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Bethel

Bethel seems to have been a Canaanite city originally, and after the conquest by Joshua was given to the tribe of Benjamin (Josh.18.21-Josh.18.22). Joseph’s descendants, under the guidance of the Lord, went up against Bethel and took it (Judg.1.22-Judg.1.26). It remained on the southern border of Ephraim. During the period of the judges, because of the wickedness of the tribe of Ephraim, the Israelites marched against them. They stopped at Bethel to ascertain God’s will (Judg.20.18). The ark was kept there at this time (Judg.20.26-Judg.20.28). Samuel went to this city from time to time to conduct business and to worship (1Sam.7.16; 1Sam.10.3). Bethel is mentioned in the apocryphal books as being fortified by Bacchides (1Macc.9.50). Modern Beitin, Bethel was excavated by Albright and Kelso intermittently from 1934 to 1961. City walls from the Middle Bronze Age (2200 to 1550 b.c.), the time of the patriarchs, were found. In the Late Bronze Age (1550-1200) there were well-built hous