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BETHEL (Βαιθήλ, Βηθήλ), a border city of the tribe of Ephraim, for the northern boundary of Benjamin passed south of it. (Josh. 18.13; Judges, 1.22--26.) It was originally named LUZ, and was celebrated in the history of the early patriarchs. (Gen. 12.5, 28.10--19, 31.1--15.) It owed its new name, signifying “the house of God,” to the vision of Jacob's ladder, and the altar which he afterwards erected there. It afterwards became infamous for the worship of the golden calf, here instituted by Jeroboam. (1 Kings, 12.28, 33. xiii.) It was inhabited after the captivity (Ezra, 2.28; Nehem. 7.32, 11.31), and was fortified by Bacchides. (1 Maccab. 9.50; J. AJ 13.1.3.) It was taken by Vespasian after he had subjugated the country between this and the coast. (B. J. 4.9.9.) It is described by Eusebius and St. Jerome as a small village on the road from Jerusalem to Sichem (Nablûs), twelve miles from the former (Onomast. s. v. Ἄγγαι), on the left (or east) of the road going south, according to the Itin. Hierosol. Precisely in this situation are large ruins of an ancient city, bearing the name of Beitîn, according to a common variation of in for el in the termination of Arabic proper names. (Robinson, Bib. Res. vol. ii. p. 128, n. 1.) [G.W]

BETH-GAMUL (οἶκος Γαιμώλ), a city of Moab, mentioned only by Jeremiah (48.23), probably represented by the modern village of Um-el-Jemiâl or Edjmal, west of the ancient Bozrah. (Robinson, B. R. iii., Appendix, p. 153.)


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    • Flavius Josephus, Jewish Antiquities, 13.1.3
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