Ofra is an Israeli settlement located in the northern West Bank. Located on the main road between Jerusalem and Nablus, it falls under the jurisdiction of Mateh Binyamin Regional Council. In 2017 it had a population of 3,607; the international community considers Israeli settlements in the West Bank illegal under international law. According to human rights organization B'Tselem, the state of Israel itself acknowledges that much of the Ofra civilian settlement is built on owned Palestinian land, unlawful according to Israeli law. In August 2016, the military governorate admitted to the Israeli High Court of Justice that a large portion of Ofra, totalling 45 dunams, was built on land owned by Palestinians prior to the occupation, including areas "located in the heart of the settlement". Following the ruling of the High Court that Israeli homes in this area were illegal, the state has undertaken steps with the goal of restituting the land back to its private Palestinian owners. Following the successful effort to demolish the settlement of Amona, Silwad Mayor Abdul Rahman Saleh signaled that he would petition the High Court on behalf of Ofra landowners with the goal of evicting Israeli settlers there.
Considering the Jordanian military base which existed there, he accepted the presence of Israeli soldiers. According to ARIJ, Israel confiscated land from three nearby Palestinian villages and towns in order to construct Ofra: 1252 dunums of land was taken from Ein Yabrud, 988 dunums of land was taken from Silwad, 22 dunums were taken from Taybeh. Ofra's establishment in April/May 1975 was part of a struggle between the Gush Emunim settlement movement, founded in February 1974, the Israeli Labor government, which opposed Israeli settlement amid densely populated Palestinian areas; the name was taken for its biblical aura from a town mentioned in the Book of Joshua: Joshua 18:23. Established on the site of a former Jordanian military base, Israeli civilians moved into surrounding areas inhabited by Palestinians and built permanent and temporary structures there, creating the settlement of Ofra; the establishing group from Gush Emunim first obtained jobs at a nearby military base on Mount Ba'al Hatzor.
They established a work camp in the abandoned barracks of a Jordanian army base. They brought in their families and raised an Israeli flag. Though opposed by Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, Ofra was given political backing by Shimon Peres defense minister in Rabin's government, by his settlement adviser Moshe Netzer. After the Labour Party was defeated by the Likud Party in the 1977 Israeli election, the new government recognized Ofra as a community, paving the way for expansion into the surrounding hills, it was designed as an "island" for a selected homogenous population, where all members would share the same "ideological-social background."Many institutions of the Jewish settlers in the West Bank were first located or established in Ofra, including the Yesha Council and the Nekuda monthly magazine and edited by Israel Harel. Several Ofra residents were killed by Palestinian militants during the Second Intifada. Ofra is located east of the Israeli West Bank barrier, circa 25 kilometers from the Green line, 20 kilometers north of the Green Line in Jerusalem.
It is situated in the mountain-range area at 850–900 meters above sea level. The climate is mediterranean-mountainous. Cold and humid winters with several days of snow every year and a rain yearly average of about 750 millimeters; the summers are mild. Ofra lies with several stalactite caves and dolines; the Center for Cave Research is located in Ofra. The settlement is divided into three main neighborhoods: Neve David, Giv'at Tzvi and the core of the settlement, itself divided into four sections. In addition there are three caravan neighborhoods and another neighborhood of houses belong to the Ofra Cooperative Society, rented to newcomers including a community of Bnei Menashe from Manipur and Mizoram. Ofra borders the Palestinian villages and towns of Ein Yabrud, Deir Jarir, Deir Dibwan and At-Taybeh; the last is believed to be the site of biblical Ofra. It is known locally as Ein Yabrud Heights. In 1997, the outpost Amona was established on private lands belonging to inhabitants of the villages of Silwad, Deir Jarir and Taibeh.
