Beth Jimal's (or Jamal) is a Catholic monastery close to Bet Shemesh, the land of Judah, Israel. It is one of the most popular complex's around and you will usually it find filled with tourists from all over the world. 

Besides exploring the church and its antiquities, there are lovely gardens to wander through and in the springtime, masses of flowering almond trees adorn the grounds. Beit Jimal was bought in 1869 by an Italian Catholic priest by the name of Father Antonio Belloni. He built a big monastery on the hill and later opened an agricultural school for orphaned children. Afterwards, the priests of Salesian Order took over both the monastery and school as per Father Belloni's wishes. 

Connected to Bethlehem monasteries, Beth Jimal offers excellent wine grown in their vineyards, as well as olive oil and fresh honey.


Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judaea in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem,

(Matthew 2:1 KJV)

In fact, the number of those who fall to wrath or vengeance is frequently seventy. In each case the mark of leadership or military strength is apparent or suggested. God strikes down seventy men of Beth Shemesh because they “looked into the ark of the LORD” (1 Sam 6:19 NIV). Seventy thousand (in all likelihood the Hebrew word for “thousand” here designates a military division) from Dan to Beersheba are struck down as a result of David’s census of fighting men (2 Sam 24:15; 1 Chron 21:14). Seventy sons of the house of Ahab in Samaria, royal princes all (2 Kings 10:1, 6), are slain by the leading men of the city at Jehu’s suggestion (2 Kings 10:6–7), and seventy heads are delivered to Jehu as grisly tokens of their vote for his leadership. The Canaanite king Adoni-Bezek proclaims the scope of his sovereignty in the boast that “seventy kings with their thumbs and big toes cut off have picked up scraps under my table” as the same fate befalls him (Judg 1:7 NIV).

“Seventy,” Dictionary of Biblical Imagery, 776.

A city (lit., “house of the sun”) occupying a small rise near the juncture of the Sorek Valley and the fosse along the western base of the hill country formed by the Wadi Ghurab and Wadi en-Najil. The city was apportioned to the tribe of Dan, but never conquered and occupied (Judg. 1:33). During the Solomonic period it was assigned to the second district (1 Kgs. 4:9). Amaziah and Joash battled in the region, and for a time the city fell under Philistine control during the reign of Ahaz (2 Kgs. 14:11; 2 Chr. 28:18).

Excavations of the 8 ha. (7 a.) Tel Beth Shemesh/Tell er-Rumeileh (1477.1286), W of ʿAin Shems, revealed six strata dating from the Early Bronze through Persian and Hellenistic periods. Excavators consider the Late Bronze city the most prosperous. Only scant remains of the earliest level survive. During the Hyksos period (Middle Bronze II), a wall with a Syrian-style gate and two towers enclosed the entire site.

“BETH-SHEMESH,” Eerdmans Dictionary of the Bible, 175-176.

A complete wall surrounded the LB city, with large towers set into it at intervals. This was a unique fortification style for the period as the Egyptian overlords of Canaan seldom allowed cities to construct strong defenses. The city’s strategic position along the edge of the hill country required strong defenses to prevent access to the Shephelah by invaders coming down from the hills. The settlement could have defended itself successfully against invaders as an independent city-state outside Egyptian control. Remains of domestic structures reveal courtyards paved with white plaster and numerous storage bins. A furnace for smelting ore was found not far from the domestic installations. A cuneiform Ugaritic tablet and a Canaanite alphabetic ostracon were discovered nearby. A series of silos and cisterns served for wheat and water storage. Other remains include an open air sanctuary facing the setting sun and two plaques featuring the goddess Astarte.

The Iron Age city was smaller than its predecessor. Residents simply repaired the older LB wall, dwelling in typical courtyard-type houses. During Iron II (10th-8th centuries) a casemate wall surrounded the city, abutted by four-room houses. The destruction of stratum II is attributed to the Babylonian invasion in 586.

“BETH-SHEMESH,” Eerdmans Dictionary of the Bible, 176.

It is unthinkable that God could condone a confusion or a diffusion of the sacred and the profane. To take something holy and inject into it the realm of the profane was to confuse the orders of God. Thus in 1 Samuel 6:19 seventy men of Beth Shemesh were killed for peering into the ark.

The situation with Uzzah can be contrasted with that of the Philistines in 1 Samuel 6:9. These uncircumcised Gentiles also handled the ark of God as they carted it from city to city in what is now called the Gaza Strip, as they did when they prepared to send the ark back home to Israel on a cart. But where the knowledge of holy things had not been taught, the responsibility to act differently was not as high as it was for Uzzah, who should have known better.

Walter C. Kaiser et al., Hard Sayings of the Bible, Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 1996, 220.

In fact, in order to determine if the calamities that had struck each of the cities where the ark had gone (a calamity that was almost certainly an outbreak of the bubonic plague) was merely a chance happening unrelated to any divine wrath from the God of Israel, the Philistines rigged up an experiment that was totally against the grain of nature. They took two cows that had just borne calves, penned up the calves, and hitched these cows, who had never previously been hitched to a cart, to a new cart, and watched to see if against every maternal instinct in the animal kingdom the cows would be directed back to the territory of the Philistines. They were. The Philistines were convinced that what happened to them in the outbreak in each city during the seven months when the ark of God was in their midst was no chance or freak accident at all: it was the hand of God! And they had better not harden their hearts as the Egyptians did years ago (1 Sam 6:6).

Walter C. Kaiser et al., Hard Sayings of the Bible, Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 1996, 220.