Close this search box.

Ancient Bethel

Destinations in Samaria

Bethel is a place with a long and rich history. It is mentioned over 100 times in the Bible, and it is associated with some of the most critical events in the history of the Israelites.

The name Bethel means “house of God,” and it is believed that the name was given to the place by Jacob after he dreamed of a ladder reaching heaven. In his dream, Jacob saw angels ascending and descending the ladder, and he heard God speak to him. God promised Jacob that he would be with him and that he would bless him.

Jacob’s Dream And Vow At Bethel

Jacob awoke from his dream and said, “Surely the LORD is in this place, and I did not know it.” He then made a vow to God, saying, “If God will be with me and will keep me in this way that I go, and will give me bread to eat and clothing to wear so that I come back to my father’s house in peace, then the LORD shall be my God, and this stone, which I have set up for a pillar, shall be God’s house. And of all that you give me, I will give a tenth to you.”

Jacob’s dream and vow at Bethel were a turning point. He came to realize that God was with him, and he committed himself to following God. Bethel became a place of worship and where Jacob met with God.

Ancient Bethel – An Important Religious

In the centuries that followed, Bethel became an important religious center for the Israelites. It was the site of a major temple, and it was a place where pilgrims would come to worship God. Bethel was also a place of prophecy. Several prophets, including Elijah and Elisha, ministered at Bethel.

Bethel was destroyed by the Babylonians in 586 BCE, but it was rebuilt in the centuries that followed. It continued to be an important religious center for the Israelites until Jesus. Jesus visited Bethel on several occasions, and he preached there on several occasions.

Bethel is a place with a rich and fascinating history. It is a place where God met with people and where they experienced his presence. It is a place where people were called to follow God and to live their lives in accordance with his will. Bethel is a place of hope and where people can experience the love of God.

American Schools Of Oriental Research In The Early 20th Century

They were the first major excavation at Bethel. The excavations revealed a long history of occupation at Bethel, dating back to the Early Bronze Age (c. 3300-2000 BCE). The most important finds from the ASOR excavations were a series of temples built on the site over the centuries.

In the 1950s, the Israeli archaeologist Yigael Yadin

Yadin’s excavations focused on the Iron Age (c. 1200-586 BCE) city of Bethel. Yadin found the remains of a large temple that was built during the reign of King Jeroboam I (c. 931-910 BCE). This temple was the focus of Jeroboam’s religious reforms, which led to the division of the Kingdom of Israel into two kingdoms.

In The 1960s, Archaeologist Moshe Dothan Conducted Further Excavations

Dothan’s excavations focused on the Early Bronze Age city of Bethel. Dothan found the remains of a large city that was surrounded by a massive wall. This city was one of the largest cities in the region during the Early Bronze Age.

In the 1980s, Israel Finkelstein conducted further excavations at Bethel.

Finkelstein’s excavations focused on the Late Bronze Age (c. 1500-1200 BCE) city of Bethel. Finkelstein found the remains of a large city that was destroyed by fire. This destruction is likely associated with the Sea Peoples, who invaded the region in the 12th century BCE.


Hi! My name is Arik, an Israeli native who dedicated his life to sharing my passion for the Holy Land with those interested in knowing more about this incredible piece of land. I’m the Chief Guide at ‘APT Private Tours in Israel’.

Did you know the Hoopoe is Israel's national bird?! For more cool info about Israel, join our ever growing community and get exclusive travel tips, and giveaways!

Tell Balata


The Hospitaller Fortress

The Hospitaller Fortress, also known as the Knights' Halls, are formerly used for lodging and eating for the Crusaders in Acre.

The Small Crater

HaMakhtesh HaKatan (Small Crater) is a geological erosional crater in the Negev Desert. A cool site to hike when touring Israel

The Burnt House

The Burnt House Museum presents an excavated house from the Second Temple period situated below current street level in Jerusalem.

Hisham’s Palace

Just outside of Jericho lies Hisham's Palace, which is one of the most important early Islamic archaeological sites of the Umayyad dynasty.

Ayalon Institute Museum

Machon Ayalon, also known today as the Ayalon institute Museum tells the heroic story of those who fought in the 1948 War.


The ancient city of Gibeah, steeped in biblical history and intrigue, invites curious travelers to uncover its long-buried secrets.

Ashdod Port Shore Excursions

Ashdod Port shore excursions offer enriching experiences that allow you to discover the best of Israel's iconic sites and hidden gems!

Ammunition Hill Museum

Ammunition Hill is a memorial commemorating the Battle of Ammunition Hill. Now there is a nice museum and you can walk the actual trenches.

Tel Lachish

Tel Lachish is the site of an ancient Near Eastern city, now an archaeological site and an Israeli national park in the Judean Hills.


Bethphage is located in Mt. Olives and the place from which Jesus sent his disciples to find a colt upon which he would ride into ...

Need help?

Skip to content