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Bethsa’ida (house of fish) of Galilee, John 12:21, a city which was the native place of Andrew, Peter, and Philip, John 1:44; 12:21, in the land of Gennesareth, Mark 6:45, comp. 53, and therefore on the west side of the lake. By comparing the narratives in Mark 6:31-53 and Luke 9:10-17 it appears certain that the Bethsaida at which the five thousand were fed must have been a second place of the same name on the east of the lake. (But in reality “there is but one Bethsaida, that known on our maps as Bethsaida Julias.”—L. Abbot in Biblical and Oriental Journal. The fact is that Bethsaida was a village on both sides of the Jordan as it enters the Sea of Galilee on the north, so that the western part of the village was in Galilee and the eastern portion in Gaulonitis, part of the tetrarchy of Philip. This eastern portion was built up into a beautiful city by Herod Philip, and named by him Bethsaida Julias, after Julia the daughter of the Roman emperor Tiberius Cæsar. On the plain of Butaiha, a mile or two to the east, the five thousand were fed. The western part of the town remained a small village.—Ed.)


Site of Bethsaida. (From an original Photograph.)