), the plural form of Beer, signifies Wells.
It is placed by Eusebius at the distance of seven miles from Jerusalem, on the road to Nicopolis, or Emmaus (now ‘Amwûs
). But St. Jerome's version of the Onomasticon places it on the road to Neapolis (Nablûs
) at the same distance from Jerusalem.
This would correspond very nearly with the site of the modern village of el-Bîreh,
which is about three hours, i. e. eight or nine miles, north of Jerusalem, on the high road to Nablûs.
“Many large stones, and various substructions testify to the antiquity of the site” (Robinson, Bib. Res.
vol. ii. p. 130), and there are remains of two large reservoirs, formerly fed by a copious fountain, to which the city probably owed its name.
It was one of the four cities of the Gibeonites, and fell to the lot of the tribe of Benjamin. (Josh.
9.17, 18.25; Reland, Palaest.
pp. 484, 618.)