Beit Jamal (or Beit Jemâl) is sometimes identified with the En-Gannim of Joshua 15:34. Note the association with other towns belonging to the tribe of Judah in the general vicinity:
33 And in the lowland, Eshtaol, Zorah, Ashnah,
34 Zanoah, En-gannim, Tappuah, Enam,
35 Jarmuth, Adullam, Socoh, Azekah,
36 Shaaraim, Adithaim, Gederah, Gederothaim: fourteen cities with their villages. (Joshus 15:33-36 ESV)
The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia (Rev.) describes En-Gannim as,
A town in the “valley” or Shephelah territory of Judah, named with Zanoah and Eshtaol (Josh. 15:34). Two places have been suggested as locations: one is Khirbet Umm Jina, very close to Beth-shemesh; the other is at Beit Jemâl about 3 km (2 mi) to the south.
Beit Jamal is today the site of a small monastery nestled in an area of Olive groves. I came across it while looking for the road to Jarmuth (Hebrew, Yarmuth) (Joshua 10:3, 5, 23; 12:11; 15:35; Nehemiah 11:29).
This little monastery caught my attention a few days ago when Haaretz reported a “price tag” attack on the community. The article explains that “price tag” is “Israeli shorthand for anti-Arab hate crimes.” The article says,
Jewish extremists originally used the term “price tag” to describe vandalism and violence that targeted Israelis as well as Palestinians and was aimed at preventing or avenging evacuations of West Bank settlers.
Here are some appropriate parting words for all of us.
The LORD lift up His countenance on you, And give you peace. (Numbers 6:26 NAU)
May mercy and peace and love be multiplied to you. (Jude 1:2 NAU)
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