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beth-horon Summary and Overview

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beth-horon in Easton's Bible Dictionary

house of the hollow, or of the cavern, the name of two towns or villages (2 Chr. 8:5; 1 Chr. 7:24) in the territory of Ephraim, on the way from Jerusalem to Joppa. They are distinguished as Beth-horon "the upper" and Beth-horon "the nether." They are about 2 miles apart, the former being about 10 miles north-west of Jerusalem. Between the two places was the ascent and descent of Beth-horon, leading from Gibeon down to the western plain (Josh. 10:10, 11; 18:13, 14), down which the five kings of the Amorites were driven by Joshua in that great battle, the most important in which the Hebrews had been as yet engaged, being their first conflict with their enemies in the open field. Jehovah interposed in behalf of Israel by a terrific hailstorm, which caused more deaths among the Canaanites than did the swords of the Israelites. Beth-horon is mentioned as having been taken by Shishak, B.C. 945, in the list of his conquests, and the pass was the scene of a victory of Judas Maccabeus. (Compare Ex. 9:19, 25; Job 38:22, 23; Ps. 18:12-14; Isa. 30:30.) The modern name of these places is Beit-ur, distinguished by el-Foka, "the upper," and el-Tahta, "the nether." The lower was at the foot of the pass, and the upper, 500 feet higher, at the top, west of Gibeon. (See GIBEON T0001480.)

beth-horon in Smith's Bible Dictionary

(house of caverns), the name of two towns or villages, an "upper" and a "nether," #Jos 16:3,5; 1Ch 7:24| on the road from Gibeon to Azekah, #Jos 10:10,11| and the Philistine plain. 1 Macc. 3:24. Beth-horon lay on the boundary line between Benjamin and Ephraim, #Jos 16:3,5| and Josh 18:13,14 was counted to Ephraim, #Jos 21:22; 1Ch 7:24| and given to the Kohathites. #Jos 21:22; 1Ch 6:68| ( 1Chr 6:53 ) The two Beth-horons still survive in the modern villages of Beit-ur, et-tahta and el-foka.

beth-horon in Schaff's Bible Dictionary

BETH-HO'RON (house of the cave), the name of two places, the "Upper" and "Nether" Beth-horon, Josh 6:3, 1 Chr 6:5, about 3 miles apart, on the opposite sides of a ravine or steep pass -- the Thermopylae of Palestine -- on the road from Jerusalem to the seacoast. The "Nether" or lower town was the most important; now Beit Ur el-Tahta. The Upper Beth-horon is now Beit Ur el- Fauga.