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10/7/2014 Bethoron - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia 1/3
Upper Bethoron, drawing from 1880
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Bethoron (also Beth-Horon) (House of Horon) was an ancient
biblical town strategically located on the Gibeon-Aijalon road,
guarding the "ascent of Beth-Horon."
Upper Bethoron appears in
Joshua 16:5 and Lower Bethoron in 16:3.
1 Etymology
2 History
3 Archaeology
4 References
5 Bibliography
6 External links
The name Bethoron is derived from the name of an Egypto-Canaanite deity, Horon, mentioned in Ugaritic
According to 1 Chronicles 7:24, Lower Bethoron was built by Shira, daughter of Beriah, son of Ephraim.
Eusebius' Onomasticon mentions the 'twin villages' and St. Jerome describes them as 'little hamlets.'
From Egyptian sources (Muller, As. und Europa, etc.) it appears that Bethoron was one of the places
conquered by Shishak of Egypt from Rehoboam.
The borderline between Benjamin and Ephraim passed alongside the two Bethorons (Joshua 16:5; 21:22)
who belonged to the latter tribe and therefore, later on, to the Northern Kingdom. Solomon "built Beth-
horon the upper, and Beth-horon the nether, fortified cities, with walls, gates, and bars" (2 Chronicles 8:5; 1
Kings 9:17). One or both of the towns was a city of Levites (Josh. 21:22; I Chron. 6:53).
When (Joshua 10:10) Joshua utterly defeated the kings of the Amorites "he killed a large number of them at
Gibeon, and chased them by the way of the 'Ascent of Beth-horon.'" When the Philistines opposed King
Saul at Michmash they sent a company of their men to hold "the way of Beth-horon."
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This pass ascends from the plain of Aijalon (now Ayalon-Canada Park) and climbs to Beit Ur al Tahta
(1,210 ft.). It then ascends along the ridge, with valleys lying to north and south, and reaches Beit Ur al-
Foqa (2,022 ft.). Traces of the ancient Roman paving are visible. Since the days of Joshua (Joshua 10:10)
the region has been the scene of many battles. The Syrian general Seron was defeated here by Judas
Maccabeus (1 Macc. 3:13-24) in the Battle of Beth Horon. Six years later Nicanor, retreating from
Jerusalem, was defeated and slain. (1 Macc. 7:39; Josephus, Ant. XII, x, 5). In 66 AD the Roman general
Cestius Gallus was driven in headlong flight before the Jews.
Many centuries later, Bacchides repaired Beth-horon, "with high walls, with gates and with bars and in them
he set a garrison, that they might work malice upon ("vex") Israel" (1 Macc. 9:50,51). Later, the Jews
fortified it against Holofernes (Judith 4:4,5).
Eusebius mentions the two Bethorons in their Biblical contexts, noting Joshua's victory and the fortification
by King Solomon.
The two Palestinian villages of Beit Ur al-Foqa and Beit Ur al-Tahta preserve part of the Canaanite name,
and have been identified as the sites of Upper and Lower Bethoron.
In 1915, the Palestine Exploration
Fund wrote that changes in the main road to Jerusalem had left the Bethoron route "forsaken" and "almost
The Israeli community of Beit Horon was founded in 1977 on a site adjacent to the two towns. Highway 443
follows part of the ancient road.
Archaeological finds indicate that the lower town was established before the upper one. Potsherds from the
Late Bronze Age onward were discovered at Lower Beit Ur, whereas those in Upper Beit Ur date only from
the Iron Age onward.
1. ^







Eugenio Alliata (2000-12-19). "Bethoron (Bayt Ur)"
( Studium Biblicum Franciscanum.
Retrieved 2007-09-12.
2. ^ William Albright (December 1941). "The Egypt-Canaanite God Haurn". Bulletin of the American Schools of
Oriental Research. No. 84 (84): 712. JSTOR 1355138 (
3. ^

John Gray (January 1949). "The Canaanite God Horon". Journal of Near Eastern Studies 8 (1): 2734.
doi:10.1086/370902 ( JSTOR 542437
4. ^ Paul K. Davis, 100 Decisive Battles from Ancient Times to the Present: The Worlds Major Battles and How
They Shaped History (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1999), 71.
5. ^ Sharon, 1999, p. 165 (
10/7/2014 Bethoron - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia 3/3
Masterman, E. W. G. (1915).BETH-HORON (
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia, Orr, James, retrieved December 9, 2005.
Sharon, Moshe (1999). Corpus Inscriptionum Arabicarum Palaestinae, B-C (
id=EPFDU8POrXIC) 2. BRILL. ISBN 9004110836.
External links
( Antiquities
Authority report on the discovery of a burial cave in Beit 'Ur al-Tahta
Retrieved from ""
Categories: Ancient Jewish Greek history Hebrew Bible places Geography of the West Bank
This page was last modified on 23 April 2014 at 22:43.
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