I did state that Beit She’an is mentioned in a number of locations in the Bible. I have found one of the many confusing things when visiting Israel is the multiple names that are used to refer to the same location. Many of the references in the Bible refer to it as Bethshean
(a) Joshua 17: 11-12
The Israelites did not conquer Beit Shean:
“And Manasseh had in Issachar and in Asher Bethshean and her towns, and Ibleam and her towns, and the inhabitants of Dor and her towns, and the inhabitants of Endor and her towns, and the inhabitants of Taanach and her towns, and the inhabitants of Megiddo and her towns, even three countries. Yet the children of Manasseh could not drive out the inhabitants of those cities; but the Canaanites would dwell in that land”.
(b) Judges 1 27-28:
Neither did Manasseh drive out the inhabitants of Bethshean and her towns, nor Taanach and her towns, nor the inhabitants of Dor and her towns, nor the inhabitants of Ibleam and her towns, nor the inhabitants of Megiddo and her towns: but the Canaanites would dwell in that land. And it came to pass, when Israel was strong, that they put the Canaanites to tribute, and did not utterly drive them out”.
(c) 1 Samuel 31 6-13:
King Saul’s body was displayed on the walls of Beit Shean (here it is spelled BethShan) after his defeat to the Philistines:
“So Saul died, and his three sons, and his armourbearer, and all his men, that same day together. And when the men of Israel that were on the other side of the valley, and they that were on the other side Jordan, saw that the men of Israel fled, and that Saul and his sons were dead, they forsook the cities, and fled; and the Philistines came and dwelt in them.
And it came to pass on the morrow, when the Philistines came to strip the slain, that they found Saul and his three sons fallen in mount Gilboa. And they cut off his head, and stripped off his armor, and sent into the land of the Philistines round about, to publish it in the house of their idols, and among the people. And they put his armor in the house of Ashtaroth: and they fastened his body to the wall of Bethshan. And when the inhabitants of Jabeshgilead heard of that which the Philistines had done to Saul; All the valiant men arose, and went all night, and took the body of Saul and the bodies of his sons from the wall of Bethshan, and came to Jabesh, and burnt them there. And they took their bones, and buried them under a tree at Jabesh, and fasted seven days”.
(d) 1 Kings 4 7, 12:
King Solomon made BeitShean a major administrative city:
“And Solomon had twelve officers over all Israel, which provided victuals for the king and his household: each man his month in a year made provision…
Baana the son of Ahilud; to him pertained Taanach and Megiddo, and all Bethshean, which is by Zartanah beneath Jezreel, from Bethshean to Abelmeholah, even unto the place that is beyond Jokneam:”.
(e) 2 Kings 15:29
The Assyrians captured the Galilee (732 BC), and destroyed Beit Shean.
” In the days of Pekah king of Israel came Tiglathpileser king of Assyria, and took Ijon, and Abelbethmaachah, and Janoah, and Kedesh, and Hazor, and Gilead, and Galilee, all the land of Naphtali, and carried them captive to Assyria”.
(f) New Testament
Also as stated in an earlier post, Beit She’an was rebuilt and the city was renamed Scythopolis. This is referred to in a number of locations under the heading of Decapolis (Ten Cities) – Scythopolis was recognised as the Main Centre of the Decapolis.
For more information about Beit She’an
- 2014-04-04 – Galilee to Jerusalem via Jericho
- Beit She’an
- Beit She’an – Bathhouse
- Beit She’an – Theatre
- Beit She’an – Biblical References
- Beit She’an – Mosaics
- Beit She’an – Palladius Street
- Beit She’an – Public Toilets