Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo


A city in Chanaan, one of the confederation of cities under the headship of Gabaon (Gibeon), whose territory was invaded by the Israelites under Josue ( Joshua 9 ). Its inhabitants, together with those of three neighbouring cities, in order to save themselves from extermination, went to Josue in the disguise of travellers from afar and begged mercy; the Israelites entered into a league with them, but when the deception was discovered made them hewers of wood and drawers of water for themselves. Their city was afterwards assigned to the tribe of Benjamin ( Joshua 18:25 ), but it seems to have remained Chanaanite till the monarchy, as it was only "reckoned" among the cities of Benjamin ( 2 Samuel 4:2 ). Later the Berothites fled to Gethaim (iv, 3), probably at the time Saul sought to slay the Gabaonites (Gibeonites, 2 Samuel 21:2 ), with whom the Berothites seem to have been reckoned ( Joshua 9:3, 17 ). Two descendants of these Berothites slew Isboseth, the son of Saul, claimant to his throne and rival of David ; they brought his head to David, who punished the murder with death ( 2 Samuel 4 ). Probably revenge on Saul for his injury to their fathers was one of their motives, for blood feud was regarded as a duty. Naharai, armour-bearer of Joab, David's great general, was a Berothite ( 2 Samuel 23:37 ), and we read of men of Beroth among the returned exiles ( Ezra 2:25 ; Nehemiah 7:29 ), though these were more probably Israelites.

Beroth is usually identified with El-Bîréh, a town of 800 inhabitants, about 9 miles north of Jerusalem, near which is an abundance of water (Beroth wells) at which tradition reports Joseph and Mary halted on their return from Jerusalem when they missed the Child Jesus ( Luke 2 ). It was the usual stopping place of caravans to Nâbulus and Nazareth.

More Encyclopedia

The Catholic Encyclopedia is the most comprehensive resource on Catholic teaching, history, and information ever gathered in all of human history. This easy-to-search online version was originally printed between 1907 and 1912 in fifteen hard copy volumes.

Catholic Encyclopedia

Designed to present its readers with the full body of Catholic teaching, the Encyclopedia contains not only precise statements of what the Church has defined, but also an impartial record of different views of acknowledged authority on all disputed questions, national, political or factional. In the determination of the truth the most recent and acknowledged scientific methods are employed, and the results of the latest research in theology, philosophy, history, apologetics, archaeology, and other sciences are given careful consideration.

No one who is interested in human history, past and present, can ignore the Catholic Church, either as an institution which has been the central figure in the civilized world for nearly two thousand years, decisively affecting its destinies, religious, literary, scientific, social and political, or as an existing power whose influence and activity extend to every part of the globe. In the past century the Church has grown both extensively and intensively among English-speaking peoples. Their living interests demand that they should have the means of informing themselves about this vast institution, which, whether they are Catholics or not, affects their fortunes and their destiny.

Copyright © Catholic Encyclopedia. Robert Appleton Company New York, NY. Volume 1: 1907; Volume 2: 1907; Volume 3: 1908; Volume 4: 1908; Volume 5: 1909; Volume 6: 1909; Volume 7: 1910; Volume 8: 1910; Volume 9: 1910; Volume 10: 1911; Volume 11: - 1911; Volume 12: - 1911; Volume 13: - 1912; Volume 14: 1912; Volume 15: 1912

Catholic Online Catholic Encyclopedia Digital version Compiled and Copyright © Catholic Online


Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Subscribe to Catholic OnlineYouTube Channel

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Ephesians 5:21-33
21 Be subject to one another out of reverence for Christ.22 ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 128:1-2, 3, 4-5
1 [Song of Ascents] How blessed are all who fear Yahweh, who walk in his ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 13:18-21
18 He went on to say, 'What is the kingdom of God like? What shall I ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for October 25th, 2016 Image

St. Daria
October 25: There is very little known about them. ... Read More