Beth Arbel

BETH ARBEL (bĕth' ar'bĕl, house of Arbel). Probably a town in the tribe of Naphtali, mentioned in Hos.10.14 as the scene of a horrible destruction brought about by Shalmaneser. It is used to illustrate the disaster to come on Ephraim. It is unlikely that this name is used here of the well-known city by this name on the Euphrates. It is the modern Irbid, a few miles NW of Tiberias.


BETH-ARBEL bĕth är’ bəl (בֵּ֥ית אַֽרְבֵ֖אל, LXX οἴκον Ιερυβαάλ, meaning house of Arbel). A town of uncertain locale. “Therefore the tumult of war shall arise among your people, and all your fortresses shall be destroyed, as Shalman destroyed Beth-arbel on the day of battle...” (Hos 10:14). There is no other mention of either this town or the king, Shalman, in the Bible. Shalmaneser III (858-824 b.c.) of 2 Kings 17:3 and 18:9 is the most likely candidate for Shalman since he is the first Assyrian king with that name to come into contact with Israel. Beth-arbel then may be the modern Irbid which is situated on a crossroads in northern Trans-Jordan.

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia (1915)

The scene of a terrific disaster inflicted on the inhabitants by Shalman (Ho 10:14). If the place intended was in Palestine, and was not the famous city of that name on the Euphrates, then probably it should be identified either with Irbid (or Irbil) in Galilee, or with Irbid, which corresponds to Arbela of the Eusebius, Onomasticon, East of the Jordan, about 12 miles Southeast of Gadara. If, as Schrader thinks (COT, II, 140), Shalman stands for the Moabite king, Shalamanu, a tributary of Tiglath-pileser, the eastern town would be the more natural identification. Possibly however the reference is to Shalmaneser III or IV. For the Galilean site, see Arbela; see also DB, under the word