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ARIEL (âr'ĭ-ĕl, Heb. ‘ărî’ēl, lion of God)

One of an embassy sent by Ezra to “bring attendants to us for the house of our God” to the returning exiles from Babylonia (Ezra.8.16-Ezra.8.17).In 2Sam.23.20 and 1Chr.11.22, where KJV has “two lionlike men of Moab”; ASV conjectures “two sons of Ariel of Moab”; RSV has “two ariels of Moab” (marginally explaining that the meaning of ariel is unknown); and NIV renders “two of Moab’s best men.” The text is uncertain.A poetic name, “lion of God,” according to some versions; “hearth of God,” according to others, given to Jerusalem (Isa.29.1-Isa.29.2, Isa.29.7).

2. One of the “men of understanding” sent unto Iddo, the chief at the place Casiphia, and to his brethren, the Nethinim, with an order to bring Ezra’s ministers for the house of God (Ezra 8:16, 17). His name means “lion of El.”

3. Areli (אַרְאֵלִֽי) is the name of a family in Gad (Gen 46:16; Num 26:17).

4. The LXX B and L of 2 Samuel 23:20 (= 1 Chron 11:22) reads “the two sons of Ariel of Moab” while the MT has “the two ariel(s) of Moab” and may refer to the “hearth altar” rather than a proper name (cf. the Moabite Mesha Stone, line 12: “the ’AR’L of DWDH”).


F. Delitzsch, von Orelli and Joseph Alexander commentaries on Isaiah; J. B. Pritchard, (ed) ANET2, 320.

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia (1915)

But the word occurs in Eze 43:15,16, and is there translated in the Revised Version (British and American) "ALTAR HEARTH."

(1) According to the Revised Version (British and American) a man of Moab whose two sons were slain by David’s warrior Benaiah the son of Jehoiada (2Sa 23:20; 1Ch 11:22). Here the King James Version translates "two lionlike men of Moab."

(2) A name applied to Jerusalem (Isa 29:1,2,7). The many explanations of the name are interesting, but mainly conjectural.

(3) One of the members of the delegation sent by Ezra to the place Casiphia, to secure temple ministers for his expedition to Jerusalem (Ezr 8:16).

Willis J. Beecher

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