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BILSHAN (bĭl’shăn). One of the eleven or twelve leaders of the Jews who returned from captivity in 536 b.c. (Ezra.2.2; Neh.7.7).

BILSHAN bĭl’ shăn (בִּלְשָׁ֛ן, meaning perhaps inquirer, or their lord). One of the eleven or twelve leaders of those Jews who returned from captivity under leadership of Jeshua and Zerubbabel as a result of the decree of Cyrus, king of Persia (Ezra 2:2; Neh 7:7). In 1 Esdras 5:8 he is called Belsarus, bĕl sä’ rŭs (Βεελσάρος; perhaps from Akkad. Belshar, Bel is king; KJV, ASV Beelsarus, bē ěl’ se rŭs).

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia (1915)

An Israelite who returned with Zerubbabel (Ezr 2:2 = Ne 7:7). The name may be explained as the "inquirer" (new Hebrew and Aramaic), balash, the ("b" being an abbreviation of ben, as in bidhqar, and bimhal. Bilshan would then be a compound of ben, and lashon. J. Halevy (Revue etudes juives, X, 3)) translates the name "pere de la langue," ’abh lashon. In 1 Esdras 5:8, he is called "Beelsarus," which is akin to the form "Belshar" = "Belshar-uccur" or "O Bel, protect king." Bilshan points to "Belsun," "his lord." The rabbis take Bilshan as a surname to the preceding

Mordecai. H. J. Wolf