The meaning of Ashbel; Ashbelite in the Bible
(From International Standard Bible Encyclopedia)
ash'-bel, ash'-bel-it ('ashbel): The gentilic name "Ashbelite" is found in Numbers 26:38, second son of Benjamin (Genesis 46:21). In I Chronicles 7:6-11 (6) "Jediael" ("known to God") is substituted for the heathen-sounding "Ashbel" ("Ishbaal," "man of Baal"). The chronicler, in this case, conforms literally to the principle laid down in Hosea 2:17; the title "Baal" ("lord") was applied in early days (e.g. in the days of Saul) to the national God of Israel, but in later days the prophets objected to it because it was freely applied to heathen gods (compare ISH-BOSHETH). In I Chronicles 8:1 the three names Bela, Ashbel, Aharah (= Ahiram) are taken from Numbers 26:38, however, without change.
H. J. Wolf
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