Ber'othai (Heb. Berothay', בֵּרֹתִי, my wells; Sept. αἱ ἐκλεκταὶ πόλες; Vulg. Beroth). The first of these two names, each of which occurs once only, is given by Ezekiel (Eze 47:16), in connection with Hamath and Damascus, as forming part of the northern boundary of the promised land as restored in his vision. The second is mentioned (2Sa 8:8) as the name of a city of Zobah taken by David (from which he brought away great quantities of "brass" as spoil), also in connection with Hamath and Damascus. The slightness of these references makes it impossible to identify the names with any degree of probability, or even to decide whether they refer to the same locality or not (Hassel, Volst. Erdb. 13, 345). The well-known city Beirut (BERYTUS) naturally suggests itself as identical with one, at least, of the names; but in each instance the circumstances of the case seem to require a position farther east, since Ezekiel places Berothah between Hamath and Damascus, and David's war with the King of Zobah led him away from the sea-coast toward the Euphrates (2Sa 8:3). In the latter instance, the difficulty is increased by the Hebrew text reading in 1Ch 18:8, CHUN SEE CHUN (q.v.) instead of Berothai, and by the fact that both in Samuel and Chronicles the Greek translators, instead of giving a proper name, translate by the phrase "from the choice cities;" clearly showing that they read either the same text in each passage, or at least words which bore the same sense. Furst regards Berothah and Berothai as distinct places, and identifies the first with Berytus. Mislin (Saints Lieux, 1, 244) derives the name from the wells (Beeroth), which are still to be seen bored in the solid rock at Beirut. Against this identification, however, there is this farther objection, that the proper boundaries of the tribes (q.v.) never extended so far north as Berytus (q.v.), nor did David ever molest the Phoenician sea-coast in his wars. Both Berothah and Berothai are therefore probably to be sought in the vicinity of the springs that form the source of the Nahr Hasbany, near the present Hasbeya. SEE HAZAR-ENAN.

Bible concordance for BEROTHAI.

See also the International Standard Bible Encyclopedia.

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