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also known as: Bethoron and Beit Horon

Meaning: house of the hollow, or of the cavern

This is the name of two towns or villages (2 Chronicles 8:5; 1 Chronicles 7:24) in the territory of Ephraim, on the way from Jerusalem to Joppa.

They are distinguished as Beth-horon “the upper” and Beth-horon “the nether.” They are about 2 miles apart, the former being about 10 miles northwest of Jerusalem. Between the two places was the ascent and descent of Beth-horon, leading from Gibeon down to the western plain (Joshua 10:10, 11; 18:13-14), down which the five kings of the Amorites were driven by Joshua in that great battle, the most important in which the Hebrews had been as yet engaged, being their first conflict with their enemies in the open field. Jehovah interposed in behalf of Israel by a terrific hailstorm, which caused more deaths among the Canaanites than did the swords of the Israelites.

Beth-horon is mentioned as having been taken by Shishak, B.C. 945, in the list of his conquests, and the pass was the scene of a victory of Judas Maccabeus.

Compare: Exodus 9:19; 9:25; Job 38:22-23; Psalm 18:12-14; Isaiah 30:30.

Modern Beit Horon, Israel—satellite view

Another name for these places is Beit-ur, distinguished by el-Foka, “the upper,” and el-Tahta, “the nether.” The lower was at the foot of the pass, and the upper, 500 feet higher, at the top, west of Gibeon.

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Article Version: July 26, 2021