Hebrew: בֵּית אֵל ——transliterations: Beth El, Beth-El, Bet El, or Beit El —meaning: house of El; house of God
also known as: Beth-el or Beth'el
This is the name of a significant ancient city, a nearby mountain, and a Judean town.
Bethel, a place in Central Israel
When Abram entered Canaan, he formed his 2nd encampment between Bethel and Hai (Genesis 12:8); and on his return from Egypt he came back to it, and again “called upon the name of the Lord” (Gen. 13:4).
Here Jacob, on his way from Beersheba to Haran, had a vision of the angels of God ascending and descending on the ladder whose top reached unto heaven (28:10, 19); and on his return he again visited this place, “where God talked with him” (35:1-15), and there he “built an altar, and called the place El-beth-el”. To this second occasion of God’s speaking with Jacob at Bethel, Hosea (12:4-5) makes reference.
It was included in Israel after the kingdom was divided, and it became one of the seats of the worship of the golden calf (1 Kings 12:28-33; 13:1). Hence the prophet Hosea (Hos. 4:15; 5:8; 10:5, 8) calls it in contempt Beth-aven, i.e., “house of idols.”
Bethel remained an abode of priests even after the kingdom of Israel was desolated by the king of Assyria (2 Kings 17:28, 29). At length all traces of the idolatries were extirpated by Josiah, king of Judah (2 Kings 23:15-18); and the place was still in existence after the Captivity (Ezra 2:28; Neh. 7:32).
It has been identified with the ruins of Beitin, a small village amid extensive ruins some 9 miles south of Shiloh.
This is a hilly district near Bethel (above) (Joshua 16:1; 1 Samuel 13:2).
Bethel, a town in the south of Judah
Joshua 8:17; 12:16
- Who and what is Canaan?
- What are Canaanites?
- Who is Abram? and Abraham?
- Who is Jacob?
- About ANGELS in the Bible
- What else does the Bible teach about angels? Answer
- Names and Titles of God
- Hiel — a Bethelite
- Cities of the Bible