A name of uncertain meaning, found only once in the Old Testament (Hosea 10:14), in connection with a place-name, equally obscure, "as Shalman destroyed Betharbel." Shalman is most commonly interpreted as a contracted form of Shalmaneser, the name of several Assyrian kings. If this explanation is correct, the king referred to cannot be identified. Some have thought of Shalmaneser IV, who is said to have undertaken expeditions against the West in 775 and in 773-772. Others have proposed Shalmaneser V, who attacked Samaria in 725. This, however, is improbable, because the activity of Hosea ceased before Shalmaneser V became king. Shalman has also been identified with Salamanu, a king of Moab in the days of Hosea, who paid tribute to Tiglath-pileser V of Assyria; and with Shalmah, a North Arabian tribe that invaded the Negeb. The identification of BETH-ARBEL (which see) is equally uncertain. From the reference it would seem that the event in question was well known and, therefore, probably one of recent date and considerable importance, but our present historical knowledge does not enable us to connect any of the persons named with the destruction of any of the localities suggested for Beth-arbel. The ancient translations offer no solution; they too seem to have been in the dark.
F. C. Eiselen
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