Bethulia


Whether Bethulia was the real and actual name of a place or a symbolic one is not known. The case for the former is pressed by noting the fact that Bethul or Bethuel is a Simeonite place name which agrees with Judith’s origin (9:2; 6:15), but the latter is conjectured since “house of God” would be an appropriate name for a fictitious city that held true to faith in God despite the mounting dangers.

Bibliography

J. Simons, The Geographical and Topographical Texts of the OT (1959), 498-500.

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia (1915)

A town named only in the Book of Judith (4:6; 6:10 ff; 7:1 ff; 8:3; 10:6; 12:7; 15:3,6; 16:21 ff). From these references we gather that it stood beside a valley, on a rock, at the foot of which was a spring, not far from Jenin; and that it guarded the passes by which an army might march to the South. The site most fully meeting these conditions is that of Sanur. The rock on the summit of which it stands rises sheer from the edge of Merj el-Ghariq, on the main highway, some 7 miles South of Jenin. Other identifications are suggested: Conder favoring Mithiliyeh, a little farther north; while the writer of the article "Bethulia" in Encyclopedia Biblica argues for identification with Jerusalem.