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Beth Shemesh

This is a view of the tel of the Old Testament city of Beth Shemesh.

When the Ark of the covenant returned to Israel from the Philistines on the cart in First Samuel 6:9 it came and stopped in a field just to the north of this picture in the Sorek Valley

Beth Shemesh

In the Bible:
Joshua 15:10
, on Philistine border;
Joshua 19:40-48
, allotted to the tribe of Dan; 
Joshua 21:16, one of the forty-eight cities of the Levites; Judges 13-16, Samson lived in the Sorek Valley by Beth Shemesh in Zorah, Eshtaol and Timnah;
1 Samuel 6:7-21
, The cart with the Ark from the Philistines went up the Sorek Valley to Beth Shemesh;
2 Kings 14:11-14
, King Jehoash (Israel) defeated Kimng Amaziah (Judah) at Beth Shemesh and then went on to tear down sections of Jerusalem’s walls;
2 Chronicles 28:16-18
, Philistines capture Beth Shemesh from King Ahaz (Isaiah’s Day). Ahaz then goes to Assyria for help.

Beth Shemesh Map

Beth Shemesh (“house of the sun”) is a city assigned to the Levites that sets on the east edge of the Sorek Valley on the volatile Israel/Philstia border.
It was a buffer between the Philistine Plain and the Hill Country of Judah. Beth Shemesh sets 12 miles west of Jerusalem.
There is a seven acre tel that has been excavated by several archaeologists. 

Excavations have revealed “squares” on the north side of Tel Beth Shemesh and several cisterns. Early excavations in 1911-1912 were done
by D. Mackenzie for the Palestine Exploration Fund and E. Grant in 1928-1933. They exposed several cities from the Bronze and iron Ages.
From 1990-2000 Shlomo Bunimovitz and Zvi Lederman of the Institute of Archaeology of Tel Aviv University found remains from the Iron Age,
or the time of the Judges and the Kings of Israel from 1100-600 BC. They uncovered a large two-storied house of a wealthy individual in the
northern part of the tel. The houise had one room floor paved with river pebbles. Other houses supported by wooden columns on stone bases were
found. Also found were grindstones, clay ovens. The pottery and building was Canaanite style, but the diet was clearly Jewish showing that
culture on this border town was mixed.

Standing on the tel of Beth Shemesh. The modern city of Beth Shemesh is in the background.
Beth Shemesh

Galyn walking on Beth Shemesh with the Sorek Valley in the back ground and the location Zorah on the hill behind the valley.

This was the area that Samson was born and grew up.

Judges 13:2 names Zorah as the home of Samson's parents

Galyn Wiemers in Beth Shemesh

This is the Sorek Valley. It runs from here into the Philistine territory.

Samson would have walked through these vineyards to the city of Timnah to see his girlfriend/wife. It is in this valley that Samson would have killed the lion. (Judges 14:5, 6)

Delilah also lived somewhere in this valley. (Judges 16:4)

Sorek Valley
Samson's hometown of Zorah. The Sorek Valley is below.
Toni stands on the tel of Beth Shemesh
Toni Wiemers in Beth Shemesh

Galyn sitting over an arch in the building remains of the city of Beth Shemesh.

This city is mentioned as one of the Levitical cities in Joshua 21:16 and 1 Chron. 6:59 which may account for the ark arriving here.

Galyn Wiemers in Beth Shemesh
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