In 2006, Amona was accompanied with violent clashes. The state refused to demolish the outpost; as of August 2013 the case remains in dispute following the purchase by Jewish residents of five land plots from the Palestinian owners. In February 2017, The outpost of Amona was evacuated by order from the government of Israel. Ofra's climate is suitable for growing cherries, kiwifruit and olives. Other branches of agriculture include poultry farming. In the nearby industrial area there are some small light-manufacturing workshops of carpentry and welding. In the verdict of the High Court of Justice. Supreme Court of Israel, the Ofra waste disposal plant, built with state funds, lies on Palestinian land. Prior to its construction, Ofra's sewage flowed into local rivers for three decades, polluting the Mountain Aquifer; the Palestinian landowners, through Yesh Din, have sought redress in Israel's Supreme Court. To legalize the plant, Israel would have to expropriate the Palestinians' property on which the treatment plant is built.
But this measure would require that it service the waste disposal needs of the Palestinian villages nearby, which would exceed its capacity. Various proposals have been raised to resolve the problem; the State is considering linking the villagers of Ein Yab
Abimelech was a son of judge Gideon. His name can best be interpreted claiming the inherited right to rule, he is introduced in Judges 8:31 as the son of Gideon and his Shechemite concubine, the biblical account of his reign is described in chapter nine of the Book of Judges. According to the Bible, he was an unprincipled, ambitious ruler engaged in war with his own subjects. According to the Book of Judges, Abimelech went to Shechem to meet with his mother's brethren and his mother's father, claimed that he should be the only ruler over his mother's brethren and the men of Shechem and not his brothers, he asked them whether they would prefer to be ruled by seventy rulers or just one, he claimed them equal brothers. Because Abimelech claimed them his brothers, the men inclined to follow him, gave him seventy shekels of silver out of the house of Baal Berith, he and the men went to the house of Gideon, in Ophrah to kill the seventy sons of Gideon, Abimelech's brothers. They were killed on the same stone.
Since Abimelech was a son of Gideon's concubine, he made good of his claim to rule over Manasseh by killing his half-brothers. Jotham was the youngest brother, he was the only one to have escaped Abimelech's wrath. Abimelech was declared king by the people of Shechem and by the house of Millo next to a pillar within Shechem; when Jotham was told of this news, he went on top of Mount Gerizim and cursed the people of Shechem and the house of Millo for their declaration fled to Beer to hide in fear of Abimelech. Gaal and his brothers arrive at Shechem only to plot and overthrow Abimelech with the help of the men of Shechem. Before Gaal could begin his plot, Zebul –, the governor of Shechem and an officer of Abimelech– heard Gaal's plan and was angered. Zebul sent messengers to inform Abimelech of Gaal's plot against him. Abimelech plans to ambush Gaal and his followers in front of the city gates through the night towards the morning. Abimelech divides his followers by four companies to wait near Shechem.
The ambush begins as soon as Gaal stands in front of the gates, he fails to respond because of the uncertainty of an actual ambush approaching his position. Zebul taunts Gaal into fighting Abimelech because of Gaal's mouth. Gaal fights Abimelech during the battle but is forced to flee with his forces. Zebul chases Gaal out of Shechem, Abimelech dwelt at Arumah. After Gaal was driven away by Zebul, Abimelech gathered three companies by dividing his followers to attack the city, they waited in a field to ambush the people who were moving out of the city gates. He attacked as soon as the gates were open for the city dwellers, two companies were sent from the field to attack the gates, they aggressively pass through them. The seizing of the city lasted a day, Abimelech slaughtered the people within the city; the remaining resistance went to the tower of El-Berith to hold their ground. Abimelech hastily gathered his followers to Mount Zalmon to explain his plan, he grabbed an axe and cut down the bough of a tree, wanted everyone to follow his example.
