. After the Captivity it was called Scythopolis, i.e., "the city of the Scythians," who about B.C. 640 came down from the steppes of Southern Russia and settled in different places in Syria. It is now called Beisan.
Beth-shemesh @ house of the sun. (1.) A sacerdotal city in the tribe of Dan Joshua:21:16; 1Samuel:6:15), on the north border of Judah Joshua:15:10). It was the scene of an encounter between Jehoash, king of Israel, and Amaziah, king of Judah, in which the latter was made prisoner ( 2Kings:14:11-13). It was afterwards taken by the Philistines ( 2Chronicals:28:18). It is the modern ruined Arabic village 'Ain-shems, on the north-west slopes of the mountains of Judah, 14 miles west of Jerusalem. (2.) A city between Dothan and the Jordan, near the southern border of Issachar Joshua:19:22), 7 1/2 miles south of Beth-shean. It is the modern Ain-esh-Shemsiyeh. (3.) One of the fenced cities of Naphtali Joshua:19:38), between Mount Tabor and the Jordan. Now Khurbet Shema, 3 miles west of Safed. But perhaps the same as No. 2. (4.) An idol sanctuary in Egypt Jeremiah:43:13); called by the Greeks Heliopolis, and by the Egyptians On (q.v.), Genesis:41:45.
Beth-tappuah @ house of apples, a town of Judah, now Tuffuh, 5 miles west of Hebron Joshua:15:53).
Bethabara @ house of the ford, a place on the east bank of the Jordan, where John was baptizing John:1:28). It may be identical with Bethbarah, the ancient ford of Jordan of which the men of Ephraim took possession Judges:7:24). The Revised Version reads "Bethany beyond Jordan." It was the great ford, and still bears the name of "the ford," Makhadhet 'Abarah, "the ford of crossing over," about 25 miles from Nazareth. (See BETHBARAH.)
Bethany @ house of dates. (1.) The Revised Version in John:1:28 has this word instead of Bethabara, on the authority of the oldest manuscripts. It appears to have been the name of a place on the east of Jordan. (2.) A village on the south-eastern slope of the Mount of Olives Mark:11:1), about 2 miles east of Jerusalem, on the road to Jericho. It derived its name from the number of palm-trees which grew there. It was the residence of Lazarus and his sisters. It is frequently mentioned in connection with memorable incidents in the life of our Lord Matthew:21:17Matthew:26:6; Mark:11:11-12Mark:14:3; Luke:24:50; John:11:1John:12:1). It is now known by the name of el-Azariyeh, i.e., "place of Lazarus," or simply Lazariyeh. Seen from a distance, the village has been described as "remarkably beautiful, the perfection of retirement and repose, of seclusion and lovely peace." Now a mean village, containing about twenty families.
Bethel @ house of God. (1.) A place in Central Palestine, about 10 miles north of Jerusalem, at the head of the pass of Michmash and Ai. It was originally the royal Canaanite city of Luz Genesis:28:19). The name Bethel was at first apparently given to the sanctuary in the neighbourhood of Luz, and was not given to the city itself till after its conquest by the tribe of Ephraim. When Abram entered Canaan he formed his second encampment between Bethel and Hai Genesis:12:8); and on his return from Egypt he came back to it, and again "called upon the name of the Lord" (13:4). Here Jacob, on his way from Beersheba to Haran, had a vision of the angels of God ascending and descending on the ladder whose top reached unto heaven (28:10,19); and on his return he again visited this place, "where God talked with him" (35:1-15), and there he "built an altar, and called the place El-beth-el" (q.v.). To this second occasion of God's speaking with Jacob at Bethel, Hosea (12:4-5) makes reference. In troublous times the people went to Bethel to ask counsel of God Judges:20:18Judges:20:31Judges:21:2). Here the ark of the covenant was kept for a long time under the care of Phinehas, the grandson of Aaron (20:26-28). Here also Samuel held in rotation his court of justice ( 1Samuel:7:16). It was included in Israel after the kingdom was divided, and it became one of the seats of the worship of the golden calf (kjvKings:12:28-33; 13:1). Hence the prophet Hosea Hosea:4:15Hosea:5:8Hosea:10:5 ,8) calls it in contempt Beth-aven, i.e., "house of idols." Bethel remained an abode of priests even after the kingdom of Israel was desolated by the king of Assyria ( 2Kings:17:28-29). At length all traces of the idolatries were extirpated by Josiah, king of Judah ( 2Kings:23:15-18); and the place was still in existence after the Captivity Ezra:2:28; Nehemiah:7:32). It has been identified with the ruins of Beitin, a small village amid extensive ruins some 9 miles south of Shiloh. (2.) Mount Bethel was a hilly district near Bethel Joshua:16:1; 1Samuel:13:2). (3.) A town in the south of Judah Joshua:8:17Joshua:12:16).
