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Bible Encyclopedias

The 1901 Jewish Encyclopedia


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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 1Kings 9:17 ). They are nowadays spoken of as the two villages "Bet ' û r et-Taḥ ta" (the lower) and "Bet ' û r el-Foḳ a" (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 of Beth-horon (Joshua 10:10 ἡ ἀ ν ά β α σ ι ς Β α ι θ ω ρ ώ ν , I. Macc. iii 16), or Morad Beth-horon ( Joshua 10:11 έ ν τ ῆ κ α τ α β α σ ε ι Bα ι Θ ω ρ ώ ν . 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 Mü ller, "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 (1Maccabees 3:13 et seq. ). Nicanor afterward met with the same fate (1Maccabees 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 (1Chronicles 7:24 ), and that Sanballat, the adversary of Nehemiah, came from there (Nehemiah 2:10,19 13:28 ). For the form "Horô nî " compare ' Ω ρ ω ν í ν i.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. 1901.

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