Bethel in Easton's Bible Dictionary
house of God. (1.) A place in Central Israel, about 10
north of Jerusalem, at the head of the pass of
Michmash and Ai.
It was originally the royal Canaanite city of Luz
The name Bethel was at first apparently given to the
in the neighbourhood of Luz, and was not given to
itself till after its conquest by the tribe of
Abram entered Canaan he formed his second encampment
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
Here Jacob, on his way from Beersheba to Haran, had
a vision of
the angels of God ascending and descending on the
top reached unto heaven (28:10, 19); and on his
return he again
visited this place, "where God talked with him"
there he "built an altar, and called the place El-
(q.v.). To this second occasion of God's speaking
with Jacob at
Bethel, Hosea (12:4,5) makes reference.
In troublous times the people went to Bethel to ask
God (Judg. 20:18, 31; 21:2). Here the ark of the
kept for a long time under the care of Phinehas, the
Aaron (20:26-28). Here also Samuel held in rotation
his court of
justice (1 Sam. 7:16). It was included in Israel
kingdom was divided, and it became one of the seats
worship of the golden calf (1 Kings 12:28-33; 13:1).
prophet Hosea (Hos. 4:15; 5:8; 10:5, 8) calls it in
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 (2 Kings 17:28, 29). At length all
traces of the
idolatries were extirpated by Josiah, king of Judah
23:15-18); and the place was still in existence
Captivity (Ezra 2:28; Neh. 7:32). It has been
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
16:1; 1 Sam. 13:2).
(3.) A town in the south of Judah (Josh. 8:17;
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