There are two Bethels mentioned in the Bible. One is a town in Simeon (1 Samuel 30:27). The other is the town that would fall within the borders of Benjamin (Judges 21:19).
That Bethel was named so by Jacob after he sees his famous vision in which a ladder reaches into the heavens. Before that event this town was known as Luz (Genesis 28:19). Long before Jacob, Abraham dwelled there too (Genesis 12:8). And long after, the judge Samuel held court in Bethel (1 Sam 7:15). Bethel is also the location of the gruesome scene in which two bears kill 42 boys after they mocked the prophet Elisha (2 Kings 2:23).
The name Bethel is a compound of two elements. The first segment is the word (bayit) meaning house, household, home, temple. Please see the name Beth for a closer look at this marvelous word.
The second segment is (El), the common abbreviation of the word Elohim, the genus God. Please see that name for meaning and etymology.
The name Bethel means House Of God.
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