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Bible Encyclopedias

Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature


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(Heb. Ariel', אֲרִיאֵל , Sept. Ἀριήλ ), a word meaning "lion of God," and correctly enough rendered by "lion-like" in 2 Samuel 23:20; 1 Chronicles 11:22. It was applied as an epithet of distinction to bold and warlike persons, as among the Arabians, who surnamed Ali "The' Lion of God" (Abulf. Ann. 1, 96; Bochart, Hieroz. 1, 716). Others, as Thenius, Winer, Furst, look upon it in these passages as a proper name, and translate "two [sons] of Ariel," supplying the word בְּנֵי, which might easily have fallen out. (See ARELI).

1. One of the chief men sent for by Ezra to procure Levites for' the services of the sanctuary (Ezra 8:16). B.C. 459.

2. The same word is used as a local proper name in Isaiah 29:1-2; Isaiah 29:7, applied to Jerusalem, "as victorious under God," says Dr. Lee; and in Ezekiel 43:15-16, to the altar of burnt-offerings. (See HAREL).

In this latter passage Gesenius (Thes. Heb. p. 147) and others, unsatisfied with the Hebrew, resort to the Arabic, and find the first part of the name in Ar-i, fire-hearth (cognate with Heb. אוֹר, light, i.e. fire), which, with the Heb. El, God, supplies what they consider a more satisfactory signification (but see Havernick, Comment. in loc.). It is thus applied, in the first place, to the altar, and then to Jerusalem as containing the altar. Henderson gives the word this etymology also in the passage in Isaiah (see Comment. in loc.).

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Bibliography Information
McClintock, John. Strong, James. Entry for 'Ariel'. Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature. Harper & Brothers. New York. 1870.

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