Biblical Geography: Cities and Towns in the Region of Judea
by Felix Just, S.J., Ph.D.
Bethlehem (45x in OT; 8x in NT)
Gen 35:19 – So Rachel died, and she was buried on the way to Ephrath (that is, Bethlehem),
Gen 48:7 – For when I came from Paddan, Rachel, alas, died in the land of Canaan on the way, while there was still some distance to go to Ephrath; and I buried her there on the way to Ephrath” (that is, Bethlehem).
[Joshua 19:15 – refers to a Bethelehem in Zebulun/Galillee!]
Judg 12:8, 10 – After him Ibzan of Bethlehem judged Israel. /…/ Then Ibzan died, and was buried at Bethlehem.
Judg 17:7-9 – Now there was a young man of Bethlehem in Judah, of the clan of Judah. He was a Levite residing there. / This man left the town of Bethlehem in Judah, to live wherever he could find a place. He came to the house of Micah in the hill country of Ephraim to carry on his work. / Micah said to him, “From where do you come?” He replied, “I am a Levite of Bethlehem in Judah, and I am going to live wherever I can find a place.”
Judg 19:1-2 – In those days, when there was no king in Israel, a certain Levite, residing in the remote parts of the hill country of Ephraim, took to himself a concubine from Bethlehem in Judah. / But his concubine became angry with him, and she went away from him to her father’s house at Bethlehem in Judah, and was there some four months.
Judg 19:18 – He answered him, “We are passing from Bethlehem in Judah to the remote parts of the hill country of Ephraim, from which I come. I went to Bethlehem in Judah; and I am going to my home. Nobody has offered to take me in.
Ruth 1:1-2 – In the days when the judges ruled, there was a famine in the land, and a certain man of Bethlehem in Judah went to live in the country of Moab, he and his wife and two sons. / The name of the man was Elimelech and the name of his wife Naomi, and the names of his two sons were Mahlon and Chilion; they were Ephrathites from Bethlehem in Judah. They went into the country of Moab and remained there.
Ruth 1:19, 22 – So the two of them went on until they came to Bethlehem. When they came to Bethlehem, the whole town was stirred because of them; and the women said, “Is this Naomi?” /…/ So Naomi returned together with Ruth the Moabite, her daughter-in-law, who came back with her from the country of Moab. They came to Bethlehem at the beginning of the barley harvest.
Ruth 2:4 – Just then Boaz came from Bethlehem. He said to the reapers, “The LORD be with you.” They answered, “The LORD bless you.”
Ruth 4:11 – Then all the people who were at the gate, along with the elders, said, “We are witnesses. May the LORD make the woman who is coming into your house like Rachel and Leah, who together built up the house of Israel. May you produce children in Ephrathah and bestow a name in Bethlehem;
1 Sam 16:1 – The LORD said to Samuel, “How long will you grieve over Saul? I have rejected him from being king over Israel. Fill your horn with oil and set out; I will send you to Jesse the Bethlehemite, for I have provided for myself a king among his sons.”
1 Sam 16:4 – Samuel did what the LORD commanded, and came to Bethlehem. The elders of the city came to meet him trembling, and said, “Do you come peaceably?”
1 Sam 16:18 – One of the young men answered, “I have seen a son of Jesse the Bethlehemite who is skillful in playing, a man of valor, a warrior, prudent in speech, and a man of good presence; and the LORD is with him.”
1 Sam 17:12 – Now David was the son of an Ephrathite of Bethlehem in Judah, named Jesse, who had eight sons. In the days of Saul the man was already old and advanced in years.
1 Sam 17:15 – but David went back and forth from Saul to feed his father’s sheep at Bethlehem.
1 Sam 17:58 – Saul said to him, “Whose son are you, young man?” And David answered, “I am the son of your servant Jesse the Bethlehemite.”
1 Sam 20:6 – If your father misses me at all, then say, ‘David earnestly asked leave of me to run to Bethlehem his city; for there is a yearly sacrifice there for all the family.’
