Highway 38 (Israel)

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Highway 38
כביש 38
Kvish Shloshim v'Shmoneh
Route information
Length: 29 km (18 mi)
Major junctions
South end: Nechusha Junction
  • HaEla Junction
  • Ramat Beit Shemesh Junction
  • Beit Shemesh Junction
  • Shimshon Junction
North end: Sha'r HaGai Interchange
Major cities: Beit 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 Beit Guvin Junction to Highway 1 at Sha'ar HaGai Interchange. Except for a small section adjacent to Beit Shemesh, the road is a two-lane, undivided highway. 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 1Samuel 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]

For many years, an expansion of Highway 38 was envisioned. In 2010, the Mayor of Beit Shemesh raised the problem of the road between Sha'ar HaGai and Beit Shemesh calling it a "bloodbath" due to the many fatal traffic accidents. The Ministry of Transport claimed that the upgrade would take until 2013.[3] However, plans were pushed back several times because of budgetary constraints. In the meantime, as of 2013, a short section of the road between Beit Shemesh and Beit Jamal has been widened and junctions have been upgraded.[4]


At the end of 2012, the National Roads Company of Israel published tenders to upgrade 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 20,000 apartments and homes in Beit Shemesh.[5]

A trumpet interchange will be created at Shimshon Junction and diamond interchanges at Naham/Hartuv, Eshtaol, Mesilat Zion, the Burma Road and the Sha'ar HaGai Caravansserai. A wildlife crossing (ecological bridge) will be built near Mesilat Zion and the road will be raised to overpass the railway tracks at Beit Shemesh. The estimated completion date is now 2016 and the cost will reach 900M Shekels.[5][6][7]

Junctions (South to North)[edit]

Valley of Elah woodland
Beit Jimal Monastery
Tel Beit Shemesh overlooking modern city
Beit Shemesh Railway Station
Machal 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-HW35.png 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-HW353.png Route 353
ISR-HW3544.png 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)
ILramzor2.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 מערב
(Bet Shemesh Ma'arav Junction)
ILramzor2.svg West Beit Shemesh Beit Shemesh Yehuda Ben Ze'ev Blvd.
18.7 צומת ישעי
(Yishi Junction)
ILramzor2.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-HW3835.png Roade 3835
20.2 צומת בית שמש
(Bet Shemesh Junction)
ILramzor2.svg House of the Sun Beit Shemesh Yigal Allon Blvd.
20.4 Railway Crossing
2 tracks
Fareskilt 24.PNG Beit Shemesh
20.5 (northbound only) AB-Tank.svg Beit Shemesh filling station
20.9 ILramzor2.svg Beit Shemesh ISR-HW384.png Route 384
(ISR-HW3855.png Road 3855)
(Beit Shemesh Rd 10)[11]
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 צומת הרטוב
(Hartuv Junction)
Fareskilt 20.PNG Mount of Goodness Hartuv
Industrial Area A
HaTa'asiya St.
22.7 Fareskilt 20.PNG Eretz HaHaim Cemetery,
Naham Cemetery
local road
23.2 צומת שמשון
(Shimshon Junction)
ILramzor2.svg Named after
biblical character
Eshtaol ISR-HW44.png Highway 44
23.5 (northbound only) AB-Tank.svg Eshtaol filling station
23.8 צומת אשתאול
(Eshtaol Junction)
Fareskilt 20.PNG Named after
biblical location
Eshtaol Nahal Adorayim St.,
ISR-HW395.png Route 395
26.3 צומת מסילת ציון
(Mesilat Ziyon Junction)
Fareskilt 20.PNG Track of Zion Mesilat Zion Cochin St.
27.7 (southbound only) Fareskilt 20.PNG Mesilat Zion Malabar St.
28.4 (southbound only) AB-Tank.svg Mesilat Zion filling station
28.6 צומת דרך בורמה
(Burma Road Junction)
Fareskilt 20.PNG Burma Road,
Machal Memorial,[14]
Rabin Park
National Forest
local road
28.9 מחלף שער הגיא
(Sha'ar HaGai Interchange)
Gate of the Valley Sha'ar HaGai ISR-HW1.png Highway 1
29.2 (from within
Shaa'ar HaGai Interchange)
Fareskilt 20.PNG
Sha'ar HaGai
(Historic Preserve)
entrance road


  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. (Hebrew)
  3. ^ Koby Yeshayahou (2010-11-10). "Transport official: Road 38 work to last until 2013". Globes. Retrieved 2013-06-06. 
  4. ^ "Highway 38 - between Beith Shemesh and Bit Jamal". National Roads Company of Israel. Retrieved 2013-08-13. (Hebrew)
  5. ^ a b 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. 
  6. ^ "Tender for Highway 38 upgrade to be released immediately". National Roads Company of Israel. Retrieved 2011-12-07. (Hebrew)
  7. ^ "Highway 38 - between Sha'ar HaGai and Beit Shemesh". National Roads Company of Israel. Retrieved 2011-12-07. (Hebrew)
  8. ^ 1Samuel 17:19
  9. ^ 1Samuel 17:1
  10. ^ Judges 16:31
  11. ^ "Road 10 - Beit Shemesh Bypass". National Roads Company of Israel. Retrieved 2011-12-07. (Hebrew)
  12. ^ 1Chronicles 4:19
  13. ^ Judges 16:31
  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