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Online Bible King James Version

Searching For GOD'S Holy Ark
                     Part III

Beth Zur & Beit Sur
Locating The Capstones
Re: The Baseline Of I Samuel 6:18-19


          Actually there are two sites at the apex of the triangle formed by the three witnesses:

Beth Zur = Khirbat et Tubeiqa

Beit Sur = Burj es Sur

          Note: Burj es Sur has preserved the name Beth Zur from the Byzantine era although Khirbat et Tubeiqa is reported to be considerably older.

          These two sites are two large hills between which the old road from Hebron to Jerusalem traversed.   Thus, the two hills formed a natural gateway that commanded the Southern entry to Jerusalem.   Remember, Jeremiah was instructed to:

          "Take great stones (GOD'S Holy Ark: II Maccabees 2:4-8) in thine hand, and hide them in the clay in the brickklin (place of toil), which is at the entry (gateway) of Pharaoh's house in Tahpanhes (referring to Jerusalem), in the sight of the men of Judah;"

Jeremiah 43:9

          Again, Beth Zur refers to the house or home of the rock which "Zur" describes as a cliff, (a high) rock, a compressed rock, a sharp rock (See Part II).

          Whereas, "Sur" means gate of the Temple, turned off i.e. deteriorated, and is translated "degenerate" in Jeremiah 2:21 KJV (See Strong's #5494, 5495).   The only place "Sur" is used in the King James Version is II Kings 11:6.


And he smote the men of Bethshemesh, because they had looked into the ark of the LORD, even he smote of the people fifty thousand and threescore and ten men: and the people lamented, because the LORD had smitten many of the people with a great slaughter (Samuel 6:19)

          The three witnesses described by Beth Shemesh, Ir Shemesh, and En Shemesh (See Parts I and II) are again described in II Kings 11:5-6,19 as three things.   That is:

    1. (Beth Shemesh) The Gate Behind The Guard (the fence) (II Kings 11:6,19).

    2. (Ir Shemesh) The Kings House: The Temple wherein the throne room is situated (II Kings 11:5).

    3. (En Shemesh) The Gate Of Sur (II Kings 11:6).

          So, as mentioned, we have: 1. The Altar of Ebenezer upon the great Stone Of Abel (I Samuel 6:18; 7:11-12; Isaiah 19:19-20) ... the Altar behind the guard, the fence enclosing the meadow or pasture; 2. The Altar before the Temple; and, 3. The gate of Sur (i.e. the Southern gate or entry to Tahpanhes) across the old road from Hebron to Jerusalem (Jeremiah 43:9).   Also, Jeremiah speaks of hiding the great stones (GOD'S Holy Ark) in the entry to Jerusalem (Jeremiah 43:8-10).   Each of the three are witnesses, signs, opening doors or gates to knowledge and understanding.


          The Song of Solomon speaks of the hiding place and events pertaining to the bringing forth of GOD'S Holy Arks (yes, two).   Therein, the Holy Arks are referred to as two sisters, one much younger and smaller than the other.   It also speaks of "two breasts," "like two young roes" that live in the hills, "that are twins," two hills (Song of Solomon 7:3).


          In 1931 Ovid R. Sellers and W.F. Albright, supervised a 57 day excavation from 3 June to 29 July 1931.   This endeavor encompassed a portion of the top of Beth Zur.

          In 1957 Ovid R. Sellers, again, supervised a 26 day excavation from 14 October to 8 November 1957 that encompassed a portion of the wall and nearby structures of Beth Zur.

          Thus, a total of 83 days (less than 3 months) were devoted to this work and the sites were backfilled at the conclusion of each excavation.   Reports of each endeavor described pottery, coins, and structures uncovered to derive a brief history of occupation but no evidence of an altar or cliff-like rock is mentioned in reported findings.   However, three months total can hardly be considered to be much more than a cross section sampling of the site.

          Earlier, in 1913, Dalman is credited with identifying Khirbet et-Tubeiqa as Beth Zur based on topographical grounds as this site is about 3,330 feet above sea level making it one of the highest sites in the region.

          Later, in 1924-1925, when pottery identification techniques had been realized, three groups of students visited the region.   The first led by Père Abel of the Ècole Biblique, Jerusalem; the second led by W.F. Albright of the American School Of Oriental Research (ASOR), Jerusalem; and, a third led by A. Alt of the German School.   Abel was credited with demonstrating that Beth Zur was the older of the two sites as the earliest Beit Sur pottery found was limited to the Byzantine era; whereas, Beth Zur pottery, although quite mixed, was indeed much older.   However, the extent of investigations was apparently quite limited.   What a more extensive investigation would reveal remains to be seen.