1 Sam 20:28 – Jonathan answered Saul, “David earnestly asked leave of me to go to Bethlehem;
2 Sam 2:32 – They took up Asahel and buried him in the tomb of his father, which was at Bethlehem. Joab and his men marched all night, and the day broke upon them at Hebron.
2 Sam 21:19 – Then there was another battle with the Philistines at Gob; and Elhanan son of Jaare-oregim, the Bethlehemite, killed Goliath the Gittite, the shaft of whose spear was like a weaver’s beam.
2 Sam 23:14-16 – David was then in the stronghold; and the garrison of the Philistines was then at Bethlehem. / David said longingly, “O that someone would give me water to drink from the well of Bethlehem that is by the gate!” / Then the three warriors broke through the camp of the Philistines, drew water from the well of Bethlehem that was by the gate, and brought it to David. But he would not drink of it; he poured it out to the LORD,” (also 1 Chron 11:16-18)
2 Sam 23:24 – Among the Thirty were Asahel brother of Joab; Elhanan son of Dodo of Bethlehem; (also 1 Chron 11:26)
1 Chron 2:51 – Salma father of Bethlehem, and Hareph father of Beth-gader.
1 Chron 2:54 – The sons of Salma: Bethlehem, the Netophathites, Atroth-beth-joab, and half of the Manahathites, the Zorites.
1 Chron 4:4 – and Penuel was the father of Gedor, and Ezer the father of Hushah. These were the sons of Hur, the firstborn of Ephrathah, the father of Bethlehem.
2 Chron 11:6 – He built up Bethlehem, Etam, Tekoa,
Ezra 2:21 – Of Bethlehem, one hundred twenty-three.
Neh 7:26 – The people of Bethlehem and Netophah, one hundred eighty-eight.
Jer 41:17 – And they set out, and stopped at Geruth Chimham near Bethlehem, intending to go to Egypt
Mic 5:2 – But you, O Bethlehem of Ephrathah, who are one of the little clans of Judah, from you shall come forth for me one who is to rule in Israel, whose origin is from of old, from ancient days.
Matt 2:1 – In the time of King Herod, after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea, wise men from the East came to Jerusalem,
Matt 2:5-6 – They told him, “In Bethlehem of Judea; for so it has been written by the prophet: / ‘And you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah; for from you shall come a ruler who is to shepherd my people Israel.’”
Matt 2:8 – Then he sent them to Bethlehem, saying, “Go and search diligently for the child; and when you have found him, bring me word so that I may also go and pay him homage.”
Matt 2:16 – When Herod saw that he had been tricked by the wise men, he was infuriated, and he sent and killed all the children in and around Bethlehem who were two years old or under, according to the time that he had learned from the wise men.
Luke 2:4 – Joseph also went from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to the city of David called Bethlehem, because he was descended from the house and family of David.
Luke 2:15 – When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let us go now to Bethlehem and see this thing that has taken place, which the Lord has made known to us.”
John 7:42 – Has not the scripture said that the Messiah is descended from David and comes from Bethlehem, the village where David lived?”
Bethany (12x); Bethphage (3x); Mount of Olives (3x OT, 12x NT); Kidron Valley (11x OT; 1x NT); Gethsemane (2x)
2 Sam 15:30 – But David went up the ascent of the Mount of Olives, weeping as he went, with his head covered and walking barefoot;
Zech 14:4 (2x) – On that day his feet shall stand on the Mount of Olives, which lies before Jerusalem on the east; and the Mount of Olives shall be split in two from east to west by a very wide valley; so that one half of the Mount shall withdraw northward, and the other half southward.
Matt 21:1 – When they had come near Jerusalem and had reached Bethphage, at the Mount of Olives, Jesus sent two disciples,
Matt 21:17 – He left them, went out of the city to Bethany, and spent the night there.
Matt 24:3 – When he was sitting on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to him privately, saying, “Tell us, when will this be, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?”
