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Holman Bible Dictionary


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(behth ssay' ih duh) Place name meaning, “house of fish.” The home of Andrew, Peter, and Philip (John 1:44 ; John 12:21 ), located on the northeast side of the Sea of Galilee. This town was rebuilt under Philip the tetrarch, one of Herod the Great's sons, who named it Julius in honor of the Emperor Augustus' daughter. Near here Jesus fed the 5,000 (Luke 9:10 ) and healed a blind man (Mark 8:22 ). Jesus pronounced judgment upon Bethsaida for its lack of response to His message and miracles (Matthew 11:21 ; Luke 10:13 ). The site of Bethsaida has yet to be identified archaeologically. Some scholars do propose two sites named Bethsaida: The one northeast of the Sea of Galilee, as already discussed; and another, west of the Sea of Galilee, close to Capernaum. This postulation is based on Mark 6:45 , where following the feeding of the 5,000 outside Bethsaida, Jesus tells His disciples to sail to Bethsaida. However, there is no contemporary mention of two Bethsaidas, and the Mark 6:1 text can just as easily refer to a short trip to the known city of Bethsaida-Julias as to an unknown town.

William Vermillion

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Copyright Statement
These dictionary topics are from the Holman Bible Dictionary, published by Broadman & Holman, 1991. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Broadman & Holman.

Bibliography Information
Butler, Trent C. Editor. Entry for 'Bethsaida'. Holman Bible Dictionary. 1991.

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