          Furthermore, this writer has little knowledge of any excavations of Beit Sur as Burj es Sur has continued as an occupied site from the Byzantine era even unto the present.


          Abel means to be grassy, a meadow.   And the great Stone of Abel is covered with a meadow, a pasture.

          A point of interest is that Père Abel was the person credited with confirming the identity of Beth Zur.   And, Beth Zur has a definite relationship to the Stone of Abel.   A coincident or a sign?

          For: (1) a pictorial diagram of the Altar of Ebenezer upon the Stone of Abel; (2) a map locating the Altar of Ebenezer upon Abel; and, (3) a diagram titled "Counsel At Abel" (II Samuel 20:18) wherein the wise woman speaks and prophesies to Joab concerning the role of Abel in modern times ... see The Hidden City, File 4.   Therein additional explanation is provided that supplements this text.


           Rebekah, the wife of Isaac, was the mother of both Esau and Jacob.   And Deborah was Rebekah's nurse who cared for both Esau and Jacob.   Thus, Deborah symbolizes GOD'S Holy Ark (the original Holy Ark) over which The Glory Of GOD appeared as GOD obviously cared for both the youthful Esau and Jacob.

           "But Deborah Rebekah's nurse died, and she was buried beneath (South of) Bethel under an oak:   and the name of it was Allonbachuth."

Genesis 35:8

           Allonbachuth is called the oak of weeping.   Allon refers to an oak of great strength, like many oaks bound (twisted) together, which would represent a great pillar or rock much like that described by Zur.   Whereas, bachuth or bakuth refers to mourning, lamentation, or weeping such as should occur when GOD'S Holy Ark and The Glory of GOD were removed from humanity.

           Bethel, of course, means the house of GOD.   So, "beneath" Bethel refers to under, within, or South of Bethel.   And, in the O.R. Sellers' report re: the 1931 excavations of Beth Zur, Sellers called Beth Zur "the house of the mountain of GOD."

          Therefore, Deborah's burial site appears to be providing important descriptive clues as to where GOD'S Holy Ark has been hidden.


          Again, the two campaigns (the 1931 and 1957 Beth Zur excavations) reported no signs of an ancient altar or great rock; thus, the meaning of Zur offers intrigue.

          Could it be that the whole hill of Beth Zur is that "missing rock"?

          Beth Zur has been described as a large conical hill whose Northwest slope drops sharply for more than 100 meters (328 feet) to the valley below while the opposite or Southeast slope drops gradually for only about 22 meters (72 feet) to the saddle between the hills.   Burj es Sur is the other side of the saddle being about a half mile to the Southeast across the old Hebron-Jerusalem road.   However, a closer examination of the contour map of Beth Zur provided with the report of the 1931 excavation and photographs of Beth Zur show somewhat of a teardrop shape.   That is, a great bull-nose more than 300 feet high is to the Northwest to form the sharp point of the teardrop while the bulbous portion is to the Southeast.

          Thus, the high cliff-like rock described by "Zur" appears to be the entire hill or the Northwest portion thereof.


          The name Beth Zur has also been called "The Cliff House" in reports concerning the 1931 and 1957 endeavors.   The subject reports also cited that evidence of occupation of Beth Zur dissipated after 100 BC but did report finding Roman Coins relating to 69-70 AD.   In addition, a note relative to the contour map cited that the structure labeled "Ed-Deir," situated on the steep North Northwest slope of the hill that straddles the 974 meter contour line, is the remains of a Byzantine edifice.   Thus, an actual cliff-house had been built on the steep rocky cliff of Beth Zur by the Byzantines.   And, the Byzantine Empire began with Emperor Constantine in 330 AD.


          The Altar of Ebenezer, high atop the Stone of Abel, is very visible and accessible.

          The remains of the Cliff House built into the steep side of Beth Zur, straddling the 974 meter contour line on the North Northwest slope, should also be very visible and perhaps easily accessed from the old road Northeast of Beth Zur.

          Using the modern Global Positioning System the precise coordinates of both Ebenezer and the Cliff House can easily be accurately measured and the distance between each computed.   If the Cliff House is 16 statute miles from Ebenezer then the exact position of the Altar before the Solomonic Temple should be rather precisely confirmed.   Then by excavating a small but deep hole in the lime earth of Independence Garden Park West of the Hinnom the physical location of the Altar before the Solomonic Temple can be positively confirmed.   Actually, if the larger Brazen Altar is still resting atop the Altar base, modern electronic instrumentation may confirm matters even before any excavation is undertaken.

          Happy hunting!

Continue On To: THE OPTIONS

Prepared By
Father - Son Team
         George & Dana Brown
         P.O. Box 320932
         Cocoa Beach, Florida
         USA          32932-0932
         Email: brianshouse@yahoo.com

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