Historical Significance
  • Beit She’an is located at the strategic juncture of the Jezreel and Jordan Valleys. Like Jericho, Beit She’an was almost continuously occupied throughout history. During the intertestamental period, the city was renamed Scythopolis. Today archaeologists are uncovering the extensive ruins of Roman/Byzantine Scythopolis.
Political/Cultural Significance
  • Scythopolis was one of the chief cities of the Decapolis – a league of ten cities sharing Greek culture and government.  
Biblical Significance
  • Joshua 17:11, 16; Judges 1:27  God allotted Beit She’an to the tribe of Manasseh, but they were unable to drive out the Canaanites because “all the Canaanites who live in the Plain have iron chariots, both those in Beit She’an and its settlements and those in the Valley of Jezreel”.
  • 1 Samuel 31:10-12 After defeating Saul and his sons on Mount Gilboa, the Philistines hung their bodies on the wall of Beit She’an.
  • 1 Kings 4:12 Solomon placed Beit She’an, Megiddo, and Jezreel under the governorship of Baana, son of Ahilud.