A town in northern Palestine not mentioned in the Old Testament, but referred to in the Gospels, and by Josephus, Pliny, and others. According to Josephus ("Ant." xviii. 2, § 1; 5, § 6; "B. J." ii. 9, § 1; iii. 9, § 7), Philip transformed the village Bethsaida—situated on the Jordan where it discharges into the Sea of Galilee—into a large, flourishing city, which he called Julias. The Gospels mention the village Bethsaida; Jesus sometimes stayed there; and Philip, Andrew, and Peter came from there (Matt. xi. 21; Mark vi. 45; viii. 22, 26; Luke ix. 10; John i. 44, xii. 21). It has been falselyassumed from some of these passages that there was a Bethsaida west of the Jordan. The statement of John (xii. 21) that Bethsaida lay in Galilee is not convincing, as Josephus and others sometimes consider portions of the eastern coast of the lake as belonging to Galilee (compare Buhl, "Geographie des Alten Palästina," p. 242). But one must probably make a distinction between Bethsaida-Julias and the fishing village Bethsaida mentioned in the Gospels. The latter was probably close by the lake, while the city of Philip lay higher up, near the little plain of Batiha.

J. Jr. F. Bu.
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