The ancient city of Bethel tells more than just the story of Jacob’s dream

by Phil Schneider

Bethel is one of the stops of Abraham in the first story of Biblical travel in the Land of Israel. Isaac also traveled via Bethel. But the most famous story of Bethel is the story of the dream that has become known as Jacob’s Ladder.

Bethel is a very central location in the Land of Israel. It is located on the road from Shechem to Jerusalem, high above sea level. It is no more than around 10 miles north of Jerusalem. But it is perched on a rather high mountainous area with beautiful views in the central region of the Land of Israel. When Joshua came into the Land, the battle at Ai took place a mile or so east of Bethel. That battle was initially lost. But in the subsequent battle, Joshua prevailed. When the Davidic kingdom split, Bethel was one of the key sites of the split off from the main Kingdom.

Bethel today is also a thriving town with thousands of people, and many educational institutions that serve the region. It is the home of the world famous Arutz-7 / IsraelNationalNews media empire. But the fascinating aspect of the short news report is that it brings to light the story of Bethel in the time of the 2nd Temple era. Bethel was and is a central location in the heartland of Israel.

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