Matt 26:6 – Now while Jesus was at Bethany in the house of Simon the leper,
Matt 26:30 – When they had sung the hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives.
Matt 26:36 – Then Jesus went with them to a place called Gethsemane; and he said to his disciples, “Sit here while I go over there and pray.”
Mark 11:1 – When they were approaching Jerusalem, at Bethphage and Bethany, near the Mount of Olives, he sent two of his disciples
Mark 11:11-12 – Then he entered Jerusalem and went into the temple; and when he had looked around at everything, as it was already late, he went out to Bethany with the twelve. / On the following day, when they came from Bethany, he was hungry.
Mark 13:3 – When he was sitting on the Mount of Olives opposite the temple, Peter, James, John, and Andrew asked him privately,
Mark 14:3 – While he was at Bethany in the house of Simon the leper, as he sat at the table, a woman came with an alabaster jar of very costly ointment of nard, and she broke open the jar and poured the ointment on his head.
Mark 14:26 – When they had sung the hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives.
Mark 14:32 – They went to a place called Gethsemane; and he said to his disciples, “Sit here while I pray.”
Luke 19:29 – When he had come near Bethphage and Bethany, at the place called the Mount of Olives, he sent two of the disciples,
Luke 19:37 – As he was now approaching the path down from the Mount of Olives, the whole multitude of the disciples began to praise God joyfully with a loud voice for all the deeds of power that they had seen,
Luke 21:37 – Every day he was teaching in the temple, and at night he would go out and spend the night on the Mount of Olives, as it was called.
Luke 22:39 – He came out and went, as was his custom, to the Mount of Olives; and the disciples followed him.
Luke 24:50 – Then he led them out as far as Bethany, and, lifting up his hands, he blessed them.
[John 1:28 – This took place in Bethany across the Jordan where John was baptizing. - a different "Bethany"!]
John 8:1 – while Jesus went to the Mount of Olives.
John 11:1 – Now a certain man was ill, Lazarus of Bethany, the village of Mary and her sister Martha.
John 11:18 – Now Bethany was near Jerusalem, some two miles away,
John 12:1 – Six days before the Passover Jesus came to Bethany, the home of Lazarus, whom he had raised from the dead.
John 18:1 – After Jesus had spoken these words, he went out with his disciples across the Kidron valley to a place where there was a garden, which he and his disciples entered.
Acts 1:12 – Then they returned to Jerusalem from the mount called Olivet, which is near Jerusalem, a sabbath day’s journey away.
Arimathea (4x NT)
Matt 27:57 – When it was evening, there came a rich man from Arimathea, named Joseph, who was also a disciple of Jesus.
Mark 15:43 – Joseph of Arimathea, a respected member of the council, who was also himself waiting expectantly for the kingdom of God, went boldly to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus.
Luke 23:51 – had not agreed to their plan and action. He came from the Jewish town of Arimathea, and he was waiting expectantly for the kingdom of God.
John 19:38 – After these things, Joseph of Arimathea, who was a disciple of Jesus, though a secret one because of his fear of the Jews, asked Pilate to let him take away the body of Jesus. Pilate gave him permission; so he came and removed his body.
Emmaus (1x); Azotus (1x); Caesarea (15x C. Maritimae)
Luke 24:13 – Now on that same day two of them were going to a village called Emmaus, about seven miles from Jerusalem,
Acts 8:40 – But Philip found himself at Azotus, and as he was passing through the region, he proclaimed the good news to all the towns until he came to Caesarea.
Acts 9:30 – When the believers learned of it, they brought him down to Caesarea and sent him off to Tarsus.
Acts 10:1 – In Caesarea there was a man named Cornelius, a centurion of the Italian Cohort, as it was called.
Acts 10:24 – The following day they came to Caesarea. Cornelius was expecting them and had called together his relatives and close friends.
Acts 11:11 – At that very moment three men, sent to me from Caesarea, arrived at the house where we were.
