Bee'roth (Heb. Betroth', בּאֵרוֹת, wells; Sept. Βηρώτ, Βεηρωθά, Βηρωθ), one of the four cities of the Hivites who deluded Joshua into a treaty of peace with them, the other three being Gibeon, Chephirah, and Kirjath-jearim (Jos 9:17). Beeroth was with the rest of these towns allotted to Benjamin (Jos 18:25), in whose possession it continued at the time of David, the murderers of Ishbosheth being named as belonging to it (2Sa 4:2). From the notice in this place (ver. 2, 3), it would appear that the original inhabitants had been forced from the town, and had taken refuge at Gittaim (Ne 11:34), possibly a Philistine city. Beeroth is once more named with Chephirah and Kirjath-jearim in the list of those who returned from Babylon (Ezr 2:25; Ne 7:29; Ne 1 Esdras 5, 19). Besides Baanah and Rechab, the murderers of Ishbosheth, with their father Rimmon, we find Nahari "the Berothite' (2Sa 23:37), or "the Berothite" (1Ch 11:39), one of the "mighty men" of David's guard. SEE BEEROTH-BENE-JAAKAN.

The name of Beeroth is the plural of BEER, and it has therefore been taken by many for the same place. Eusebius and Jerome, however, both distinguish it from Beer (Onomast. s.v. Βηρώθ), although there has been much misunderstanding of their language respecting it (see Reland, Palaest. p. 618, 619). The former says that it could be seen in passing from Jerusalem to Nicopolis, at the seventh mile; a description that to this day is true of a place still bearing the corresponding name of el-Bireh, which, since Maundrell's time, has been identified with this locality (Journey, March 25). According to Robinson (Researches, 2, 132), the traveler in that direction sees el-Bireh on his right after a little more than two hours from Jerusalem. Jerome, on the other hand, apparently misconceiving Eusebius as meaning that Beeroth was on the road, from which he says it is visible, changes "Nicopolis" to "Neapolis," which still leaves the distance and direction sufficiently exact. Bireh is mentioned under the name of Bira by Brocard (vii. 278), in whose time it was held by the Templars. By the Crusaders and the later ecclesiastics it was erroneously confounded with the ancient Michmash. Bireh is situated on the ridge, running from east to west, which bounds the northern prospect, as beheld from Jerusalem and its vicinity, and may be seen from a great distance north and south. It is now a large village, with a population of 700 Moslems. The houses are low, and many of them half underground. Many large stones and various substructions evince the antiquity of the site; and there are remains of a fine old church of the time of the Crusades (Richter, Wallfahrten, p. 54). According to modern local tradition it was the place at which the parents of "the child Jesus" discovered that he was not among their "company" (Lu 2:43-45); and it is a fact that the spring of el-Bireh is even to this day the customary resting-place for caravans going northward, at the end of the first day's journey from Jerusalem (Stanley, Palest. p. 215; Lord Nugent, 2:112).

Bible concordance for BEEROTH.

Definition of beer

See also the International Standard Bible Encyclopedia.

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