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Bible Dictionaries

Fausset's Bible Dictionary

Bela


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("a swallowing up"), called so from earthquakes having affected it.

1. One of the five cities of the plain, spared at Lot's intercession, and named Zoar, "a little one" (Genesis 14:2; Genesis 19:22). S.E. of the Dead Sea, on the route to Egypt, not far from where Sodom and Gomorrah stood, according to Holland, arguing from the smoke of the burning cities having been seen by Abraham from the neighborhood of Hebron, and also because if Sodom had been N. of the Dead Sea Lot would not have had time to escape to gear on the S.E. of the sea. But Grove places the cities of the plain N.W. of the Dead Sea, between Jericho and the sea, as the plain was seen by Lot from the neighborhood of Bethel.

From the hills between Bethel and Hai (Genesis 13:3; Genesis 13:10) it is impossible to see the S. of the Dead Sea. Bela is joined with Sodom, Gomorrah, Admah, and Zeboim, in Genesis 14:2; Genesis 14:8, forming a confederacy against the invading kings of Elam, Shinar, etc. Bela was probably the name of the king of Zoar, as his name alone of the five would otherwise not be given. Bela is also the name of an Edomite king (Genesis 36:32). Robinson perhaps rightly identifies Bela with a ruin on the N. side of Lisan, "the tongue" of land jutting out into the Dead Sea at the S.E., between the wady Beni Hamid and the wady el Dera'ah. It was a Moabite city (Isaiah 15:5; Jeremiah 48:34); Deuteronomy 34:3 does not prove that its site was further S., but only that Moses' eye caught no more southward town than Zoar.

2. A king of Edom, son of Beor, a Chaldean probably by birth (like Balaam also descended from Beor, and originally residing in Pethor of Aram by the Euphrates: Numbers 22:5; Numbers 23:7), and reigning in Edom by conquest (Genesis 36:31-39; 1 Chronicles 1:43-51). 1 Chronicles 1:3. Benjamin's oldest son (Genesis 46:21; Numbers 26:38; 1 Chronicles 7:6; 1 Chronicles 8:1). From Gera (one house of his family) came Ehud, Israel's judge and deliverer Eglon of Moab (Judges 3:14-30). As Husham is like Bela a king of Edom, so with Bela son of Benjamin is connected a Benjamite family of Hushim, sprung from a foreign woman of Moab (1 Chronicles 7:12; 1 Chronicles 8:8-11). 1 Chronicles 8:4. Azaz's son, a Reubenite (1 Chronicles 5:8). He too "in Aroer, even unto Nebo and Baal Meon, eastward unto the entering in of the wilderness from the river Euphrates" (1 Chronicles 5:8-9).

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Bibliography Information
Fausset, Andrew R. Entry for 'Bela'. Fausset's Bible Dictionary. https://www.studylight.org/dictionaries/fbd/b/bela.html. 1949.

Lectionary Calendar
Saturday, November 28th, 2020
the Week of Christ the King / Proper 29 / Ordinary 34
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