Acts 12:19 – When Herod had searched for him and could not find him, he examined the guards and ordered them to be put to death. Then Peter went down from Judea to Caesarea and stayed there.
Acts 18:22 – When he had landed at Caesarea, he went up to Jerusalem and greeted the church, and then went down to Antioch.
Acts 21:8 – The next day we left and came to Caesarea; and we went into the house of Philip the evangelist, one of the seven, and stayed with him.
Acts 21:16 – Some of the disciples from Caesarea also came along and brought us to the house of Mnason of Cyprus, an early disciple, with whom we were to stay.
Acts 23:23 – Then he summoned two of the centurions and said, “Get ready to leave by nine o’clock tonight for Caesarea with two hundred soldiers, seventy horsemen, and two hundred spearmen.
Acts 23:33 – When they came to Caesarea and delivered the letter to the governor, they presented Paul also before him.
Acts 25:1 – Three days after Festus had arrived in the province, he went up from Caesarea to Jerusalem
Acts 25:4 – Festus replied that Paul was being kept at Caesarea, and that he himself intended to go there shortly.
Acts 25:6 – After he had stayed among them not more than eight or ten days, he went down to Caesarea; the next day he took his seat on the tribunal and ordered Paul to be brought.
Acts 25:13 – After several days had passed, King Agrippa and Bernice arrived at Caesarea to welcome Festus.
Note: Caesarea Philippi, mentioned in March 8:27 and Matt 16:13, is different city, north of the Sea of Galilee)
Josh 19:46 – Me-jarkon, and Rakkon at the border opposite Joppa.
2 Chron 2:16 – “We will cut whatever timber you need from Lebanon, and bring it to you as rafts by sea to Joppa; you will take it up to Jerusalem.”
Ezra 3:7 – So they gave money to the masons and the carpenters, and food, drink, and oil to the Sidonians and the Tyrians to bring cedar trees from Lebanon to the sea, to Joppa, according to the grant that they had from King Cyrus of Persia.
Jonah 1:3 – But Jonah set out to flee to Tarshish from the presence of the LORD. He went down to Joppa and found a ship going to Tarshish; so he paid his fare and went on board, to go with them to Tarshish, away from the presence of the LORD.
1 Mac 11:34 – Therefore we confirm their possession, not only of the territory of Judea, but also of the three districts of Aphairema, Lydda, and Ramathaim. These districts, together with all their dependencies, are hereby transferred from Samaria to Judea for those who offer sacrifices in Jerusalem in lieu of the royal taxes the king used to receive yearly from the produce of earth and trees.
Acts 9:32 – As Peter was passing through every region, he went down to the holy ones living in Lydda.
Acts 9:35-36 – And all the inhabitants of Lydda and Sharon saw him, and they turned to the Lord. / Now in Joppa there was a disciple whose name was Tabitha, which in Greek is Dorcas. She was devoted to good works and acts of charity.
Acts 9:38 – Since Lydda was near Joppa, the disciples, who heard that Peter was there, sent two men to him with the request, “Please come to us without delay.”
Acts 9:42-43 – This became known throughout Joppa, and many believed in the Lord. / Meanwhile he stayed in Joppa for some time with a certain Simon, a tanner.
Acts 10:5, 8 – “Now send men to Joppa for a certain Simon who is called Peter;” / / / and after telling them everything, he sent them to Joppa.
Acts 10:23 – So Peter invited them in and gave them lodging. The next day he got up and went with them, and some of the believers from Joppa accompanied him.
Acts 10:32 – ‘Send therefore to Joppa and ask for Simon, who is called Peter; he is staying in the home of Simon, a tanner, by the sea.’
Acts 11:5a – “I was in the city of Joppa praying, and in a trance I saw a vision...”
Acts 11:13 – “He told us how he had seen the angel standing in his house and saying, ‘Send to Joppa and bring Simon, who is called Peter;’”