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BETHAR (Bether, Bither, Βίθθηρα), a city celebrated in the history of the Jewish revolt under Hadrian (A.D. 131) as the last retreat of the Jews when they had been driven out of Jerusalem. They held out there for nearly three years. It is described as a very strong city not far distant from Jerusalem. (Euseb. Hist. Eccl. 4.6.) Its site was recovered and clearly identified in 1843. (Williams, Holy City, vol. i. pp. 209--213.) It is now called Beitîr, the exact Arabic form of its ancient name, and is a considerable village about six miles SSW. of Jerusalem, still retaining some traces of its fortifications, while the inhabitants of the modern village have received and preserved traditions of its siege.


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