The bough was placed and burned around the tower killing the remaining resistance along with a thousand civilians. The biblical account of the Battle of Thebaz begins in the middle of the siege. Abimelech has taken most of the city and comes upon a fortified tower; the civilians head towards the top of the tower. Abimelech fights most of the way towards the tower, however he was struck on the head by a mill-stone thrown by a woman from the wall above. Realizing that the wound was mortal, he ordered his armor-bearer to thrust him through with his sword, so that it might not be said he had perished by the hand of a woman. Aaron Book of Joshua Joshua Moses This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: J. Frederic McCurdy, Gerson B. Levi and Louis Ginzberg. "Abimelech". In Singer, Isidore; the Jewish Encyclopedia. New York: Funk & Wagnalls. Book of Judges article in Jewish Encyclopedia
Easton's Bible Dictionary
The Illustrated Bible Dictionary, better known as Easton's Bible Dictionary, is a reference work on topics related to the Christian Bible compiled by Matthew George Easton. The first edition was published in 1893, a revised edition was published the following year; the most popular edition, was the third, published by Thomas Nelson in 1897, three years after Easton's death. The last contains nearly 4,000 entries relating to the Bible. Many of the entries in Easton's are encyclopedic in nature, although there are short dictionary-type entries; because of its age, it is now a public domain resource. Bauer lexicon Smith's Bible Dictionary, another popular 19th century Bible dictionary Easton, Matthew George, ed. Illustrated Bible Dictionary... New York: Harper & Bros. Easton, M. G. ed. Illustrated Bible Dictionary... London: T. Nelson & Sons Easton, M. G. ed. Illustrated Bible Dictionary... London: T. Nelson & Sons Easton, Matthew George. "Table of contents". Easton's Bible Dictionary. T. Nelson and Sons.
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Epiphanius of Salamis
Epiphanius of Salamis was the bishop of Salamis, Cyprus at the end of the 4th century. He is considered a Church Father by both the Orthodox and Roman Catholic Churches, he gained a reputation as a strong defender of orthodoxy. He is best known for composing the Panarion, a large compendium of the heresies up to his own time, full of quotations that are the only surviving fragments of suppressed texts. According to Ernst Kitzinger, he "seems to have been the first cleric to have taken up the matter of Christian religious images as a major issue", there has been much controversy over how many of the quotations attributed to him by the Byzantine Iconoclasts were by him. Regardless of this he was strongly against some contemporary uses of images in the church. Epiphanius became a Christian in his youth. Either way, he was a Romaniote Jew, born in the Old Yishuv in the small settlement of Besanduk, near Eleutheropolis, lived as a monk in Egypt, where he was educated and came into contact with Valentinian groups.
He returned to Palestine around 333, when he was still a young man, he founded a monastery at Ad nearby, mentioned in the polemics of Jerome with Rufinus and John, Bishop of Jerusalem. He was ordained a priest, lived and studied as superior of the monastery in Ad that he founded for thirty years and gained much skill and knowledge in that position. In that position he gained the ability to speak in several tongues, including Hebrew, Egyptian and Latin, was called by Jerome on that account Pentaglossis, his reputation for learning prompted his nomination and consecration as Bishop of Salamis, Cyprus, in 365 or 367, a post which he held until his death. He was the Metropolitan of the Church of Cyprus, he served as bishop for nearly forty years, as well as travelled to combat unorthodox beliefs. He was present at a synod in Antioch where the Trinitarian questions were debated against the heresy of Apollinarianism, he upheld the position of Bishop Paulinus, who had the support of Rome, over that of Meletius of Antioch, supported by the Eastern Churches.
In 382 he was present at the Council of Rome, again upholding the cause of Paulinus. During a visit to Palestine in 394 or 395, while preaching in Jerusalem, he attacked Origen's followers and urged the Bishop of Jerusalem, John II, to condemn his writings, he urged John to be careful of the "offence" of images in the churches. He noted that when travelling in Palestine he went into a church to pray and saw a curtain with an image of Christ or a saint which he tore down, he told Bishop John that such images were "opposed... to our religion". This event sowed the seeds of conflict which erupted in the dispute between Rufinus and John against Jerome and Epiphanius. Epiphanius fuelled this conflict by ordaining a priest for Jerome's monastery at Bethlehem, thus trespassing on John's jurisdiction; this dispute continued during the 390s, in particular in the literary works by Rufinus and Jerome attacking one another. In 399, the dispute took on another dimension, when the Bishop of Alexandria, who had supported John, changed his views and started persecuting Origenist monks in Egypt.
