Om Betsaida

Jesus var i Betsaida fleire gonger. Fleire av disiplane hans var frå denne fiskarbyen ved Gennesaretsjøen. Men veit me nøyaktig kvar byen låg?

Arkeologar har truleg funne staden ved et-Tell på den nordaustre delen av Gennesaretsjøen. Her er det gravd fram interessante restar etter eit bysamfunn. Det er nok framleis dei som er kritiske til lokaliseringa, men stort sett er det semje om at dette må vera det bibelske Betsaida.

Jerusalem Post har denne veka ein artikkel om staden i serien Sights and Insights. Forfattar er Dr. Wayne Stiles.

Sights and Insights: Casting a long line to the lake

Dr. Wayne Stiles ponders whether the site of et-Tell truly is the place of biblical Beit Saida and why it is so fascinating.


The slopes near the site of et-Tell offer some of the most beautiful scenery I have seen in the Galilee. In the spring, wildflowers burst open to drink in the sun, and the surrounding meadows paint the whole area a bright green. From certain vantage points, I have looked at the Kinneret (Sea of Galilee) and observed no modern distractions. It seemed as if I was looking on the lake in the first century.


The archaeological remains in Beit Saida are sketchy and remain a source of conflicting views on the validity of the site. Even though most signs point to et-Tell as biblical Beit Saida, there just isn’t enough evidence to make it conclusive. The site sits some distance from the Sea of Galilee and about seven meters above the level of the water in the first century. Moreover, after twenty years, the archeologist’s spade has discovered little evidence that would support the existence of a substantial first-century city.

One house dates from the second century BC to the first century AD. A typical home of the period, it has a central courtyard surrounded by rooms and a kitchen. Found here were items such as lead weights, a fishhook, and a curved bronze needle—all items from a fisherman’s trade. It has therefore received the name, “House of the Fisherman.” Beit Saida’s name itself means, “House of Fish.”

Beit Saida finds its place in the Scriptures as one of the three primary locations where Jesus performed miracles. The plain next to Beit Saida, with its green grass, served as the area where thousands of people ate a meal from a few fish and loaves that Jesus had multiplied (Mark 6:35-44)—similar to Elisha’s miraculous multiplication of bread centuries earlier (2 Kings 4:42-44.)

If there was ever a place in Israel that fits the title of this column, “Sights and Insights,” Beit Saida was that place. Jesus healed a blind man here by an unusual process. First, there was partial sight restored to the man, and then, full sight was resorted (Mark 8:22-37). Why the two-stage miracle? Was Jesus having an off day? No, he was teaching his followers that God often reveals insight to his people in stages—little by little—rather than all at once. The gradual sight became a metaphor for growing insight.

Les meir

Det er elles interessant at forfattaren heilt naturleg refererer til Jesu liv og til tekstar i NT i den israelske avisa. Kanskje det kan føra til at nokre jødar skaffar seg eit NT og les i det?

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