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Bible Encyclopedias

The 1901 Jewish Encyclopedia

Beth-Horon

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Name of two villages at the western end of the Ephraimitc mountains, called respectively "upper Beth-horon" (Joshua 16:5) and "nether Beth-horon" (Joshua 16:3, 18:13; 1 Kings 9:17). They are nowadays spoken of as the two villages "Bet 'ûr et-Taḥta" (the lower) and "Bet 'ûr el-Foḳa" (the upper). They were situated on an old road leading from Gibeon to the plain on the coast; this is mentioned in the Old Testament as a difficult and steep road between the villages ofBeth-horon (Joshua 10:10; ἡ ἀνάβασις Βαιθωρών, I. Macc. iii 16), or Morad Beth-horon (Joshua 10:11; έν τῆ καταβασει BαιΘωρών. I. Macc. 3:24). In ancient times the road was the principal highway between the mountains and the plain. Here the Canaanites fled from Joshua (Joshua 10:10 et seq.); and by this road the Egyptian king Shishak probably invaded the country, since Beth-horon is mentioned in the inscription relating his victory (W. Max Müller, "Asien und Europa," p. 166). It was for strategic reasons that Solomon fortified the lower Beth-horon. In Grecian times the Syrian general Seron attempted to force an entrance by Beth-horon into the country, but was repulsed by Judas Maccabeus (I Macc. 3:13 et seq.). Nicanor afterward met with the same fate (I Macc. 7:39 et seq.). When Bacchides became master of the Jewish country he strongly fortified this important point. It is again mentioned when the Romans under Cassius sustained heavy losses there (Josephus, "B. J." 2:19, § 8). It may also be gathered from the Old Testament that these two villages were built by the daughter of Ephraim (1 Chronicles 7:24), and that Sanballat, the adversary of Nehemiah, came from there (Nehemiah 2:10,19; 13:28). For the form "Horônî" compare 'Ωρωνíν; e., "Horonaim" in Septuagint of Joshua 9:10 and 11; Sam. 13:24. Several of the Talmudic scholars came from Beth-horon (Neubauer, "G. T." p. 154).

J. Jr.
F. Bu.

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Bibliography Information
Singer, Isidore, Ph.D, Projector and Managing Editor. Entry for 'Beth-Horon'. 1901 The Jewish Encyclopedia. https://www.studylight.org/encyclopedias/eng/tje/b/beth-horon.html. 1901.

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