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Bela, Belah

BELA, BELAH (bē'la, Heb. bela‘, destruction, belay). 1. A neighboring city of Sodom and Gomorrah, in the vicinity of the Dead Sea. It was spared, through the intercession of Lot (Gen.19.15-Gen.19.30), from the fiery holocaust that overtook the cities of the plain. It was later known as Zoar (Gen.14.2). According to Deut.34.3, Moses is said to have viewed the southern sector of the Promised Land from Jericho, the city of palm trees, to Zoar. For all practical purposes this places its location at the southern end of the Dead Sea. On the basis of the LXX reading of Isa.15.5 and Jer.48.34, it appears as if the Dead Sea extended farther than at the present time. The name Zoar implies “little one.”

2. Son of Beor, an Edomite king, previous to the kings of Israel (Gen.36.32ff.; 1Chr.1.43).

3. Firstborn son of Benjamin (1Chr.7.6; 1Chr.8.1). Head of the family of the Belaites (Num.26.40).

4. Son of Azaz, a Reubenite, an exceptionally wealthy man (1Chr.5.8-1Chr.5.9). His possessions extended from Nebo to the Euphrates.