BETHBASI (Bηθαλαγα), locality in Judea identified with Khir bat Beit Bassa southeast of *Bethlehem, where *Simeon b. Mattathias the Hasmonean was besieged by the Syrian general *Bacchides. Simeon managed to raise the siege by burning Bacchides' war engines (i Macc. 9:62–64; cf. Jos. Antiq. xiii, 26). Bethbasi is also mentioned in a document from Murabba'at (115, 2). The ruins of Khirbat Beit Bassa consist of fragmentary structures, terraces, cisterns, and at least one rock-hewn stepped mikveh with a double entrance from the Second Temple period. No fortifications are discernible.
Abel, in: rb, 34 (1925), 211ff.; P. Benoit, et al., Les Grottes de Murabbaʿat (1961), no. 24. add. bibliography: M. Kochavi (ed.), Judaea, Samaria and the Golan: Archaeological Survey 1967–1968 (1972), 42, Site 29; D. Amit, Ritual Baths from the Second Temple Period in the Hebron Hills (1996); Y. Tsafrir, L. Di Segni, and J. Green, Tabula Imperii Romani. Iudaea – Palaestina. Maps and Gazetteer. (1994), 80.
[Michael Avi-Yonah /
Shimon Gibson (2nd ed.)]