Bible Dictionary: Beth

By: Guy Templeton
March 14, 2013

This is what you'll get if you do a Google Search for "Beth"

Beth

Second letter of the Hebrew alphabet and a designation meaning “house” or “place.”  Test your knowledge of the following terms.

Bethel means:

  • house of God (94%, 34 Votes)
  • house of bread (3%, 1 Votes)
  • house of peace (3%, 1 Votes)
  • house of the poor (0%, 0 Votes)

Total Voters: 36

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Bethany means:

  • house of the poor (54%, 19 Votes)
  • house of peace (43%, 15 Votes)
  • house of bread (3%, 1 Votes)
  • house of God (0%, 0 Votes)

Total Voters: 35

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Bethlehem means:

  • house of bread (63%, 22 Votes)
  • house of peace (23%, 8 Votes)
  • house of the poor (9%, 3 Votes)
  • house of God (5%, 2 Votes)

Total Voters: 35

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10 Responses to Bible Dictionary: Beth

  1. anita on March 14, 2013 at 8:09 AM

    For those non-Hebrew speakers, the unused choice, house of peace, would be Beth-Shalom.

    Beth can also mean daughter (Bathsheba=daughter of the covenant). Just as “house” means “family”; house of God=family of God, a daughter is how you build your house.

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  2. Jeff Spector on March 14, 2013 at 2:06 PM

    Sorry, but I am a bit confused. The second letter of the Hebrew alphabet is “bet” and while it may sound similar, the word for house is spelled Bet-Yod-Tet and can be pronounced a few different ways such as Bet, Bayit. Beth is actually a transliteration and not an actually pronunciation.

    So while you might see and pronounce Temple Beth Torah, the Hebrew is not written or pronounced that way.

    Daughter is spelled Bet-Tet and is pronounced baht as in Bat Mitzvah. The old Ashkenazy pronunciation is “Bas” as the Tet was pronounced “s” with out a dot in the middle and a “t” with a dot.

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  3. mh on March 14, 2013 at 3:11 PM

    Jeff, it sounds like there should be a revision to the Bible dictionary. They should put you in charge of the Hebrew stuff.

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  4. Jeff Spector on March 14, 2013 at 3:52 PM

    I just looked at the Bible Dictionary. I didn’t know he took it word for word. Wow, it is wrong.

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  5. Stephen R. Marsh on March 14, 2013 at 9:44 PM

    The Bible Dictionary is the one we got for free, years ago, with the printing we got of the King James. It has been updated, but parts of it go back to the 1800s (e.g. the entry on Baal).

    It could use a lot of revisions.

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  6. hawkgrrrl on March 15, 2013 at 4:57 AM

    Jeff Spector FTW!

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  7. Anon on March 15, 2013 at 3:04 PM

    Are you aware that there are LDS who believe the Bible Dictionary is Scripture? My parents were told it is by a Mission President when they served in an eastern state in 2001. They believe him, and study it as though it is the word of God.

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  8. Guy T on March 15, 2013 at 10:25 PM

    Here’s the rest of the Bible Dictionary entry: “Thus Bethany (house of the poor), Bethel (house of God), Bethlehem (house of bread), etc.”

    I always thought the BD came from Bruce R. McConkie. Steve, where did you get your information?

    Here’s what the Church website says, but I am unable to see what the changes were:

    Study Aids

    More than 99 percent of the adjustments are in the study aids. Errors in cross-references, date information, or misquoted text have been resolved in the footnotes, Topical Guide, Bible Dictionary, and triple combination index. Historical or factual information has been corrected and updated. Some entries have been updated such as under “Ahab,” item 1, the last sentence “the united forces were defeated by Shalmaneser II” was changed to “the united forces were defeated by Shalmaneser III,” the correct historical figure.

    So did they correct Beth? If so, I can’t find it.

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  9. Jeff Spector on March 16, 2013 at 6:17 PM

    I looked at it online and it is the same.

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  10. Douglas on March 18, 2013 at 3:11 PM

    I prefer the ode to a Beth, performed by the band founded by two nice Jewish boys from Long Island, vocals by their goy drummer.

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