Bethshan – Bet She’an

Bethshan is mentioned only a few times in the Old Testament. The New American Standard Bible uses the following spellings for this town: Beth-shean; Beth-shan; Bethshan. Today the modern town and ancient site go by the name Bet-She’an. The site was important because of its location at a major junction of two valleys, the Jordan valley with the Jezreel valley. The tell, called Tell el-Husn or Tel Bet She’an, commands an impressive view of the area, including a great view of the land of Gilead.

Today I am preparing a class dealing with the account of the eastern tribes building an altar “in the region of the Jordan which is in the land of Canaan” (Joshua 22:10). While looking for some photos to illustrate this episode in the history of Israel I thought of the view from the tell of Bethshan. We do not know the exact location, but this view provides a wonderful view of the land of Gilead (now in Jordan) which was given to Gad and Manasseh. You will observe trees below the tell. This is the where the River Harod flows, continuing down to the Jordan. You will notice ruins of a bridge that once crossed the river.

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