(Greek Betuloua ).
The city whose deliverance by Judith, when besieged by Holofernes, forms the subject of the Book of Judith. The view that Bethulia is merely a symbolic name for Jerusalem or a fictitious town, has met with little favor, even among those who deny the historical character of the book. Bethulia is clearly distinguished from Jerusalem (iv, 6; xi, 14, 19; xv, 5, 8; the references throughout the article being to the fuller Greek text), and the topographical details leave no doubt that the story, even if it be only a pious romance, is connected with a definite place. Its site, however, is in dispute. Beside Sânûr, Mithilîyeh, or Misilîyeh, Tell Kheibar and Beit-Ilfa, which have divided opinion for some time, Haraiq el-Mallah, Khirbet Sheikh Shibel, el-Bârid and Sichem (Bethulia being considered a pseudonym) have recently been proposed as sites of Bethulia.
The city was situated on a mountain overlooking the plain of Jezrael, or Esdrelon, and commanding narrow; passes to the south (iv, 6, 7; vi, 11-13); at the foot of the mountain there was an important spring, and other springs were in the neighborhood (vi, 11, vii, 3, 7, 12). Moreover it lay within investing lines which ran through Dothain, or Dothan, now Tell Dothân, to Belthem, or Belma, no doubt the same as the Belamon of viii, 3, and thence to Kyamon, or Chelmon, "which lies over against Esdrelon" (vii, 3). These data point to a site on the heights west of Jenîn (Engannim), between the plains of Esdrelon and Dothan, where Haraiq, Kh. Sheikh Shibel, and el-Bârid lie close together. Such a site best fulfils all requirements. It lies between lines drawn from Tell Dothân to Belæema, probably Belma, or Belamon, and from the latter to el-Yâmûn, probably Kyamon; there are a number of springs and wells in the neighborhood, and near by are the two passes of Kefr Adân and Burqîn, so narrow in places that two horsemen cannot ride abreast. One of the three above-named places is in all probability the site of ancient Bethulia. The other sites are all deficient in some essential requirement.
More Catholic Encyclopedia
Browse Encyclopedia by Alphabet
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 in fifteen hardcopy volumes.
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.
Browse the Catholic Encyclopedia by Topic
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