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El-berith meaning

אל ברית
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🔼The name El-berith in the Bible

The name El-berith (or the "god Berith" as the King James, Darby and Young translations have it, or Beth-el-berith according to the Septuagint) occurs only once in the Bible. It's the name of the deity to whose temple the ruling elite of Shechem fled after the insurrection of Gaal and Zebul, and Abimelech's subsequent destruction of their town (Judges 9:46). This temple proved to be not a very good place to hide, because Abimelech set fire to it and incinerated them all.

A little earlier, the men of Shechem had purchased Abimelech's allegiance with seventy pieces of silver, withdrawn from the house of their deity Baal-berith, which possibly was the same as El-berith.

🔼Etymology of the name El-berith

The name El-berith obviously consists of two elements, the first one being אל (El), the prominent Canaanite deity or general word for god or God:

The second part of our name is the same as the noun ברית (berit), meaning covenant:

🔼El-berith meaning

For a meaning of the name El-berith, NOBSE Study Bible Name List reads God Of The Covenant (with a lower case g). NOBSE also lists the name Berith separately, and translates that name with Covenant.

Jones' Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names (working off the older English translations) does not feature a separate entree for El-berith, but reads Covenant for Berith.

BDB Theological Dictionary doesn't offer a translation of El-berith, but lists it under אל paragraph II-3, which deals with the word אל in the sense of the "gods of the nations" (see El-berith under II-3-4). BDB does confirm that El-berith is the same as Baal-berith.

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