|Easton's Bible Dictionary|
House of security or rest, a city which belonged to Manasseh (1 Chronicles 7:29), on the west of Jordan. The bodies of Saul and his sons were fastened to its walls. In Solomon's time it gave its name to a district (1 Kings 4:12). The name is found in an abridged form, Bethshan, in 1 Samuel 31:10, 12 and 2 Samuel 21:12. It is on the road from Jerusalem to Damascus, about 5 miles from the Jordan, and 14 from the south end of the Lake of Gennesaret. After the Captivity it was called Scythopolis, i.e., "the city of the Scythians," who about B.C. 640 came down from the steppes of Southern Russia and settled in different places in Syria. It is now called Beisan.
Int. Standard Bible Encyclopedia
beth-she'-an, beth'-shan (beth-shan, or [beth-she'an]; in Apocrypha Baithsan or Bethsa): A city in the territory of Issachar assigned to Manasseh, out of which the Canaanites were not driven (Joshua 17:11 Judges 1:27); in the days of Israel's strength they were put to taskwork (Judges 1:28). They doubtless were in league with the Philistines who after Israel's defeat on Gilboa exposed the bodies of Saul and his sons on the wall of the city (1 Samuel 31:7), whence they were rescued by the men of Jabesh, who remembered the earlier kindness of the king (1 Samuel 31:7 2 Samuel 21:12). In 1 Kings 4:12 the name applies to the district in which the city stands. It was called Scythopolis by the Greeks. This may be connected with the invasion of Palestine by the Scythians who, according to George Syncellus, "overran Palestine and took possession of Beisan." This may be the invasion noticed by Herodotus, circa 600 B.C. (i.104-6). Here Tryphon failed in his first attempt to take Jonathan by treachery (1 Maccabees 12:40). It fell to John Hyrcanus, but was taken from the Jews by Pompey. It was rebuilt by Gabinius (Ant., XIV, v, 3), and became an important member of the league of the "ten cities" (BJ, III, ix, 7). The impiousness of the inhabitants is painted in dark colors by Josephus (Vita, 6; BJ, II, xviii, 3); and the Mishna speaks of it as a center of idol worship (`Abhodhah Zarah, i.4). Later it was the seat of a bishop.
It is represented by the modern Beisan, in the throat of the Vale of Jezreel where it falls into the Jordan valley, on the southern side of the stream from `Ain Jalud. The ruins of the ancient city are found on the plain, and on the great mound where probably stood the citadel. Between the town and the stretch of marsh land to the South runs the old road from East to West up the Vale of Jezreel, uniting in Esdraelon with the great caravan road from North to South.
Beth-shean (5 Occurrences)
Joshua 17:11 And Manasseh had in Issachar and in Asher Beth-shean and its towns, and Ibleam and its towns, and the inhabitants of Dor and its towns, and the inhabitants of En-dor and its towns, and the inhabitants of Taanach and its towns, and the inhabitants of Megiddo and its towns, even the three heights. (ASV BBE DBY JPS WBS YLT NAS)
Joshua 17:16 And the children of Joseph said, The hill-country is not enough for us: and all the Canaanites that dwell in the land of the valley have chariots of iron, both they who are in Beth-shean and its towns, and they who are in the valley of Jezreel. (ASV BBE DBY JPS WBS YLT NAS)
Judges 1:27 And Manasseh did not drive out the inhabitants of Beth-shean and its towns, nor of Taanach and its towns, nor the inhabitants of Dor and its towns, nor the inhabitants of Ibleam and its towns, nor the inhabitants of Megiddo and its towns; but the Canaanites would dwell in that land. (ASV BBE JPS WBS YLT NAS)
1 Kings 4:12 Baana the son of Ahilud, in Taanach and Megiddo, and all Beth-shean which is beside Zarethan, beneath Jezreel, from Beth-shean to Abel-meholah, as far as beyond Jokmeam; (ASV BBE DBY JPS WBS YLT NAS)
1 Chronicles 7:29 and by the borders of the children of Manasseh, Beth-shean and its towns, Taanach and its towns, Megiddo and its towns, Dor and its towns. In these dwelt the children of Joseph the son of Israel. (ASV BBE DBY JPS WBS YLT NAS)