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Bethsura

(Beth-Zur): Khirbet. Tubeiqa [Befit Tsur] in Judah, Josh. 15:58; 2 Chr. 11:7; Neh. 3:16. Beth-Zur in Hebrew means "house of rock". It was a strategic elevated fortress about 4 miles N of Hebron. The site was fortified by Rehoboam (2 Chron 11:7) and referred to in Nehemiah's time (Neh 3:16) but was most prominent in Maccabean times. Here Judas Maccabeus defeated the Greeks under Lysias, 165 B.C. This fortified place was taken from the Syrians by Maccabees, I Macc. 4:61: 6:7; besieged and retaken, 1 Macc. 6:31, 49; taken by Simon, 1 Macc. 11:65.


Various digs show that the site was first occupied near the end of the third millennium B.C. and fortified for the first time by the Hyksos in the 16th century B.C. The place was abandoned during the 14th and 13th centuries and then occupied by the Hebrews in the 12th and 11th centuries. Hellenistic builders erected strong fortifications there during the 2nd century B.C. The Syrians, Ptolemies, and Maccabeans all apparently sought to use the site to good advantage during military activities in the 3rd and 2nd centuries B.C.


See also Bethzur




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