Beth'-Aram (Heb. Beyth Haram', בֵּית הָרָם, house of the height [for the syllable ha- is prob. merely the def. art.], q. d. mountain-house; Sept. Βηθαρά v. r. Βαιθαρρά and Βαιθαράν), one of the towns ("fenced cities") of Gad on the east of Jordan, described as in "the valley" (הָעֵמֶק, not to be confounded with the Arabah or Jordan valley), Jos 13:27, and no doubt the same place as that named BETH-HARAN in Nu 32:36. Eusebius (Onomast. s.v.) reports that in his day its appellation ("by the Syrians") was Bethramtha (Βηθραμφθά [prob. for the Chaldaic form בֵּת רִמתָּא]; Jerome, Betharam), and that it was also named Livias (Λιβιάς, Libias; Jerome adds, "by Herod, in honor of Augustus"). Josephus's account (Ant. 18, 2, 1) is that Herod (Antipas), on taking possession of his tetrarchy, fortified Sepphoris and the city (πόλις) of Betharamphtha (Βηθαραμφθᾶ), building a wall round the latter, and calling it Julias (Ι᾿ουλιάς; different from the Julias of Gaulonitis, War, 2, 9, 1), in honor of the wife of the emperor. As this could hardly be later than B.C. 1, Herod the Great, the predecessor of Antipas, having died in B.C. 4, and as the Empress Livia did not receive her name of Julia until after the death of Augustus, A.D. 14, it is probable that Josephus is in error as to the new name given to the place, and speaks of it as having originally received that which it bore in his own day (see Ant. 20, 8, 4; War, 2, 13, 2). It is curious that he names Livias (Λιβιάς) long before (Ant. 14, 1, 4) in such connection as to leave no doubt that he alludes to the same place. Under the name of Amathus (q.v.) he again mentions it (Ant. 17, 10, 6; comp. War, 2, 4, 2), and the destruction of the royal palaces there by insurgents from Peraea. At a later date it was an episcopal city (Reland, Palaest. p. 874). For Talmudical notices, see Schwarz, Palest. p. 231. Ptolemy gives the locality of Livias (Λιβιάς) as 310° 26' lat., and 670° 10' long. (Ritter, Erdk. 15, 573); and Eusebius and Jerome (Onomast. s.v. Βηθναβράν, Bethamnaram) state that it was five miles south of Bethnabris or Bethamnaris (i.e. Beth-nimrah; see Josephus, War, 4, 7, 4 and 6). This agrees with the position of the Wady Seir or Sir, which falls into the Ghor opposite Jericho, and half way between Wady Hesban and Wady Shoaib. Seetzen heard that it contained a castle and a large tank in masonry (Reisen, 1854, 2, 318). According to Van de Velde (Memoir, p. 296), the ruins are still called Beit-Haran.

Bible concordance for BETH-ARAM.

See also the International Standard Bible Encyclopedia.

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