MAHALATH (mā'ha-lăth, Heb. mahălath, sickness)

A daughter of Ishmael whom Esau took for his third wife (Gen.28.9).The first wife of Rehoboam; she was a granddaughter of David (2Chr.11.18).A musical term in the heading of Ps.53.1-Ps.53.6 and Ps.88.1-Ps.88.18.

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia (1915)


(1) In Ge 28:9 the name of a wife of Esau, daughter of Ishmael, and sister of Nebaioth, called in 36:3, BASEMATH (which see). [[The Samaritan Pentateuch]], however, throughout Genesis 36 retains "Mahalath." On the other hand, in 26:34 Basemath is said to be "the daughter of Elon the Hittite," probably a confusion with Adah, as given in 36:2, or corruption may exist in the lists otherwise.

(2) One of the 18 wives of Rehoboam, a grand-daughter of David (2Ch 11:18).

(3) The word is found in the titles of Ps 53 (the [[Revised Version]] (British and American) "set to Mahalath") and Ps 88 (the Revised Version (British and American) "set to [[Mahalath Leannoth]]," margin "for singing"). Probably some song or tune is meant, though the word is taken by many to denote a musical instrument. Hengstenberg and others interpret it as indicating the subject of the Psalms.


See also

  • [[Music; Musical Instruments]]