What does Bethshemesh mean in the Bible?

Dictionary

Fausset's Bible Dictionary - Bethshemesh
("house of the sun".)
1. A town on the N. boundary of Judah (Joshua 15:10), itself low in situation. A "valley" of wheat fields is mentioned accordingly as nigh (1 Samuel 6:13). Now Ain Shems, on the N.W. slopes of the mountains of Judah, "a low plateau at the junction of two fine plains" (Robinson), two miles from the Philistian plain, and seven from Ekron. From the latter was the road to Bethshemesh, on which the Philistines sent back the ark to Israel after its fatal stay among them. In the field of Joshua the Bethshemite was "the great Abel" (the Septuagint reads Aben "stone"; others retaining Abel explain it "the stone of mourning," compare 1 Samuel 6:19) whereon the ark was set (1 Samuel 6:18). Providence fitly arranged that Bethshemesh being a priests' city (Joshua 21:16; 1 Chronicles 1:59) had Levites and priests ready on the spot duly to receive the ark and sacrifice before it.
Curiosity tempted many to stare at (not necessarily "into") the ark beneath the cover; compare Numbers 4:20; 2 Samuel 6:6-7. So God smote in the proportion of 50 out of the 1,000, i.e. one twentieth instead of one tenth of the population, as sometimes; seventy men in all, out of the population of Bethshemesh, which amounted to 1,400 in this view. The numbers in the English Bible are evidently a mistake (1 Samuel 6:19). Josephus (Ant. 6:4) makes it only 70. It was one of Solomon's commissariat districts under Bendekar (margin 1 Kings 4:9). Here Joash king of Israel encountered and made prisoner of Amaziah of Judah (2 Kings 14:11-13; 2 Chronicles 25:21-23). In Ahaz' reign the Philistines occupied Bethshemesh (2 Chronicles 28:18.) Ir-shemesh was the older name (compare Joshua 15:10; Joshua 19:41; Joshua 19:43; 1 Kings 4:9). Harcheres, "mount of the Sun." was another name for Bethshemesh (Judges 1:35.)
2. A city on Issachar's border (Joshua 19:22).
3. A fenced city of Naphtali (Joshua 19:38; Judges 1:33). The inhabitants were not expelled, but became Israel's tributaries.
4. An idol sanctuary in Egypt (Jeremiah 43:13), the Greek Heliopolis, Egyptian On, E. of the Nile, a few miles N. of Memphis (Genesis 41:45). The statue in honor of the sun rose to 60 cubits, the base was 10, above there was a miter a thousand pounds weight. These many towns of this name show how widespread the worship of the sun had been.
Morrish Bible Dictionary - Bethshemesh
1. A Levitical town on the north border of Judah, whither the ark was miraculously guided by God when sent back by the Philistines from Ekron, and where the people were smitten for looking into it. Here Amaziah king of Judah was defeated by Jehoash king of Israel. It was afterwards occupied by the Philistines. Joshua 15:10 ; Joshua 21 :16; 1 Samuel 6:9-20 ; 1 Kings 4:9 ; 2 Kings 14:11,13 ; 1 Chronicles 6:59 ; 2 Chronicles 25:21,23 ; 2 Chronicles 28:18 . Identified with Ain Shems, 31 45' N, 34 59' E .
2. Border town of Issachar, Joshua 19:22 . Identified by some with Ain esh Shemsiyeh, 32 24' N, 35 31' E .
3. Fenced city of Naphtali. Joshua 19:38 ; Judges 1:33 .
4. Idolatrous temple in Egypt. Jeremiah 43:13 . Supposed from its signification, 'house of the sun,' to be the same as On, or Heliopolis, associated with sun-worship.
Watson's Biblical & Theological Dictionary - Bethshemesh
a city of the tribe of Judah, belonging to the priests, Joshua 21:16 . The Philistines having sent back the ark of the Lord, it was brought to Bethshemesh, 1 Samuel 6:12 , where some of the people out of curiosity having looked into it, the Lord destroyed seventy of the principal men belonging to the city, and fifty thousand of the common people, 1 Samuel 6:19 . It is here to be observed that it was solemnly enjoined, Numbers 4:20 , that not only the common people but that even the Levites themselves should not dare to look into the ark, upon pain of death. "It is a fearful thing," says Bishop Hall, "to use the holy ordinances of God with an irreverent boldness; fear and trembling become us in our access to the majesty of the Almighty."

