be-re'-a (Beroia or Berroia): #(1) A town of southwestern Macedonia, in the district of Emathia. It lay at the foot of Mt. Bermius, on a tributary of the Haliacmon, and seems to have been an ancient town, though the date of its foundation is uncertain. A passage in Thucydides (i.61) relating to the year 432 BC probably refers to another place of the same name, but an inscription (Inscr Graec, II, 5, 296i) proves its existence at the end of the 4th century BC, and it is twice mentioned by Polybius (xxvii.8; xxviii.8). After the battle of Pydba in 168 BC Berea was the first city to surrender to Rome and fell in the third of the four regions into which Macedonia was divided (Livy xliv.45; xlv.29). Paul and Silas came to Berea from Thessalonica which they had been forced by an uproar to leave, and preached in the synagogue to the Jews, many of whom believed after a candid examination of the apostolic message in the light of their Scriptures (Ac 17:10-11). A number of "Gr women of honorable estate and of men" also believed, but the advent of a body of hostile Jews from Thessalonica created a disturbance in consequence of which Paul had to leave the city, though Silas and Timothy stayed there for a few days longer (Ac 17:12-15). Perhaps the Sopater of Berea who accompanied Paul to Asia on his last journey to Jerusalem was one of his converts on this visit (Ac 20:4). Berea, which was one of the most populous cities of Macedonia early became a bishopric under the metropolitan of Thessalonica and was itself made a metropolis by Andronicus II (1283-1328): there is a tradition that the first bishop of the church was Onesimus. It played a prominent part in the struggles between the Greeks and the Bulgarians and Serbs, and was finally conquered by the Turks in 1373-74. The town, which still bears among the Greeks its ancient name (pronounced Verria) though called by the Turks Karaferia, possesses but few remains of antiquity with the exception of numerous inscriptions (Leake, Travels in Northern Greece, III, 290 if; Cousinery, Voyage dans la Macedoine, I, 57 ff; Dimitsas, Makedonia in Greek, 57 ff).
Marcus N. Tod
(2) The place where Menelaus the ex-high priest was executed by order of Antiochus Eupator, the victim, according to local custom, being cast from a tower 50 cubits high into a bed of ashes (2 Macc 13:3 ff). It was the ancient city of Chalab, lying about midway between Antioch and Hierapolis. Seleucus Nicator gave it the name Berea. It was a city of importance under the Moslems in the Middle Ages, when the old name again asserted itself, and remains to the present time.
The name "Aleppo" came to us through the Venetian traders in the days before the great overland route to India via Aleppo lost its importance through the discovery of the passage round the Cape. Aleppo is now a city of nearly 130,000 inhabitants. The governor exercises authority over a wide district extending from the Euphrates to the Mediterranean.
(3) (Berea); A place mentioned in 1 Macc 9:4. It may be identical with BEEROTH (which see) in Benjamin, a Hivite town, 8 miles North of Jerusalem, or with the modern Birez-Zait, 1 1/2 miles Northwest of Jifneh.