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Bible Dictionaries

Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible

Beth-Horon

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BETH-HORON . The upper and nether, two towns represented by the villages Beit ‘Ur el-foka and Beit ‘Ur et-tahta , said to have been built by Sheerah ( 1 Chronicles 7:24 ). Their position, as commanding the ancient great highroad from the maritime plain into the heart of the mountains of Benjamin, made these places of great importance, and several celebrated battles occurred in their neighbourhood. Here Joshua defeated the Canaanites ( Joshua 10:10-14 ). Solomon fortified both these cities ( 2 Chronicles 8:5 , 1 Kings 9:17 ). By this road Shishak, king of Egypt, invaded Judah. Here Judas Maccabæus defeated the Syrian general Seron ( 1Ma 3:13-24 ) and five years afterwards Nicanor ( 1 Chronicles 7:39-40 ); more than 200 years later the Jews at the same place beat back the Roman army under Cestius Gallus. In few places in Palestine can we with greater precision set history in its geographical setting; the whole ancient road, with abundant traces of Roman work, can be followed throughout, and the two Beit ‘Urs , less than two miles apart, stand sentinel above the road as the two Beth-horons did in ancient times. The Beth-horons were on the frontier between Benjamin and Ephraim ( Joshua 16:3-5; Joshua 18:13-14 ). They belonged to the latter ( Joshua 21:22 ), and followed the Northern Kingdom. Possibly Sanballat the Horonite ( Nehemiah 2:10 ) was from here.

E. W. G. Masterman.

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Bibliography Information
Hastings, James. Entry for 'Beth-Horon'. Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible. https://www.studylight.org/dictionaries/eng/hdb/b/beth-horon.html. 1909.

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