What is Bethsaida?
(house of fishing), a city of Galilee, near Capernaum. John 12:21; Matt 11:21. Many recent writers urge that there were two Bethsaidas, since the desert-place where the 5000 were fed belonged to ''the city called Bethsaida," Luke 9:10, while after the miracle the disciples were to go before him unto the other side to Bethsaida, Mark 6:45, which it is said could not refer to the same town. 1. If there were two towns of this name, the first one, in Galilee, was on the west side of the lake. Robinson, Grove, Porter, and others place it at Ain et-Tabighak, north of Khan Minyeb, others at Khan Minyeh. 2. Bethsaida Julias, in Gaulanitis, on the eastern bank of the Jordan, near its entrance into the lake. But it seems quite unlikely that two cities in such close neighborhood should have borne the same name. Hence Dr. W. M. Thomson supposes that there was but one Bethsaida, which was built on both sides of the Jordan, and places the site at Abu-Zany, where the Jordan empties into the Lake of Galilee. The Sinaitic manuscript omits "belonging to a city called Bethsaida" in Luke 9:10; hence, Wilson also holds that there is no necessity for two Bethsaidas; and this seems the more probable view. The eastern part was beautified by Philip the tetrarch, and called Bethsaida Julias (in honor of a daughter of the emperor Augustus), to distinguish it from the western Bethsaida, in Galilee. -- Schaff:Through Bible Lands, p. 353. See Capernaum.
Bibliography Information Schaff, Philip, Dr. "Biblical Definition for 'bethsaida' in Schaffs Bible Dictionary". bible-history.com - Schaff's