About the whereabouts of this location, only one defining statement in all the 24 books of the Bible exists. Undisputed, 2Kings 23:4 states BethEl is the lower south-east slope of Mount Moriah, adjacent to the Kidron Valley in the City of David archaeological park, which is ancient Jerusalem from before the time of King David.
For more than 300 years Israel's tribal logic was dominated by Ephraim's envy over the southern boundary Benjamin shared with Judah, the location Abram was standing. Following King Davids ascension to Jerusalem and unification of the tribes, his son Solomon built the temple at the location. But, one generation later the exiled Jeroboam became King over a divided nation and established a temple of idolatry at Bethel, which is ~20km north of the location at ancient Jerusalem. The nation remained divided since that time.
Significantly, Jeroboam's actions left Israel confused until today. In northern Bethel, Professor Hagi Ben Artzi, the brother of Sarah Netanyahu argues it is the place Jacob experienced his famous dream of a stairway between heaven and earth on which angels were ascending and descending. And, archaeologist Eli Shukron argues the matzevah (monument) he recently discovered at BethEl, the location of Abram cannot be Jacob's because he was in Hagi Ben Artzi's Bethel (to the north) (see Eli @7:40 in the video below).
The confusion has become endemic and logic circular causing many investigators to justify the ancient city of Ai must also be ~20km to the north because that's where Bethel was and Abram is said to have pitched his tent between these two locations (Genesis 12:8). Despite the ancient city of Ai never being discovered academics happily defend their entrenched views.
Few have stopped to consider ancient Jerusalem is Mount Moriah, Salem of MalchiTzedek (Noah's son Shem), BethEl of Abram who became Abraham, akeida of Isaac, Luz and BethEl of Jacob's matzevah, Zion of King David and the Temple of King Solomon. Further that Abram could just as easily have pitched his tent opposite BethEl at the site of a Benedictine Monastery that is today a guesthouse called Maison d'Abraham - the House of Abraham. Finally that Ai could have been east of Maison d'Abraham toward the village Jabal Batin Alhawah.
|Maison d'Abraham opposite BethEl in the reclaimed City of David.|
Regardless, the irrefutable evidence that Eli Shukron discovered in 2011 is too impact-full to uphold the confusion that has permeated our logic for thousands of years. The temple complex in which the matzevah is located predates King David. Middle bronze age artifacts in the adjacent surroundings, the stone cut rooms of bedrock, preservation of the altar platform, liquids channel, oil and flour press are far too compelling to endure prevailing confusion. Further the middle bronze vessels found under the stone floor of homes built in the perimeter wall of the lower south-eastern valley floor, establishes occupation to the time of Abram.
This enlightenment firmly establishes a path to realize this location. It is repeatedly referred in the Bible, a living text that is archaeologically established for at least 2300 years. It serves as Israel's permanent record which governments will be formed to express and a King appointed to realize Jerusalem's temple at this location that screams out for it.