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Benjamin Region and Jerusalem Approaches *

1695 Eretz Israel map in Amsterdam Haggada by Abraham Bar-Jacob Public Domain

Jerusalem is a city located on a plateau in the Judaean Mountains between the Mediterranean and the Dead Sea on the southern spur of a plateau in the Judaean Mountains, which include the Mount of Olives (East) and Mount Scopus (North East). The whole of Jerusalem is surrounded by valleys and dry riverbeds (wadis). The KidronHinnom, and Tyropoeon Valleys intersect in an area just south of the Old City of Jerusalem.

Central Benjamin Plateau

The Benjamin Plateau is a very small piece of land in the hill country of central Benjamin. This land was guarded by four cities (Mizpah to the north, Gibeon to the west, Gibeah to the south and Geba to the east). On its north side begins a plateau (10 miles south-to-north by 4 miles east-to-west). The southernmost good link road, stretching east-west between the international trade routes, here met the only north-south route in the central highlands. Many other cities enjoyed the commercial advantages of the central Benjamin plateau: Bethel, Beeroth, Mizpah, Rama, Gibeon, and Gibeah, while Jerusalem clung to its southern edge. But although these other towns were closer to the intersections, only Jerusalem had deep valleys for defense.

Beth-Horon

Beth-Horon meaning “House of Horon” was an ancient biblical town strategically located on the Gibeon-Aijalon road, guarding the “ascent of Beth-Horon”. Upper Bethoron appears in Joshua 16:5 and Lower Bethoron in Joshua 16:3 and 1 Chronicles 7:24 and I Maccabees 3:16.

Upper Bethoron, drawing from 1880
Public Domain
View from upper Beth-Horon, looking westward, to the Mediterranean Sea, at sunset
Public Domain

Roads from Jericho to Jerusalem

Benjamin Region and Jerusalem Approaches

Tribe of Benjamin

According to the Torah, the Tribe of Benjamin (Binyamin) was one of the Twelve Tribes of Israel, the youngest son of the patriarch Jacob and his wife Rachel. Located to the north of Judah but to the south of the northern Kingdom of Israel, Binyamin is significant in biblical narratives as a source of various Israelite leaders including the first Israelite king, Saul. Benjamin became part of the southern kingdom following the split into two kingdoms. After the destruction of the northern kingdom, Benjamin was absorbed into the southern kingdom. 

Territory of the Tribe of Benjamin

The Bible recounts that Joshua assigned to Benjamin the territory between that of Ephraim to the north and Judah to the south, with the Jordan River as the eastern border, and included many historically important cities, such as Bethel, Gibeah, Gezer and encroached on the northern hills of Jerusalem. (Joshua 18:11-28)

Gibeah – Geba

Ancient Geba of Benjamin
Lane-Poole, Stanley – Picturesque Palestine, Sinai and Egypt D. Appleton New York 1883
Public Domain
Unfinished palace of King Hussein of Jordan on “Gibeah of Saul”, or “Tell el-Ful” meaning “mound of beans” in Arabic, a hill next to the modern Jerusalem neighbourhood of Pisgat Ze’ev. King Hussein of Jordan began construction on his Royal Palace in Tel el-Ful, but construction was halted when the Six-Day War broke out. Since Israel won the war King Hussein’s palace was never finished
Unfinished Royal Palace of King Hussein of Jordan at Tell el-Ful – Geba – Gebeah
Photo: Eli.Berckovitz

Bethel

Bethel. From the book Holy Land photographed by Daniel B. Shepp. 1894
Public Domain
Photo: Tamarah
Tomb of the prophet Samuel northwest of Jerusalem

Maps of Benjamin

Tribe of Benjamin (light blue, lower centre)

12 tribus de Israel.svg: Translated by Kordas
12 staemme israels heb.svg: by user:יוסי
12 staemme israels.png: by user:Janz
יצירה נגזרת Richardprins 
Map of the territory of Benjamin. Note the area around the cities allotted to the Tribe of Levi, per Numbers 35:4–5
William Tegg 1869 – Public Domain
Horn, Georg – The Eran Laor Collection of the National Library of Israel
מפה עתיקה של שבט בנימין ואפריים משנת 1658

Mateh Binyamin Regional Council 

Mateh Binyamin Regional Council is a regional council governing 46 Israeli settlements in southern Samaria. The council’s jurisdiction is from the Jordan valley in the east to the Samarian foothills in the west, and from the Shiloh river in the north to the Jerusalem Mountains in the south.

Map of Mateh Binyamin Regional Council
Map: Meronim 
Shilo Valley
Photo:  הא בהא טליה

The Battle over the Heartland of Israel

In honor of Jerusalem Day 2020, The Binyamin Region brings you a special production highlighting the heroic battles over the heartland of Israel, the key to the Safety of Jerusalem. Yaakov Dolev, from the Binyamin Security department hosts Chezky Betzalel, Tour Guide and expert of The land of Israel studiesSHOW LESS

About Israel and You

Cameling in the holy land since forever