life of (i.e., from) God, a native of Bethel, who built (i.e., fortified) Jericho some seven hundred years after its destruction by the Israelites. There fell on him for such an act the imprecation of ( Joshua 6:26 ). He laid the foundation in his first-born, and set up the gates in his youngest son ( 1 Kings 16:34 ), i.e., during the progress of the work all his children died.
God lives; the life of God
(God liveth ), a native of Bethel, who rebuilt Jericho in the reign of Ahab, ( 1 Kings 16:34 ) (B.C. after 915), and in whom was fulfilled the curse pronounced by Joshua, ( Joshua 6:26 ) five hundred years before.
hi'-el (chi'el; Achiel):
A Bethelite who according to 1 Kings 16:34 rebuilt Jericho, and in fulfillment of a curse pronounced by Joshua (Joshua 6:26) sacrificed his two sons. This seems to have been a custom prevalent among primitive peoples, the purpose being to ward off ill luck from the inhabitants, especially in a case where the destroyer had invoked a curse on him who presumed to rebuild. Numerous instances are brought to light in the excavations of Gezer (Macalister, Bible Side-Lights from the Mound of Gezer, chapter x). At first the very best was claimed as a gift to the deity, e.g. one's own sons; then some less valuable member of the community. When civilization prevented human sacrifice, animals were offered instead. The story of Abraham offering Isaac may be a trace of this old custom, the tenor of the story implying that at the time of the writing of the record, the custom was coming to be in disrepute. A similar instance is the offering of his eldest son by the king of Edom to appease the deity and win success in battle (2 Kings 3:27; compare Micah 6:7). Various conjectures have been made as to the identity of this king. Ewald regarded him as a man of wealth and enterprise (unternehmender reicher Mann); Cheyne following Niebuhr makes it Jehu in disguise, putting 1 Kings 16:34 after 2 Kings 10:33; Winckler explains as folklore.
W. N. Stearns
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