Beeroth (biblical city)

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Coordinates: 31°49′56″N 35°09′07″E / 31.83222°N 35.15194°E / 31.83222; 35.15194

Beeroth (Hebrew: בארות; Be'erot, lit. "wells") was a Biblical city seven miles northwest of Jerusalem.[1] The city was an ancient Hivite settlement, and is mentioned in Joshua 9:17, 18:25, 2 Samuel 4:2-3, Ezra 2:25 and Nehemiah 7:29. Another town named Beeroth is mentioned in Deuteronomy 10:6.

Because there are no known ruins for Beeroth, the location of the city is disputed. The most noted source materials are the texts of the Bible, the Onomastikon of Eusebius,[2] the annotations of this same text by Jerome, and the Madaba Map[3] The distance Eusebius gives puts Beeroth somewhere between modern Biddu and Nebi Samwil. The city was part of an Hivite confederacy under the apparent rule of Gibeon, "a royal city" that sued for peace after the Hebrews destroyed Jericho and Ai as described in Joshua 9. Later much of the area taken in this initial campaign (including Beeroth) was given to Benjamin as inheritance in Joshua 18. Beeroth may have been the place to which Gideon's youngest son, Joatham or Jotham, fled to escape from Abimelech after his 69 brothers had been killed (Judges 9:21).[4]

The town was then inhabited until the Babylonian captivity in 586 BCE, and the people of this town returned to the area 70 years later as referenced in Ezra and Nehemiah. Whether they re-built and inhabited the town is not described in the text.

Although the most accepted modern location for Beeroth is Al-Bireh, new evidence suggests that it may be modern Biddu, or slightly east of Biddu.[citation needed]