Bethelite @ a designation of Hiel (q.v.), who rebuilt Jericho and experienced the curse pronounced long before (kjvKings:16:34).
Bether @ dissection or separation, certain mountains mentioned in Cant. 2:17; probably near Lebanon.
Bethesda @ house of mercy, a reservoir (Gr. kolumbethra, "a swimming bath") with five porches, close to the sheep-gate or market Nehemiah:3:1; John:5:2). Eusebius the historian (A.D. 330) calls it "the sheep-pool." It is also called "Bethsaida" and "Beth-zatha" John:5:2, R.V. marg.). Under these "porches" or colonnades were usually a large number of infirm people waiting for the "troubling of the water." It is usually identified with the modern so-called Fountain of the Virgin, in the valley of the Kidron, and not far from the Pool of Siloam (q.v.); and also with the Birket Israel, a pool near the mouth of the valley which runs into the Kidron south of "St. Stephen's Gate." Others again identify it with the twin pools called the "Souterrains," under the convent of the Sisters of Zion, situated in what must have been the rock-hewn ditch between Bezetha and the fortress of Antonia. But quite recently Schick has discovered a large tank, as sketched here, situated about 100 feet north-west of St. Anne's Church, which is, as he contends, very probably the Pool of Bethesda. No certainty as to its identification, however, has as yet been arrived at. (See FOUNTAIN; GIHON.)
Bethlehem @ house of bread. (1.) A city in the "hill country" of Judah. It was originally called Ephrath Genesis:35:16Genesis:35:19Genesis:48:7; Ruth:4:11). It was also called Beth-lehem Ephratah Micah:5:2), Beth-lehem-judah ( 1Samuel:17:12), and "the city of David" Luke:2:4). It is first noticed in Scripture as the place where Rachel died and was buried "by the wayside," directly to the north of the city Genesis:48:7). The valley to the east was the scene of the story of Ruth the Moabitess. There are the fields in which she gleaned, and the path by which she and Naomi returned to the town. Here was David's birth-place, and here also, in after years, he was anointed as king by Samuel ( 1Samuel:16:4-13); and it was from the well of Bethlehem that three of his heroes brought water for him at the risk of their lives when he was in the cave of Adullam ( 2Samuel:23:13-17). But it was distinguished above every other city as the birth-place of "Him whose goings forth have been of old" Matthew:2:6; comp. Micah:5:2). Afterwards Herod, "when he saw that he was mocked of the wise men," sent and slew "all the children that were in Bethlehem, and in all the coasts thereof, from two years old and under" Matthew:2:16-18; Jeremiah:31:15). Bethlehem bears the modern name of Beit-Lahm, i.e., "house of flesh." It is about 5 miles south of Jerusalem, standing at an elevation of about 2,550 feet above the sea, thus 100 feet higher than Jerusalem. There is a church still existing, built by Constantine the Great (A.D. 330), called the "Church of the Nativity," over a grotto or cave called the "holy crypt," and said to be the "stable" in which Jesus was born. This is perhaps the oldest existing Christian church in the world. Close to it is another grotto, where Jerome the Latin father is said to have spent thirty years of his life in translating the Scriptures into Latin. (See VERSION.) (2.) A city of Zebulun, mentioned only in Joshua:19:15. Now Beit-Lahm, a ruined village about 6 miles west-north-west of Nazareth.
Bethsaida @ house of fish. (1.) A town in Galilee, on the west side of the sea of Tiberias, in the "land of Gennesaret." It was the native place of Peter, Andrew, and Philip, and was frequently resorted to by Jesus Mark:6:45; John:1:44John:12:21). It is supposed to have been at the modern 'Ain Tabighah, a bay to the north of Gennesaret. (2.) A city near which Christ fed 5,000 Luke:9:10; comp. John:6:17; Matthew:14:15-21), and where the blind man had his sight restored Mark:8:22), on the east side of the lake, two miles up the Jordan. It stood within the region of Gaulonitis, and was enlarged by Philip the tetrarch, who called it "Julias," after the emperor's daughter. Or, as some have supposed, there may have been but one Bethsaida built on both sides of the lake, near where the Jordan enters it. Now the ruins et-Tel.
Bethzur @ house of rock, a town in the mountains of Judah Joshua:15:58), about 4 miles to the north of Hebron. It was built by Rehoboam for the defence of his kingdom ( 2Chronicals:11:7). It stood near the modern ed-Dirweh. Its ruins are still seen on a hill which bears the name of Beit-Sur, and which commands the road from Beer-sheba and Hebron to Jerusalem from the south.