Beth-arbel House of God's court, a place alluded to by Hosea (Hos 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 (Kg2 17:3).
Beth-aven House of nothingness; i.e., "of idols", a place in the mountains of Benjamin, east of Bethel (Jos 7:2; Jos 18:12; Sa1 13:5). In Hos 4:15; Hos 5:8; Hos 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 (Jdg 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 (Gen 32:22), and at which Jephthah slew the Ephraimites (Jdg 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 (Sa1 7:11).
Beth-dagon House of Dagon. (1.) A city in the low country or plain of Judah, near Philistia (Jos 15:41); the modern Beit Degan, about 5 miles from Lydda. (2.) A city near the south-east border of Asher (Jos 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 (Jer 48:22) denounced destruction. It is called also Almon-diblathaim (Num 33:46) and Diblath (Eze 6:14). (R.V., "Diblah.")
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 (Gen 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 (Gen 12:8); and on his return from Egypt he came back to it, and again "called upon the name of the Lord" (Gen 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 (Gen 28:10, Gen 28:19); and on his return he again visited this place, "where God talked with him" (Gen 35:1), 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 (Gen 12:4, Gen 12:5) makes reference. In troublous times the people went to Bethel to ask counsel of God (Jdg 20:18, Jdg 20:31; Jdg 21:2). Here the ark of the covenant was kept for a long time under the care of Phinehas, the grandson of Aaron (Jdg 20:26). Here also Samuel held in rotation his court of justice (Sa1 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 (Kg1 12:28; Kg1 13:1). Hence the prophet Hosea (Hos 4:15; Hos 5:8; Hos 10:5, Hos 10:8) 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 (Kg2 17:28, Kg2 17:29). At length all traces of the idolatries were extirpated by Josiah, king of Judah (Kg2 23:15); and the place was still in existence after the Captivity (Ezr 2:28; Neh 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 (Jos 16:1; Sa1 13:2). (3.) A town in the south of Judah (Jos 8:17; Jos 12:16).
Bethelite A designation of Hiel (q.v.), who rebuilt Jericho and experienced the curse pronounced long before (Kg1 16:34).
Bether Dissection or separation, certain mountains mentioned in Sol 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 (Neh 3:1; Joh 5:2). Eusebius the historian (A.D. 330) calls it "the sheep-pool." It is also called "Bethsaida" and "Beth-zatha" (Joh 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.)