BEZER (bē'zĕr, Heb. betser, strong)
A city in the wilderness plateau east of the Dead Sea and in the tribe of Reuben, set apart as a city of refuge (Deut.4.43) and as a home for Merarites of the tribe of Levi (Josh.21.36). On the Moabite Stone, Mesha, king of Moab, claims that he fortified it.One of the mighty men of the tribe of Asher, known only as a son of Zophah (1Chr.7.37).
BEZER be’ zər
, LXX Βόσορ
, stronghold (?) fortress
[?]). 1. A Levitical city in the region of Reuben (Josh 21:36
; 1 Chron 6:78
) assigned to the children of Merari. This same city was one of the three cities of refuge appointed by Moses on the E side of the Jordan (Deut 4:43
; Josh 20:8
). According to the Mesha Stone, it is located in the territory of Moab, possibly Bozrah of Moab as opposed to Bozrah of Edom (cf. LXX Bosar
; Jer 48:24
), and was one of the towns King Mesha fortified c. 830 b.c.
This is perhaps modern Umm el ’Amad, NE of Medeba and E of Mt. Nebo. Wellhausen believed the cities of refuge formed a part of the 7th cent. reform, but this view is impossible since Bezer is lost to Israel before this time as the Mesha Stone witnesses.
2. Name of a son of Zophah of the house of Asher (1 Chron 7:37) meaning “gold,” or “precious metal” like חָרוּץ, H3021, cf. T. Noeldeke, EBi col. 3297 and M. Note IPN (1928), 223.
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia (1915)
(betser; Bosor, "strong"):
(1) A city of refuge, set apart by Moses for the Reubenites and located in the "plain country" (or table-land, Mishor) East of the Jordan, later assigned to this tribe by Joshua (De 4:43; Jos 20:8). The same city was assigned by lot as place of residence to the children of Merari of the Levite tribe (Jos 21:36; 1Ch 6:63,78). Driver, HDB, suggests the identity of Bezer with Bozrah (Septuagint, Bosor) (Jer 48:24). Besheir has been suggested as the present site. According to the manuscript it was forti fied by Mesha.
(2) A son of Zophah of the house of Asher (1Ch 7:37).