Highway 38 (Israel)

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Highway 38 shield}}

Highway 38
כביש 38
Kvish Shloshim u'Shmoneh
Route information
Length29 km (18 mi)
Major junctions
South endNehusha Junction
  • HaEla Junction
  • Ramat Beit Shemesh Junction
  • Beit Shemesh Junction
  • Shimshon Junction
North endSha'r HaGai Interchange
Major citiesBeit Shemesh
Highway system
Roads in Israel

Highway 38 is an arterial road in the low plains of Judea in Israel. It serves as the main access route to Beit Shemesh and as a main north-south route in the region. Along the route are many nature preserves and archeological sites.


Highway 38 travels in a north-northeast direction as it winds through the western foothills of the Judaean Mountains from Highway 35 at Nehusha Junction near Beit Guvrin to Highway 1 at Sha'ar HaGai Interchange.

Along many stretches, it follows small valleys formed by northward turns of westward streams emanating from the mountains to the east, notably, the Yoresh, Hakhlil, Yarmut and Kisalon Streams. Between the stream valleys and north of Eshtaol the road rises and falls as it crosses the many east-west ridges.


From biblical times the road is mentioned in 1 Samuel 6:12 as the route taken by the Philistines returning the Ark of the Covenant to the Israelites in Beth-Shemesh.

During the Roman Era, the road was an important route as evidenced by milestones found near Givat Yeshayahu as part of the road from Ashkelon via Highway 35 to Beit Guvrin, northward along Highway 38, then westward via the Elah Valley to Jerusalem.[1]

In 1948, the Latrun section of Highway 1 was taken over by Jordan. Traffic between Tel Aviv and Jerusalem was diverted to a new route called "Kvish HaGvura" (Road of Bravery) of which Highway 38 served as the connection between Highway 44 at Shimshon Junction and Highway 1 at Sha'ar HaGai. This section of the road was straightened and widened in 1960.[2]

At the end of 2012, the National Roads Company of Israel published tenders to upgrade the northern section of the road creating a divided highway with two lanes in each direction between Beit Shemesh and Sha'ar HaGai. The government granted approval on 6 June 2013. The approval was made through the special "Housing Cabinet" since the road's expansion is a condition for plans to build an additional apartments and homes in Beit Shemesh.[3][4][5]

The newly rebuilt highway costing 800M shekels was inaugurated in September, 2017. Bridge interchanges at Naham/Hartuv, Shimshon Junction/Eshtaol and Mesilat Zion[6] with tunnel interchanges at the Sha'ar HaGai Caravanserai and the Burma Road were completed. A wildlife bridge was built near Mesilat Zion and the road was raised to overpass the railway tracks at Beit Shemesh. The road includes highway lighting and bicycle paths along its entire length. The upgrade of the once relatively unsafe road into a modern highway will significantly cut travel time between Beit Shemesh and Tel Aviv or Jerusalem and allow the area's population to grow significantly.[7][8]

Junctions (south to north)[edit]

