In Hebrew, means “house of God” and is one of the most sacred spots in Israel. It is located about ten miles (sixteen kilometers) north of Jerusalem. Here Abraham built his altar at the time of his first arrival in Canaan (Gen. 12:8; 13:3). Here Jacob saw in vision a ladder reaching up into heaven (Gen. 28:10–19). It was also a holy place in the days of Samuel (1 Sam. 7:16; 10:3).