What does Bethshan mean?

Discover the meaning and significance of Bethshan, an ancient city in Israel with strong biblical connections. Explore its historical background, biblical context, and modern-day relevance.


Bethshan, also known as Beit She’an, is an ancient city located in the northern part of Israel. It holds a significant place in history and has strong biblical connections. In this article, we will explore the meaning and significance of Bethshan.

Historical Background

Bethshan was a prominent city during biblical times, mentioned in various scriptures. It has seen many conquests and rulers over the centuries, including the Egyptians, Babylonians, Greeks, Romans, and Byzantines.

Meaning of Bethshan

The name Bethshan is believed to have originated from the Hebrew word ‘beth,’ meaning house, and ‘shan,’ meaning tranquility or ease. Therefore, Bethshan can be interpreted as the ‘house of ease’ or ‘place of rest.’

Significance in Biblical Context

In the Bible, Bethshan is mentioned several times, most notably in the Old Testament. It is associated with the defeat of King Saul and his sons in battle and the display of their bodies on the walls of Bethshan. It is also mentioned in the New Testament as a Roman city.

Modern-Day Bethshan

Today, Bethshan is a thriving modern city with a rich history and archaeological significance. It attracts tourists and historians alike, with its well-preserved ruins and artifacts that provide insights into its ancient past.

Case Studies and Examples

  • Archaeological excavations in Bethshan have uncovered ancient temples, theaters, and other structures, giving researchers valuable information about the city’s past.
  • Tourists visiting Bethshan can explore the remains of the ancient city, including the well-preserved Roman theater and the ancient tel mound.


Overall, Bethshan holds a special place in history with its biblical connections and archaeological significance. The meaning of Bethshan as the ‘house of ease’ reflects its past as a place of rest for many civilizations that once ruled over it.

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