As a result of this persecution, four of these monks, the so-called Tall Brothers, fled to Palestine, travelled to Constantinople, seeking support and spreading the controversy. John Chrysostom, Bishop of Constantinople, gave the monks shelter. Bishop Theophilus of Alexandria saw his chance to use this event to bring down his enemy Chrysostom: in 402 he summoned a council in Constantinople, invited those supportive of his anti-Origenist views. Epiphanius, by this time nearly 80, was one of those summoned, began the journey to Constantinople. However, when he realised he was being used as a tool by Theophilus against Chrysostom, who had given refuge to the monks persecuted by Theophilus and who were appealing to the emperor, Epiphanius started back to Salamis, only to die on the way home in 403. Letter LI in Jerome's letters gives Jerome's Latin translation, made at Epiphanius' request, of his letter in Greek from c. 394, "From Epiphanius, Bishop of Salamis, in Cyprus, to John, Bishop of Jerusalem".
The final section covers the quoted incident of the curtain, which unlike other passages attributed to Epiphanius and quoted by the Iconoclasts, is accepted as authentic by modern scholars: 9. Moreover, I have heard that certain persons have this grievance against me: When I accompanied you to the holy place called Bethel, there to join you in celebrating the Collect, after the use of the Church, I came to a villa called Anablatha and, as I was passing, saw a lamp burning there. Asking what place it was, learning it to be a church, I went in to pray, found there a curtain hanging on the doors of the said church and embroidered, it bore an image either of one of the saints. Seeing this, being loth that an image of a man should be hung up in Christ’s church contrary to the teaching of the Scriptures, I tore it asunder and advised the custodians of the place to use it as a winding sheet for some poor person. They, however and said that if I made up my mind to tear it, it was only fair that I should give them another curtain in its place.
As soon as I heard this, I promised that I would give one, said that I would send it at once. Since there has been some little delay, due to the fact that I have been seeking a curtain of the best quality to give to them instead of the former one, thought it right to se
Palestine is a geographic region in Western Asia considered to include Israel, the West Bank, the Gaza Strip, in some definitions, some parts of western Jordan. The name was used by ancient Greek writers, it was used for the Roman province Syria Palaestina, the Byzantine Palaestina Prima, the Islamic provincial district of Jund Filastin; the region comprises most of the territory claimed for the biblical regions known as the Land of Israel, the Holy Land or Promised Land. It has been known as the southern portion of wider regional designations such as Canaan, ash-Sham, the Levant. Situated at a strategic location between Egypt and Arabia, the birthplace of Judaism and Christianity, the region has a long and tumultuous history as a crossroads for religion, culture and politics; the region has been controlled by numerous peoples, including Ancient Egyptians, Canaanites and Judeans, Babylonians, ancient Greeks, the Jewish Hasmonean Kingdom, Parthians, Byzantines, the Arab Rashidun, Umayyad and Fatimid caliphates, Ayyubids, Mongols, the British, modern Israelis, Jordanians and Palestinians.
The boundaries of the region have changed throughout history. Today, the region comprises the State of Israel and the Palestinian territories in which the State of Palestine was declared. Modern archaeology has identified 12 ancient inscriptions from Egyptian and Assyrian records recording cognates of Hebrew Pelesheth; the term "Peleset" is found in five inscriptions referring to a neighboring people or land starting from c. 1150 BCE during the Twentieth dynasty of Egypt. The first known mention is at the temple at Medinet Habu which refers to the Peleset among those who fought with Egypt in Ramesses III's reign, the last known is 300 years on Padiiset's Statue. Seven known Assyrian inscriptions refer to the region of "Palashtu" or "Pilistu", beginning with Adad-nirari III in the Nimrud Slab in c. 800 BCE through to a treaty made by Esarhaddon more than a century later. Neither the Egyptian nor the Assyrian sources provided clear regional boundaries for the term; the first clear use of the term Palestine to refer to the entire area between Phoenicia and Egypt was in 5th century BCE Ancient Greece, when Herodotus wrote of a "district of Syria, called Palaistinê" in The Histories, which included the Judean mountains and the Jordan Rift Valley.
