Note:  Do not rely on this information. It is very old.


Bethel (Heb. the house of God) was an ancient town, originally Luz, on the confines of Benjamin and Ephraim, about 11 miles N. of Jerusalem. According to one account it was renamed by Jacob on his receiving there the promise of Canaan, and when the tribes occupied the Promised Land it was the temporary resting-place of the Ark. Later on several of the kings made it the centre of idolatry, but this fact has not prevented the word being applied freely by Nonconformists to designate a place of worship. Large ecclesiastical buildings were subsequently raised upon the spot, but Beitin, as it is now called, displays only a heap of deserted ruins. The name was frequently associated with that of Dan as representing two extreme points.