🔼The name Ashbel in the Bible
Ashbel's descendants, the אשבלי (Ashbelites) formed a sub-class in Benjamin and are mentioned only in Numbers 26:38.
🔼Etymology of the name Ashbel
The etymology of the name Ashbel is not immediately clear, but both Alfred Jones (Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names) and BDB Theological Dictionary find the following most likely:
The name Ashbel may be a compilation of two elements, the first one being the noun אש ('esh) meaning fire:
The second part of our name could be the same as Bel, which is the same as Baal:
Another possibility is that the name Ashbel is related to that of Shobal, with a prosthetic א (aleph) as only difference:
For a meaning of the name Ashbel, Jones' Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names reads Fire Of Bel, but another possibility would be Flowing.
BDB Theological Dictionary doesn't offer an interpretation of the name Ashbel and NOBSE Study Bible Name List proposes "having a long upper lip," presumably from a resembling name in some other language. To a Hebrew audience, the name Ashbel would not have meant that.