Beth-shemesh (bĕth-shē´mĕsh), in the Bible. 1 The Egyptian Heliopolis. 2 Town of ancient Palestine, the modern Tel Bet Shemesh (Israel), W of Jerusalem. Excavations there have revealed traces of the Egyptian occupation in the 2d millennium B. C. It also appears as Ir-shemesh. 3 Town of Issachar. 4 Unidentified town of Naphtali.