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Bible Encyclopedias

Kitto's Popular Cyclopedia of Biblial Literature


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Bethsa´ida (fishing-town), a town (John 1:44; Mark 8:22) in Galilee (John 12:21), on the western side of the sea of Tiberias, towards the middle, and not far from Capernaum (Mark 6:45; Mark 8:22). It was the native place of Peter, Andrew, and Philippians and the frequent residence of Jesus. This gives some notion of the neighborhood in which it lay; but the precise site is utterly unknown, and the very name has long eluded the search of travelers.

Bethsaida, 2

Christ fed the 5000 'near to a city called Bethsaida' (Luke 9:10); but it is evident from the parallel passages (Matthew 14:13; Mark 6:32-45), that this event took place, not in Galilee, but on the eastern side of the lake. This was held to be one of the greatest difficulties in sacred geography, till the ingenious Reland afforded materials for a satisfactory solution of it, by distinguishing two Bethsaidas; one on the western, and the other on the north-eastern border of the lake. The former was undoubtedly 'the city of Andrew and Peter;' and, it is in perfect agreement with the sacred text to conclude that it was the Bethsaida near which Christ fed the five thousand, and also, probably, where the blind man was restored to sight. It was originally only a village, called Bethsaida, but was rebuilt and enlarged by Philip the Tetrarch not long after the birth of Christ, and received the name of Julias in honor of Julia the daughter of Augustus (Luke 3:1). Philip seems to have made it his occasional residence; and here he died, and was buried in a costly tomb.





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Kitto, John, ed. Entry for 'Bethsaida'. "Kitto's Popular Cyclopedia of Biblial Literature".

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Monday, July 22nd, 2019
the Week of Proper 11 / Ordinary 16
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