Valley of Elah woodland
Beit Jimal Monastery
Tel Beit Shemesh overlooking modern city
Beit Shemesh Railway Station
Mahal Memorial on the Burma Road
Sha'ar HaGai Caravanserai (Ottoman Khan)
km Name Type Meaning Location Road(s) crossed
0 צומת נחושה
(Nehusha Junction)
Fareskilt 20.PNG Steadfast Beit Guvrin ISR-HW-35.svg Highway 35
4.7 צומת מושב נחושה
(Moshav Nehusha Junction)
Fareskilt 20.PNG named after location Nehusha local road
7.3 Fareskilt 20.PNG Mitzpe Mesu'a,
Adullam Grove
Nature Reserve
Hurbat Atari
Archeological Site,
Hurbat Burgin
Archeological Site
local roads
7.8 צומת שריגים
(Srigim Junction)
Fareskilt 20.PNG Shoots Le-On,
Givat Yeshayahu,
ISR-HW-353.svg Route 353
ISR-HW-3544.svg Route 3544
8.4 Fareskilt 20.PNG Givat Yeshayahu local road
9.3 Fareskilt 20.PNG Srigim Cemetery local road
10.1 צומת האלה
(HaEla Junction)
Fareskilt 20.PNG Named after
biblical location
Valley of the Terebinth
Valley of Elah,
Netiv HaLamed-Heh,
Archeological Site
Archeological Site
ISR-HW375.png Route 375
11.9 צומת עזקה
(Azeka Junction)
Fareskilt 20.PNG Named after
biblical location
Archeological Site
Britannia Park
ISR-HW383.png Route 383
12.7 צומת זכריה
(Zekharya Junction)
Fareskilt 20.PNG Named after
biblical character
Zekharia local Road
15.2 צומת רמת בית שמש
(Ramat Bet Shemesh Junction)
Israel road sign 122.svg Beit Shemesh Heights Beit Shemesh Nahal Tze'elim St.
16.7 צומת בית ג'מאל
(Beit Jamal Junction)
Fareskilt 20.PNG Named after
biblical character
Beit Jimal Monastery local Road
17.2 צומת ברוש
(Brosh Junction)
Fareskilt 20.PNG Cypress Brosh West
Industrial Area
Virginia St.
18.6 צומת בית שמש דרום
(Bet Shemesh Darom Junction)
Israel road sign 122.svg South Beit Shemesh Beit Shemesh Yehuda Ben Ze'ev Blvd.
18.7 צומת ישעי
(Yishi Junction)
Israel road sign 122.svg My Salvation Yish'i local Road
19.1 Fareskilt 20.PNG Tel Beit Shemesh
Archeological Site
local road
19.9 צומת צרעה
(Tzora Junction)
Fareskilt 20.PNG Named after
biblical location
Tzora ISR-HW-3835.svg Road 3835
20.2 צומת בית שמש
(Bet Shemesh Junction)
Israel road sign 122.svg House of the Sun Beit Shemesh Yigal Allon Blvd.
(ISR-HW-3855.svg Road 3855)
20.5 (northbound only) AB-Tank.svg Beit Shemesh filling station
20.9 Israel road sign 122.svg Beit Shemesh ISR-HW384.png Route 384
(Beit Shemesh Rd 10)[12]
21.2 Fareskilt 20.PNG Hartuv
Industrial Area B
local road
21.4 צומת נחם
(Naham Junction)
Fareskilt 20.PNG Named after
biblical character
Industrial Park,
Mateh Yehuda
Regional Council
local road
22.1 מחלף הרטוב
(Hartuv Interchange)
AB-AS-blau.svg Mount of Goodness Hartuv
Industrial Area A
HaTa'asiya St,
to Eretz HaHaim Cemetery,
to Naham Cemetery
23 מחלף שמשון
(Shimshon Interchange)
AB-AS-blau.svg Named after
biblical character
Eshtaol ISR-HW-44.svg Highway 44,
to ISR-HW395.png Route 395
23.3 (northbound only) AB-Tank.svg Eshtaol filling station,
strip mall
26 מחלף מסילת ציון
(Mesilat Ziyon Interchange)
AB-AS-blau.svg Track of Zion Mesilat Zion Cochin St.
26.7 (northbound only) AB-AS-blau.svg National Forest local road
28.3 מחלף דרך בורמה
(Burma Road Interchange)
AB-AS-blau.svg Burma Road,
Mahal Memorial,[14]
Rabin Park
National Forest,
to Sha'ar HaGai
(Historic Preserve)
local road
filling station
28.9 מחלף שער הגיא
(Sha'ar HaGai Interchange)
Gate of the Valley Sha'ar HaGai ISR-HW1.png Highway 1


  1. ^ "Valley of Elah - Roman Road". biblewalks.com. Retrieved 2011-12-09.
  2. ^ "Fixing the Eshta'ol-Sha'ar HaGai Road". Historical Jewish Press. Retrieved 2011-12-07.(in Hebrew)
  3. ^ David Lev (2013-06-06). "Road 38 to Beit Shemesh to be Expanded; 20,000 Homes to be Built". Arutz Sheva. Retrieved 2013-06-06.
  4. ^ "Tender for Highway 38 upgrade to be released immediately". National Roads Company of Israel. Retrieved 2011-12-07.(in Hebrew)
  5. ^ "Highway 38 - between Sha'ar HaGai and Beit Shemesh". National Roads Company of Israel. Retrieved 2011-12-07.(in Hebrew)
  6. ^ Street View northbound on Higheway 38 - Mesilat Zion Interchange (Map). Google Maps. October 2017. Retrieved 2018-04-19.
  7. ^ Dror Halavy (2017-08-09). "PM Inaugurates New, Upgraded Beit Shemesh Access Highway". HaModia. Retrieved 2018-04-19.
  8. ^ "Road 38 opens". Yediot Aharonot. 2017-08-09. Retrieved 2018-04-19.(in Hebrew)
  9. ^ 1 Samuel 17:19
  10. ^ 1 Samuel 17:1
  11. ^ Judges 16:31
  12. ^ "Road 10 - Beit Shemesh Bypass". National Roads Company of Israel. Retrieved 2011-12-07.(in Hebrew)
  13. ^ 1 Chronicles 4:19
  14. ^ "Machal1947-9 - Mahal - History". Mahal IDF Volunteers Org. Retrieved 2011-12-09.

See also[edit]

Coordinates: 31°42′06″N 34°56′53″E / 31.70167°N 34.94806°E / 31.70167; 34.94806