•  1 min. read  •  grade level: 9
Two towns called the “upper” and the “nether,” though also spoken of as one, on the boundary between Benjamin and Ephraim. They were allotted to Ephraim, and given to the Kohathites. The district is memorable as where Joshua conquered the Amorites, and near which God smote them with hailstones (Josh. 10:10-1110And the Lord discomfited them before Israel, and slew them with a great slaughter at Gibeon, and chased them along the way that goeth up to Beth-horon, and smote them to Azekah, and unto Makkedah. 11And it came to pass, as they fled from before Israel, and were in the going down to Beth-horon, that the Lord cast down great stones from heaven upon them unto Azekah, and they died: they were more which died with hailstones than they whom the children of Israel slew with the sword. (Joshua 10:10‑11); Josh. 16:3, 53And goeth down westward to the coast of Japhleti, unto the coast of Beth-horon the nether, and to Gezer: and the goings out thereof are at the sea. (Joshua 16:3)
5And the border of the children of Ephraim according to their families was thus: even the border of their inheritance on the east side was Ataroth-addar, unto Beth-horon the upper; (Joshua 16:5)
; Josh. 18:13-1413And the border went over from thence toward Luz, to the side of Luz, which is Beth-el, southward; and the border descended to Ataroth-adar, near the hill that lieth on the south side of the nether Beth-horon. 14And the border was drawn thence, and compassed the corner of the sea southward, from the hill that lieth before Beth-horon southward; and the goings out thereof were at Kirjath-baal, which is Kirjath-jearim, a city of the children of Judah: this was the west quarter. (Joshua 18:13‑14); Josh. 21:2222And Kibzaim with her suburbs, and Beth-horon with her suburbs; four cities. (Joshua 21:22); 1 Sam. 13:1818And another company turned the way to Beth-horon: and another company turned to the way of the border that looketh to the valley of Zeboim toward the wilderness. (1 Samuel 13:18)). In 1 Chronicles 7:2424(And his daughter was Sherah, who built Beth-horon the nether, and the upper, and Uzzen-sherah.) (1 Chronicles 7:24) these towns are said to have been built by Sherah, apparently the grand-daughter of Ephraim. Solomon also built or rebuilt them (1 Kings 9:1717And Solomon built Gezer, and Beth-horon the nether, (1 Kings 9:17); 2 Chron. 8:55Also he built Beth-horon the upper, and Beth-horon the nether, fenced cities, with walls, gates, and bars; (2 Chronicles 8:5)).
It was near these cities that Judas Maccabaeus won his victory over Seron; and here that the Roman Cestius Gallus was signally defeated. The places are still called upper, el Foka, and lower, et Tahta, with the general name of Beit Ur, 31° 53’ and 54’ N, 35° 6’ and 5’ E.