A century Aristotle used a similar definition for the region in Meteorology, in which he included the Dead Sea. Greek writers such as Polemon and Pausanias used the term to refer to the same region, followed by Roman writers such as Ovid, Pomponius Mela, Pliny the Elder, Dio Chrysostom, Plutarch as well as Roman Judean writers Philo of Alexandria and Josephus; the term was first used to denote an official province in c. 135 CE, when the Roman authorities, following the suppression of the Bar Kokhba Revolt, combined Iudaea Province with Galilee and the Paralia to form "Syria Palaestina". There is circumstantial evidence linking Hadrian with the name change, but the precise date is not certain and the assertion of some scholars that the name change was intended "to complete the dissociation with Judaea" is disputed; the term is accepted to be a translation of the Biblical name Peleshet. The term and its derivates are used more than 250 times in Masoretic-derived versions of the Hebrew Bible, of which 10 uses are in the Torah, with undefined boundaries, 200 of the remaining references are in the Book of Judges and the Books of Samuel.
The term is used in the Septuagint, which used a transliteration Land of Phylistieim different from the contemporary Greek place name Palaistínē. The Septuagint instead used the term "allophuloi" throughout the Books of Judges and Samuel, such that the term "Philistines" has been interpreted to mean "non-Israelites of the Promised Land" when used in the context of Samson and David, Rabbinic sources explain that these peoples were different from the Philistines of the Book of Genesis. During the Byzantine period, the region of Palestine within Syria Palaestina was subdivided into Palaestina Prima and Secunda, an area of land including the Negev and Sinai became Palaestina Salutaris. Following the Muslim conquest, place names that were in use by the Byzantine administration continued to be used in Arabic; the use of the name "Palestine" became common in Early Modern English, was used in English and Arabic during the Mutasarrifate of Jerusalem and was revived as an official place name with the British Mandate for Palestine.
Some other terms that have been used to refer to all or part of this land include Canaan, Land of Israel, the Promised Land, Greater Syria, the Holy Land, Iudaea Province, Coele-Syria, "Israel HaShlema", Kingdom of Israel, Kingdom of Jerusalem, Retenu, Southern Syria, Southern Levant and Syria Palaestina. Situated at a strategic location between Egypt and Arabia, the birthplace of Judaism and Christianity, the region has a long and tumultuous history as a crossroads for religion, culture and politics; the region has been controlled by numerous peoples, including Ancient Egyptians, Israelites, Babylonians, Ancient Greeks, Parthians, Sasa
Midian is a geographical place mentioned in the Bible and Qur’an. William G. Dever states that biblical Midian was in the "northwest Arabian Peninsula, on the east shore of the Gulf of Aqaba on the Red Sea", an area which he notes was "never extensively settled until the 8th–7th century B. C."According to the Book of Genesis, the Midianites were the descendants of Midian, a son of Abraham and his wife Keturah: "Abraham took a wife, her name was Keturah. And she bare him Zimran, Jokshan, Medan, Midian, Ishbak, Shuah"; some scholars have suggested that'Midian' does not refer to geographic places or a specific tribe, but to a confederation or'league' of tribes brought together as a collective for worship purposes. Paul Haupt first made this suggestion in 1909, describing Midian as a'cultic collective' or an'amphictyony', meaning'an association of different tribes in the vicinity of a sanctuary'. Elath, on the northern tip of the Gulf of Aqaba was suggested as the location of the first shrine, with a second sanctuary located at Kadesh.
