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Albert Tours Blog-  A Licensed Tour Guide - Israel

BethEl - the Gate of Heaven

Bethel (or Beth-El) is the mythical site that Jacob called the "house of God" (Genesis 28:17) after he had dreamt there of a ladder to heaven where angels were ascending and descending on it. Because this site was loaded with Biblical stories, it has early attracted the interest of Protestants archaeologists who were eager to find its location and prove the Bible right. The first one was the famous Robinson (the same who discovered the "Robinson arch" of the Temple Mount) in 1838. He based his opinion on the Bible text to try to locate the site in Samaria, and noted the village of Beitin which seems to have a name close to Bethel. Excavations were later organised in the area in 1927 by Albright, and more after him until 1960. But nothing was found in the close vicinity of Beitin that could fit with what was known of the Biblical narrative, where Bethel was of great importance for 2000 years and is mentioned more than 100 times ! A tower called Bur