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Morris Jastrow, Jr., Ph.D.

Professor of Semitic Languages, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pa.

Contributions:
BETH-ARAM – A city east of the Jordan. The Talmud speaks of it as "Bethramta" ( ); Eusebius as "Bethramphta"; and Josephus as "Betharamatha." Herod the Great built a palace there which was destroyed after his death. The city was rebuilt by...
BETH-ARBEL – Mentioned only once (Hosea x. 14) as a city destroyed by Shalman. Opinions vary both as to the location of the place and as to the identification of Shalman. The most probable location is that of the modern Irbid on the east...
BETH-AVEN – A city on the border of Benjamin in the wilderness (Josh. xviii. 12), east of Bethel (Josh. vii. 2) and west of Michmash (I Sam. xiii. 5). It was the scene of a battle between Saul and the Philistines, in which the latter were...
BETH-DAGON – The name of several places apparently in ancient Palestine. The second element is the name of the Philistine god Dagon. In the Old Testament mention is made of a city called "Beth-dagon," allotted to the tribe of Judah (Josh....
BETH-DIBLATHAIM – City of Moab (Jer. xlviii. 22) identical with Almon diblataim.J. Jr. G. B. L.
BETH-EL – A city famous for its shrine, on the boundary between Ephraim and Judea—the site of the present little village of Bêitîn, on the southern slope of the Ephraimitic mountains. (See illustration on page 120.) Originally the town...
BETH-EMEK – A town on the border between Asher and Zebulun, belonging to the latter (Josh. xix. 27). It lay to the east of Acco; but its exact location has not been determined.J. Jr. G. B. L.
BETH GUBRIN – Name of a city mentioned in the Talmud and in the Midrash (Neubauer, "G. T." pp. 122 et seq.), called "Betogaboa" by Ptolemy and others. It does not occur in the Old Testament; but Reland shows that it was one of the Idumean...
BETH-HACCEREM – According to Neh. iii. 14, a Judean city; described in Jer. vi. 1 as a high place visible at a great distance. Jerome (on the passage) speaks of Beth-haccerem as a village still existing on the road between Jerusalem and Tekoa....
BETH-HORON – Name of two villages at the western end of the Ephraimitc mountains, called respectively "upper Beth-horon" (Josh. xvi. 5) and "nether Beth-horon" (Josh. xvi. 3, xviii. 13; I Kings ix. 17). They are nowadays spoken of as the two...
BETH-JAAZEK – According to the Mishnah (R. H. ii. 4), a large court in which the Sanhedrin awaited the announcement of the new moon. The Palestinian Talmud ascribes its name to the fact that the calculation of the calendar was settled ( )...
BETH-JESHIMOTH – Town in the district east of the Jordan, allotted to the tribe of Reuben according to Num. xxxiii. 49 and Josh. xii. 3, xiii. 20; but in Ezek. xxv. 9 it is mentioned as a Moabitish city. Josephus calls the city "Besimoth" ("B....
BETH-LEHEM-JUDAH – The modern Bait Laḥm, situated about 5 miles south of Jerusalem, some 15 minutes' walk east of the road to Hebron, on a range of hills surrounded by fertile and beautiful valleys. The city was also called "Ephratah" (Josh. xv....
BETH-PEOR – A place in the valley of the Jordan which, in Josh. xiii. 20, is apportioned to the Reubenites. In Deuteronomy (iii. 29, iv. 46, xxxiv. 6) it is stated that the people were in the valley of the Jordan, opposite Beth-peor, when...
BETH-REHOB – An Aramaic city which sent reenforcements to the Ammonites during the war with David (II Sam. x. 6, 8; compareI Sam. 14, 47, LXX.). According to Judges xviii. 28, the city of Dan was built in the plain of Beth-rehob. The latter...
BETH-SHAN – Fortified town of Canaan. The Baisân of to-day, in the lower part of the Jalûd chasm, 120 meters below the level of the sea. The Israelites did not succeed in conquering this city, which was strongly fortified by nature (Josh....
BETH-SHEMESH – Biblical Data: A city of the hill-country between Judea and the coast on the southern side of Wadi Sarâar, called to-day 'Ain Shems. According to Josh. xix. 41, it was one of the cities of Dan, and according to Josh. xv. 10, it...
BETH-SHITTAH – A place near Abel-meholah. To it the Midianites fled when pursued by Gideon (Judges vii. 22). The name occurs only here; the place has not been identified.J. Jr. G. B. L.
BETH-ZUR – A city in southern Judea (Josh. xv. 58, I Chron. ii. 45; Neh. iii. 16) which was fortified by Rehoboam, (II Chron. xi. 7). It was a strongly walled place, situated on the eastern boundary-line of Judea. The town was repeatedly...
BETHABARA – An unidentified place mentioned in John i. 28. According to Origen's reading, the name is brought into connection with the Hebrew '"abarah" (crossing), and is supposed to refer to one of the many fords of the Jordan. Another...
BETHANY – A place referred to in the Gospels, and probably also in the Talmud, under the forms , and , but not mentioned in the Old Testament (Pes. 53a; Tosef., Shebi'it, ed. Zuckermandel, 30, 71). According to John (xi. 18), it was "nigh...
BETHESDA – A pool in Jerusalem. According to John v. 2—the only passage wherein it is mentioned—it was "by the sheep market," hence on the north of the Temple-hill. Its exact location can not be definitely fixed. The Pilgrim of Bordeaux...
BETHPHAGE – Town mentioned in several passages of the New Testament (Matt. xxi. 1; Mark xi. 1; Luke xix. 29), in all of which it is brought into connection with Bethany, or the Mount of Olives. It was, therefore, on the road to Jericho,...
BETHSAIDA – A town in northern Palestine not mentioned in the Old Testament, but referred to in the Gospels, and by Josephus, Pliny, and others. According to Josephus ("Ant." xviii. 2, § 1; 5, § 6; "B. J." ii. 9, § 1; iii. 9, § 7), Philip...
BETHUEL – Biblical Data: 1. According to Gen. xxii. 22, a descendant of Arphaxad (compare Gen. xi. 13-22). He was the son of Nahor and Milcah, and father of Laban and Rebekah. Since in Gen. xxv. 20 and xxviii. 2, 5, Bethuel is called "the...