🔼The name Bealoth: Summary
- In Aloth, In Ascents
- From (1) the prefix ב (be), in, and (2) the name Aloth, from the plural of the noun עלה ('ala), ascent.
- From the feminine plural version of the noun בעל (ba'al), lord or mister.
🔼The name Bealoth in the Bible
The city named Bealoth is mentioned once or twice in the Bible. Bealoth was situated somewhere in the southern extremity of the territory of Judah, close to Edom (Joshua 15:23). Some scholars equate this town with Baal (1 Chronicles 4:33)
In 1 Kings 4:16 a town is mentioned which is either our Judean city of Bealoth, or it's a different town named Aloth. And indeed some translations read "in Asher and Bealoth" (NAS, ASV, JSP), while others read "in Asher and in Aloth" (Darby, KJV, NIV, Young).
🔼Etymology of the name Bealoth
If the second Bealoth is actually Hebrew for "in Aloth," then the letter ב with which this name starts could be regarded as the particle ב (be), meaning "in":
Prefix ב (be) means in, within or by means of.
The name Aloth comes from the noun עלה ('ala), ascent:
Root עלל ('alal) describes to go up, or to make to go up.
Verb עלל ('alal I) means to repeatedly deal harshly with someone lower or weaker. Noun עוללות ('olelot) means a gleaning and the denominative verb עלל ('alal) means to glean. Nouns עלילה ('alila), עליליה ('alilya), מעלל (ma'alal) and תעלולים (ta'alulim) describe acts of wantonness or repeated self-indulgence: acts of being spoiled.
Hence noun עולל ('olel) means child and the denominative verb עלל ('alal II) means to act like a child (Isaiah 3:12). Verb עלל ('alal III) means to insert or thrust in. Noun על ('ol) means yoke, and (rather grim) noun עליל ('alil) means furnace or crucible.
Verb עול ('ul I) means to feed an infant. Noun עול ('ul) describes a suckling; a very young child. Verb עול ('ul II) means to deviate from or act unjustly (to be childish, but in an ethical sense). Nouns עול ('awel) and עולה ('awla) mean injustice, unrighteousness, and denominative verb עול ('ul) means to act wrongfully. Nouns עויל ('awil II) and עול ('awwal) mean unjust one and may simply refer to a young child.
The ubiquitous verb עלה ('ala) means to go up or ascend, and particle על ('al) denotes any kind of elevation or motion towards someone or something and is commonly translated as "on" or "upon". Noun and adjective עליון ('elyon) means high(est) or upper. Adjective עלי ('illi) means upper. Noun עליה ('aliya) refers to a roof chamber. Preposition מעל (ma'al) means upward, on top of, or above. Noun מעלה (ma'ala) refers to that what comes up, i.e. thoughts. The identical feminine noun מעלה (ma'ala) means step or stair. Noun עלה ('ola), meaning ascent or stairway and may be used to denote a whole burnt offering. Noun מעלה (ma'ala) means ascent. Noun מעל (mo'al) describes a lifting.
Noun עלה ('aleh) refers to a tree's leafage. Noun עלי ('eli) refers to a pestle or crucible. Noun תעלה (te'ala) describes a water-course and the identical noun תעלה (te'ala) means healing.
The proper name Bealoth, however, should probably be regarded the plural form of the feminine noun בעלה (ba'ala):
The verb בעל (ba'al) means to exercise dominion over; to own, control or be lord over. The ubiquitous noun בעל (ba'al) means lord, master and even husband, and its feminine counterpart בעלה (ba'ala) means mistress or landlady.
God is obviously called 'lord' all over the Bible and the sin of the Baal priests (1 Kings 18:40) was not that they called upon some other deity but rather their incessant howling of the word 'lord' without any further responsibility or effects (see Matthew 7:21 and 11:4-5).
For a meaning of the name Bealoth, NOBSE Study Bible Name List reads Mistresses, and Jones' Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names has City Corporations. BDB Theological Dictionary does not translate this name but does list it under the root בעל, and also confirms it's a plural.