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LUZ (Heb. לוּז), an old name for *Beth-El, first mentioned in the account of Jacob's dream there (Gen. 28:19). Beth-El is again called Luz in Genesis 35:6; in his blessing of Joseph's sons, Jacob refers to God's appearance at Luz, meaning Beth-El (Gen. 48:3). In the description of the borders of Ephraim, however, the two cities are treated as separate entities (Josh. 16:2); in the parallel account of Joshua 18:13, Luz is mentioned first, then the "side" (katef) of Luz, "the same is Beth-El." The man who delivered the city to the Israelites went into the land of the Hittites and built there another Luz (Judg. 1:26). According to later sources, Luz and Beth-El are the same city (Eusebius, Onom. 4:28ff.; 40:20; 120:8ff.; also Madaba Map). Eusebius locates Beth-El 12 mi. (c. 19 km.) north of Jerusalem on the left ("west") side of the road to Neapolis (Onom. 40:20). Some scholars have concluded from the biblical references that Luz remained the name of the city until the time of Jeroboam and that Beth-El was originally the name of the sanctuary to the east of it. A more probable view is that Luz was the ancient name of neighboring *Ai (Heb. Ha-Ai, "the ruin"); Beth-El, which was founded in the Middle Bronze Age, doubtless inherited the role and area of the prominent Early Bronze city only about 1 mi. (1½ km.) distant.


Elliger, in: zdpv, 53 (1930), 304; W.F. Albright, The Vocalization of the Egyptian Syllabic Orthography (1934), 9.

[Michael Avi-Yonah]