Bethel

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The site of the ancient city of Palestine, just north of Jerusalem, occupied before 2000 BC to the 6th century BC. Bethel was important in Old Testament times and was associated with Abraham and Jacob. Excavations have been carried out by the American School of Oriental Research and the Pittsburgh-Xenia Theological Seminary. The most important levels were of the Late Bronze Age, a particularly well-built town of the Canaanites which was violently destroyed early in the 13th century BC, probably by the Israelites. After the division of Israel, Jeroboam I (10th century BC) made Bethel the chief sanctuary of the northern kingdom (Israel), and the city was later the center for the prophetic ministry of Amos. The city apparently escaped destruction by the Assyrians at the time of the fall of Samaria (721 BC), but was occupied by Josiah of Judah (reigned c. 640-c. 609 BC).

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