Sentence search

Irshemesh - Bethshemesh; connected with Mount Heres ("sun")
de'Kar - Ben Dekar, was Solomon's commissariat officer in the western part of the hill-country of Judah and Benjamin, Shaalbim and Bethshemesh
Bethshemesh - From the latter was the road to Bethshemesh, on which the Philistines sent back the ark to Israel after its fatal stay among them. Providence fitly arranged that Bethshemesh being a priests' city (Joshua 21:16; 1 Chronicles 1:59) had Levites and priests ready on the spot duly to receive the ark and sacrifice before it. one twentieth instead of one tenth of the population, as sometimes; seventy men in all, out of the population of Bethshemesh, which amounted to 1,400 in this view. In Ahaz' reign the Philistines occupied Bethshemesh (2 Chronicles 28:18. " was another name for Bethshemesh (Judges 1:35
Seir - Mount Seir, Joshua 15:10, was a landmark on the northern boundary of Judah, between Kirjath-jearim and Bethshemesh
Zorah - It is now recognized in a secluded mountain village called Surah, on the edge of the hills north of Bethshemesh
Bethshemesh - The Philistines having sent back the ark of the Lord, it was brought to Bethshemesh, 1 Samuel 6:12 , where some of the people out of curiosity having looked into it, the Lord destroyed seventy of the principal men belonging to the city, and fifty thousand of the common people, 1 Samuel 6:19
Sorek - ; at the junction lie the ruins of Bethshemesh on a knoll
On - Light; the sun, (Genesis 41:45,50 ), the great seat of sun-worship, called also Bethshemesh (Jeremiah 43:13 ) and Aven (Ezekiel 30:17 ), stood on the east bank of the Nile, a few miles north of Memphis, and near Cairo, in the north-east
Ark - " And it were to be wished, that such men would call to mind the Lord's jealousy in the case of the men of Bethshemesh, (1 Samuel 6:19) and also the circumstance of Uzzah, (1 Chronicles 13:10) What was the sin of all those but overlooking Christ? And wherein do those differ, who talk of arks instead of one ark, and that expressly, and on no other account valuable, than as it represented the Lord Jesus? (1 Samuel 4:3; 2 Samuel 15:24)...
Abel - Most likely this "great stone" was a boundary mark, or an ancient monument, in Bethshemesh, on the confines of Judah, Dan, and Philistia
Timnah - Near the western extremity, further than Bethshemesh, toward Ekron; in the shephelah or low hills between the mountains and the plain (2 Chronicles 28:18)
Seir, Mount - of Bethshemesh; the ridge between wady Aly and wady Ghurab
Amaziah - But Amaziah, deaf to these reasonings, advanced to Bethshemesh, and was defeated and taken prisoner there, by Joash, who carried him to Jerusalem
Sun - The Hebrews must have been well acquainted with the idolatrous worship of the sun during the captivity in Egypt, both from the contiguity of On, the chief seat of the worship of the sun, as implied in the name itself (On being the equivalent of the Hebrew Bethshemesh, "house of the sun") (Jeremiah 43:13 ) and also from the connection between Joseph and Potipherah("he who belongs to Ela") the priest of On, (Genesis 41:45 ) After their removal to Canaan, the Hebrews came in contact with various forms of idolatry which originated in the worship of the sun; such as the Baal of the Phoenicians, the Molech or Milcom of the Ammonites, and the Hadad of the Syrians
Obed Edom - A Levite in Amaziah's time, having charge of the vessels of God's house, taken captive with the king by Joash king of Israel at Bethshemesh battle (2 Chronicles 25:23-24)
Baal (1) - "Sun images" (hammanim ; Isaiah 17:8; Isaiah 27:9; 2 Chronicles 34:4) "were on high above the altars" of Baal (Jeremiah 43:13); "the images of Bethshemesh," literally "the pillars (obelisks) of the house of the sun
Ark of the Covenant - The men of Bethshemesh welcomed the return of the ark, until they unwisely violated its holiness by looking into it (1Samuel 6:13-15,1 Samuel 6:19-20 )
Ahaz - , the cities of the low hill country (shephelah ), Bethshemesh, Ajalon, Gederoth, Shocho, Timnah, Gimzo
Hosea - Son of Beeri, of Issachar; born in Bethshemesh
Philistia - of Judah, taking Bethshemesh, Ajalon, Gederoth
Samuel, First Book of - Also the return of the ark, and God's judgement on the men of Bethshemesh for looking into it
Idol - Baal or sun worship appears indicated in the names Bethshemesh, Baal Hermon, Mount Heres ("sun"), Belshazzar, Hadadezer, Hadad Rimmon (the Syrian god)
Hezekiah - of Judah, Bethshemesh, Ajalon, Gederoth, Shocho, Timnah, Gimzo" with their dependent villages, "the Lord having brought Judah low because Ahaz had made Judah naked, and transgressed sore against the Lord" (2 Chronicles 28:18-19)
Judea - In the north-west quarter were Bethshemesh, or Heliopolis, a Levitical city, about ten miles west of the capital; Rama, six miles north from Jerusalem; Emmaus, a village eight miles north north-west from Jerusalem, afterward called Nicopolis, in consequence of a victory gained by Vespasian over the revolted Jews; Bethoron, a populous Levitical city on the road to Lydda, a few miles north-west of Emmaus; Kirjath-jearim, on the road to Joppa, nine miles westward from the capital; Lydda, now Lod, and called by the Greeks Diospolis, about twelve miles east of Joppa; Ramla, supposed to be the same as Arimathea, about five miles south-west of Lydda; Joppa, a maritime town, now Jaffa, about twelve leagues north-west of Jerusalem; Jabne, a walled sea-port town between Joppa and Azotus; and Ekron, a town on the north boundary of the Philistines
Jerusalem - ) The latter conquered at Bethshemesh at the opening of the hills 12 miles W
Joseph - ...
Then Joseph, who shrank from adulterous lusts, in righteous retribution received pure wedded joys in union with Asenath ("devoted to Neith and Isis") daughter of Potipherah ("devoted to Ra, the sun god") priest of ON , Heliopolis or Bethshemesh (the city of the sun god), the religious capital