Writers have questioned the identified sanctuary locations but supported the thesis of a Midianite league. George Mendenhall suggested that the Midianites were a non-Semitic confederate group, William Dumbrell maintained the same case: "We believe that Haupt's proposal is to be adopted, that Midian, rather than depicting a land, is a general term for an amorphous league of the Late Bronze Age, of wide geographical range, after a series of reverses, the most prominent of which are recorded in Judges 6–7 disappeared from the historical scene...' It is uncertain. Through their apparent religio-political connection with the Moabites they are thought to have worshipped a multitude, including Baal-peor and the Queen of Heaven, Ashteroth. According to Karel van der Toorn, "By the 14th century BC, before the cult of Yahweh had reached Israel, groups of Edomites and Midianites worshipped Yahweh as their god."An Egyptian temple of Hathor at Timna continued to be used during the Midianite occupation of the site.
In addition to the discovery of post-holes, large quantities of red and yellow decayed cloth with beads woven into it, along with numerous copper rings/wire used to suspend the curtains, were found all along two walls of the shrine. Beno Rothenberg, the excavator of the site, suggested that the Midianites were making offerings to Hathor since a large number of Midianite votive vessels were discovered in the shrine. However, whether Hathor or some other deity was the object of devotion during this period is difficult to ascertain. A small bronze snake with gilded head was discovered in the naos of the Timna mining shrine, along with a hoard of metal objects that included a small bronze figurine of a bearded male god, which according to Rothenberg was Midianite in origin. Michael Homan observes that the Midianite tent-shrine at Timna is one of the closest parallels to the biblical Tabernacle. Midian was the son of Abraham. Abraham's great grandson Joseph, after being thrown into a pit by his brothers, was sold to either Midianites or Ishmaelites.
Moses spent 40 years in voluntary exile in Midian after killing an Egyptian. There, he married the daughter of Midianite priest Jethro. Jethro advised Moses on establishing a system of delegated legal decision-making. Moses asked Hobab, the son of Reuel, to accompany the Israelites travelling towards the promised land because of his local knowledge, but Hobab preferred to return to his homeland. During the Baal-Peor episode, when Moabite women seduced Israelite men, the son of a Simeonite chief, got involved with a Midianite woman called Cozbi; the couple were speared by Phinehas and war against Midian followed. Some commentators, for example the Pulpit Commentary and Gill's Exposition of the Bible, have noted that God's command focused on attacking the Midianites and not the Moabites, Moses in Deuteronomy directed that the Israelites should not harass the Moabites. At least one modern day movement, the Phineas Priesthood, has interpreted this story as a prohibition against miscegenation, despite the Midianites being related to the Israelites as descendants of Abraham, Moses being married to a Midianite.
During the time of the Judges, Israel was oppressed by Midian for seven years until Gideon defeated Midian's armies. Isaiah speaks of camels from Midian and Ephah coming to "cover your land", along with the gold and frankincense from Sheba; this passage, taken by the Gospel of Matthew as a foreshadowing of the Magi's gifts to the infant Jesus, has been incorporated into the Christmas liturgy. The people of Midian are mentioned extensively in the Arabic Qur'an; the word'Madyan' appears 10 times in it. The people are called ʾaṣḥabu l-ʾaykah. Surah 9, verse 70 says "Has not the story reached them of those before them? – The people of Nūḥ, ʿĀd and Thamud, the people of Ibrahim, the dwellers of Madyan and the cities overthrown, to them came their Messengers with clear proofs. So it was not Allah who wronged them, but they used to wrong themselves." In Surah 7, Madyan is mentioned as one of several peoples who were warned by prophets to repent lest judgment fall on them. The story of Madyan is the last, coming after that of Lot preaching to his people (referring to the destruct
Bethel was a border city described in the Hebrew Bible as being located between Benjamin and Ephraim and a location named by Jacob. Under Israelite rule, Bethel first belonged to the Tribe of Benjamin, but was conquered by the Tribe of Ephraim. Eusebius of Caesarea and Jerome describe Bethel in their time as a small village that lay 12 Roman miles north of Jerusalem, to the right or east of the road leading to Neapolis. Edward Robinson identified the village of Beitin in the West Bank with ancient Bethel in Biblical Researches in Palestine, 1838–52, he based this assessment on its fitting the location described in earlier texts, on the philological similarities between the modern and ancient name, arguing that the replacement of the Hebrew el with the Arabic in was not unusual. Most academics continue to identify Bethel with Beitin. Ten years after the Six-Day War, the biblical name was applied to an Israeli settlement Beit El constructed adjacent to Beitin. In several countries—particularly in the US—the name has been given to various locations.
