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Bethel (in the Bible)

Bethel (bĕth´əl) [Heb.,=house of God]. 1 Ancient city of central Palestine, the modern Baytin, the West Bank, N of Jerusalem. According to the Bible, where it is frequently mentioned, it was originally called Luz (see Luz1). The Book of Genesis relates that Abraham built his first altar in Canaan here and that the name Bethel, given to Jacob's sacred stone, was then transferred to the town itself. At the time of the Judges it was a national shrine. It temporarily harbored the Ark of the Covenant. Bethel lost its preeminence as a Jewish shrine to Jerusalem; in 1 Kings, Jeroboam's attempt to establish Bethel as a rival religious capital failed. Bethel thereafter became increasingly associated with heathen worship—hence the denunciations by Amos and by Hosea, who called it Beth-aven [house of wickedness]. Modern excavations have disclosed a temple wall, water gate, and palace complex, indicating the site was once a flourishing Canaanite cultic center. 2 Unidentified place, S ancient Palestine, mentioned several times in the Bible; instances of Chesil, Bethul, and Bethuel in the Bible are thought to be alternate spellings of Bethel.

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Bethel

Bethel. Town approximately 10 miles north of Jerusalem. According to Genesis, Abraham built an altar between Bethel and Ai (12. 6–8), and Jacob had a vision of angels ascending and descending on a ladder stretching between heaven and earth (28. 10–22). The name Bethel means literally ‘house of God’ and the place was said to have been so called by Jacob.

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"Bethel." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of World Religions. . Encyclopedia.com. 24 Apr. 2018 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

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Bethel (city, United States)

Bethel, town (1990 pop. 17,541), Fairfield co., SW Conn.; inc. 1855. Manufactures include wire, textiles, fabricated-metal and tool-and-die products; chemicals; and electronic, dental, and optical components. There is commercial printing. P. T. Barnum was born in Bethel.

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bethel

bethel a hallowed spot, a place where God is worshipped; originally with reference to Genesis 28:19, from the story of Jacob who set up a pillar on the spot on which he had dreamed of seeing a ladder reaching up to heaven.

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