Jacob’s Bethel

I recently wrote of the special place in the City of David that contains the inscription “House of God.” Many of the members of the Israel tour group that were privileged to visit this site have been studying this subject, as have I. This location contains a pillar like the one Jacob erected at Bethel. The City of David site also has an olive press to make oil to anoint the pillar, and the recently translated inscription, all within a few feet of each other. It is very possible that Melchizedek worshipped the Lord at this very place. The archaeologists think the room may be old enough. Click HERE to see "The House of God."

The village of Bethel is a short distance north of Jerusalem. This is where Jacob dreamed of the ladder or staircase with angels descending and ascending to Heaven. It was there that he erected the pillar of stone. To my knowledge, no such pillar has been found at Bethel, or other sites in Israel. I wonder if the pillar found in the City of David is not that very pillar of Jacob?

In fact, I have tried to show through Scripture that Bethel and the City of David/Jerusalem are the same place. But it will not work. In the list of cities given to the Tribe of Benjamin in the Book of Joshua, both Bethel and Jerusalem are found, so they cannot be the same.

“Now the cities of the tribe of the children of Benjamin according to their families were Jericho, and Bethhoglah, and the valley of Keziz, And Betharabah, and Zemaraim, and Bethel, . . . And Zelah, Eleph, and Jebusi, which is Jerusalem . . .” – Joshua 18:21-28

Bethel means “House of God.” Genesis 35:15 states, “Jacob called the name of the place where God spoke with him, Bethel.” The difference between Bethel and Jerusalem is the fact that Jacob named the place at Bethel, not the Lord. The Lord told the Children of Israel that He would choose a place to put His name. (Deuteronomy 12:5, 12:11, 12:14) We find that the Lord chose Jerusalem in First Kings 9:3, 11:36 and Second Chronicles 6:6.

Bethel was named by a man, and was later defamed by Jeroboam when he erected a golden calf at that city. Jerusalem was chosen by the Lord. Despite Jacob calling it “the House of God,” it is interesting that the Tabernacle was not located at Bethel, but at Shiloh. (First Samuel 1:3)

It is possible, but there is no way of knowing, that the pillar found at the City of David is the same one that Jacob erected at Bethel. What is known is that this unique spot, dedicated to the Lord and clearly marked with letters that are maybe 24 inches tall and inscribed several inches deep into the bedrock, and that say “House of God,” was purposefully preserved for a later generation. I wonder if it was not preserved as a marker of the importance of that location in the City of David for what may be the “last generation.”

“Even so, come Lord Jesus” – Revelation 22:20

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