Bethel is mentioned several times in Genesis. It is first mentioned in Genesis 12 and 13, as a place near where Abram stayed and built an altar on his way to Egypt and on his return, it is said to be close to Hai and just to the west of it. More famously it is mentioned again in Genesis 28, when Jacob, fleeing from the wrath of his brother Esau, falls asleep on a stone and dreams of a ladder stretching between Heaven and Earth and thronged with angels. Another account, from Genesis 35 repeats the covenant with God and the naming of the place, makes this the site of Jacob's own change of name to Israel. Both versions state that the original name of the place was a Canaanite name. Bethel is mentioned again in the book of Joshua 7:2, 8:9 as being close to Ai and on the west side of it. At 16:1 it is again said to be next to Luz, near Jericho, part of the territory of the descendants of Joseph. In the book of Judges 1:22 ff the descendants of Joseph capture the city of Bethel, which again is said to have been called Luz.
At Judges 4:5 the prophetess Deborah is said to dwell at Bethel under the palm-tree of Deborah. Bethel is said in Judges 4:5 to be in Mt Ephraim. At Judges 20:18, where the Hebrew Beth-El is translated in the King James Version as the'House of God', the people of Israel go to Bethel to ask counsel of God when they are planning to attack the Benjaminites at the battle of Gibeah, they make a second visit after losing the battle. Bethel was evidently an important religious centre at this time. At Judges 21:19, Bethel is said to be south of Shiloh. At the next mention of the Ark, in 1 Samuel 4:3, it is said to be kept at Shiloh. In the book 1 Samuel 7:16, it is said that the prophet Samuel, who resided at Ramah, used to make a yearly circuit of Bethel and Mizpah to judge Israel. At I Samuel 10:3, Samuel tells Saul to go to Bethel to visit the'Hill of God', where he will meet a group of prophets coming down from the high place with a'psaltery, a tabret, a pipe, a harp', it appears. Bethel is mentioned again in I1 Samuel 13:2 and 2 Samuel 30:27.
After the kingdom of Israel was split into two kingdoms on the death of King Solomon, the first king of the northern Kingdom of Israel, made two calves of gold and set one up in Bethel, the other in Dan in the far north of his kingdom. This was to make it unnecessary for the people of Israel to have to go to Jerusalem to worship in the temple there, it seems. A story is told at 1 Kings 13:1 ff of how a man from Judah visited the shrine at Bethel and prophesied that it would be destroyed by Josiah. At 2 Kings 2:1 ff the prophets Elijah and Elisha are said to have visited Bethel on a journey from Gilgal to Jericho shortly before Elijah was taken up to heaven without dying; when Elisha returned alone to Bethel, he is said to have been taunted by some young men as he climbed up to the shrine, cursed them. Bethel is next mentioned in connection with the tenth king of Jehu. Despite his killing of the prophets of Baal and destruction of their temple, it is said that Jehu continued to tolerate the presence of the golden calves in Bethel and Dan.
The shrine at Bethel avoided destruction in the Assyrian invasions of the Kingdom of Israel in c. 740 and 722, but was completely destroyed by King Josiah of Judah. Bethel is mentioned in Ezra 2:28 and Nehemiah 7:32 as being resettled at the time of the return of the exiles from Babylon; the shrine is mentioned with disapproval by the prophet Amos: But seek not Beth–el, nor enter into Gilgal, pass not to Beer–sheba: for Gilgal shall go into captivity, Beth–el shall come to nought. -King James Bible Bu