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Bible Dictionaries

Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible

Ishbosheth

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ISHBOSHETH. 1. The fourth son of Saul; on the death of his father and three brothers on Mt. Gilboa, he contested the throne of Israel with David for seven years. Driven by David over the Jordan, he took up his headquarters at Mahanaim, where, after having been deserted by Abner, he was murdered by two of his captains. His name is given in 1 Chronicles 8:33 ; 1 Chronicles 9:39 as Esh-baal . The same variation meets us in the name of Jonathan’s son Mephibosheth or Meribbaal and in the case of Jerubbaal or Jerubbesheth ; similarly, we have Beeliada and Eliada . In 1 Samuel 14:49 Ishbaal has become Ishvi , which in its turn is a corruption for Ishiah , or ‘man of Jahweh.’ The change of Ish-baal , ‘man of Baal,’ into Ishbosheth , ‘man of the shameful thing,’ is ordinarily accounted for on the supposition ‘that the later religion wished to avoid the now odious term Baal.’ The theory, however, is met by the difficulty that it is in the Chronicler that the form compounded with Baal occurs. Hence it has been suggested that Bosheth is the fossilized name of a Babylonian deity Bast, for which theory, however, little support is forthcoming. 2. Ishbosheth or Ishbaal is probably the true reading for Jashobeam in 1 Chronicles 11:11 etc., which is corrupted to Josheb-basshebeth in 2 Samuel 23:8 .

W. F. Cobb.


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Bibliography Information
Hastings, James. Entry for 'Ishbosheth'. Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible. https://www.studylight.org/dictionaries/hdb/i/ishbosheth.html. 1909.

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