(Joshua 17:11, 16)

“And the children of Joseph said, The hill is not enough for us: and all the Canaanites that dwell in the land of the valley have chariots of iron, both they who are of Beth-shean and her towns, and they who are of the valley of Jezreel.”

The ancient city of Beth-shean was one of the oldest inhabited sites in the Holy Land. The Roman theater is the best preserved in Israel.

Ancient Beth-shean was an important commercial and military center throughout almost every historical period in the country. It is situated in heart of a fertile region, on the border of the Jezreel and Jordan Valleys, and controls one of the fords over the Jordan River and is located on the important artery – the Via Maris. Its name seems to be derived from a god called Shean or Shan worshiped by local inhabitants.

Finds from digs indicate occupation as early as the Chalcolithic Period.

Its name was first mentioned in 19th century BCE Egyptian Execration Texts. Also mentioned in 15th century BCE City Lists of Thutmose III and in lists of conquests of other pharaohs. Mentioned in the Amarna Letters of the 14th century BCE. During the Israelite conquest, Beth-shean was ………

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