Dictionary of Bible Names

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Bible Meaning: House of fish, fishing house
Strong's Concordance #G966

Bethsaida, only mentioned in relation to Jesus' ministry or in reference to his disciples, is located east of the Jordan River on the northeast corner of the Sea of Galilee.

Bethsaida was the home of disciples Andrew, Peter, Philip (John 1:44; 12:21) and possibly James and John. The city was known for being a launching area for fisherman seeking to take advantage of Galilee's abundance of fish.

It was near the city that Jesus miraculously fed 5,000 people (Luke 9:10) and healed a blind man (Mark 8:22).

In an often overlooked event, a group of Greeks track down the disciple Philip (whose name is Greek) in Jerusalem less than a week before Jesus' death. The men, who possibly knew Philip through his fishing business in Bethsaida, greatly desire to talk to Christ. Philip discusses their request with Andrew, who also was a fisherman, and the pair make the request known to the Lord (John 12:20 - 22). Though not directly stated, the Bible seems to indicate the request was denied.

Location of Bethsaida in Ancient Israel Map
Location of Bethsaida

Important Verses

Matthew 11:21
Woe unto thee, Chorazin! woe unto thee, Bethsaida! for if the mighty works, which were done in you, had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes.

Mark 6:45 - 46
And straightway he (Jesus) constrained his disciples to get into the ship, and to go to the other side before unto Bethsaida, while he sent away the people.

And when he had sent them away, he departed into a mountain to pray.

Mark 8:22 - 23
And he cometh to Bethsaida: and they bring a blind man unto him, and besought him to touch him.

And he took the blind man by the hand, and led him out of the town; and when he had spit on his eyes, and put his hands upon him, he asked him if he saw ought.

Luke 9:10
And the apostles, when they were returned, told him all that they had done. And he took them, and went aside privately into a desert place belonging to the city called Bethsaida.

Luke 10:2 - 3, 13
Therefore said he (Jesus) unto them (his disciples), The harvest truly is great, but the labourers are few: pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he would send forth labourers into his harvest. Go your ways: behold, I send you forth as lambs among wolves . . .

Woe unto thee, Chorazin! woe unto thee, Bethsaida! for if the mighty works had been done in Tyre and Sidon, which have been done in you, they had a great while ago repented, sitting in sackcloth and ashes.

John 1:44
Now Philip was of Bethsaida, the city of Andrew and Peter.

Philip findeth Nathanael, and saith unto him, We have found him, of whom Moses in the law, and the prophets, did write, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.

John 12:20 - 22
And there were certain Greeks among them that came up to worship at the feast: The same came therefore to Philip, which was of Bethsaida of Galilee, and desired him, saying, Sir, we would see Jesus. Philip cometh and telleth Andrew: and again Andrew and Philip tell Jesus.

Additional Studies

Dictionary of Biblical Names
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Series Notes
References are based on the
King James Bible translation (KJV).