🔼The name Sheal: Summary
- Asking, Petition
- From the verb שאל (sha'al), to ask or ask for.
🔼The name Sheal in the Bible
The name Sheal occurs only once in the Bible. Sheal was one of the sons of Bani who had married foreign women (Ezra 10:29). When Ezra found that out he initiated a mass divorce known as the Purge of Ezra, and only four brave men resisted this program (Ezra 10:15).
The Israelites should obviously not have married foreigners in the first place (Deuteronomy 7:3), but since God hates divorce (Malachi 2:16), a solution other than ruining the lives of countless women and children should have been sought. Note that Ezra prays to the Lord and the Lord does not reply.
🔼Etymology of the name Sheal
The name Sheal comes from the verb שאל (sha'al), meaning to ask for:
The verb שאל (sha'al) means to ask. Noun שאלה (she'la) means request or petition, and noun משאלה (mish'ala) means petition or desire. The difficult noun שאול (she'ol) refers primarily to the grave and by extension to death and decomposition.
For a meaning of the name Sheal, NOBSE Study Bible Name List reads Asking and Jones' Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names proposes Petition. BDB Theological Dictionary does not offer an interpretation of the name Sheal but does list it under the verb שאל (sha'al), meaning to ask for.