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the Week of Proper 9 / Ordinary 14
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Bible Encyclopedias

The 1901 Jewish Encyclopedia

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—Biblical Data:

1. Proper name of a man (Ezra 8:16). The name is recognizable in the name of the Gadite clan Areli (Genesis 46:16; Numbers 26:17, Ariel in LXX.), and occurs also in 2 Samuel 23:20, R. V., and in 1 Chronicles 11:22, R. V. The text is corrupt. LXX. in Samuel has "two sons of Ariel"; Targ. "two mighty men." Proposed emendations are: "two lions (or, lion whelps)" or "two sons of Uriel." The reference may be to persons or to beasts. Form and meaning are uncertain. Suggested interpretations are: "lion of God," or, by change of vowel, "light of God," or "God is my light." 2.Poetic name for Jerusalem (Isaiah 29:1,2,7), variously explained (Targ. "altar"). The illustration in verse 2 ("Ariel . . . shall be unto me as Ariel," the city shall reek with blood, like an altar) suggests that the second "Ariel" equals "altar" or "altar hearth"; so probably in Ezekiel 43:15,16, and in the inscription of Mesha, line 12. For a proposed sense, "cresset" or "candelabrum," see note on Ezek. 49 in "Sacred Books of the O. T." (ed. Haupt). The etymology of the word is uncertain, possibly , "hearth," with ל formative. The name of the city will then be an imitation of the name "Jerusalem" (perhaps properly Urushalem, "city of Shalem"), "city of God" (Uriel or Uruel). It is otherwise interpreted as "altar-hearth of God"; that is, the place devoted to the worship of God.

J. Jr.

—In Rabbinical Literature:

The name Ariel ("Lion of God") was applied not only to the altar (Targum, Isaiah 29:1), but also to the whole Temple. The Talmud (Mid. 4:7) points out that the Temple—that is, the HEKAL—resembled a lion in being broad in front and tapering toward the rear. Concerning the name Ariel, a Midrash remarks that the Temple is called "lion" (Isa. c.), and so also is the house of David (Ezekiel 19:2-7) and Judah (Genesis 49:9). Nebuchadnezzar, likewise, is called "lion" (Jeremiah 4:7); and it was this lion that destroyed the Temple, deposed the house of David, and carried Judah into captivity (Ex. R. 29:9).

J. Sr.
L. G.
Bibliography Information
Singer, Isidore, Ph.D, Projector and Managing Editor. Entry for 'Ariel'. 1901 The Jewish Encyclopedia. https://www.studylight.org/​encyclopedias/​eng/​tje/​a/ariel.html. 1901.
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