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Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible [1]

Beth-Arbel (  Hosea 10:14 only). The site is quite uncertain. It is said to have been spoiled by Shalman (perhaps Shalmaneser III.), and may have been in Syria. Two places called Arbela exist in Palestine, one (now Irbid ) west of the Sea of Galilee (Jos. [Note: Josephus.] Ant . XII. xi. 1), the other ( Irbid ) in the extreme north of Gilead, both noticed in the 4th cent. a.d. ( Onom. s.v . ‘Arbela’).

American Tract Society Bible Dictionary [2]

Probably Arbela, now Irbid. One place of this name lay twenty-five miles southeast of the sea of Galilee. Another was in Galilee, near Magdala. Here were some large and almost inaccessible fortified caverns, in the sides of precipices,  Hosea 10:14 .

Easton's Bible Dictionary [3]

 Hosea 10:14 2 Kings 17:3

Holman Bible Dictionary [4]

 Hosea 10:14Shalman

Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature [5]

(Heb. Beyth Arbel', בֵּית אִרְבְּאִל , House Of God ' S Court or Courts ) , a place only alluded to by the prophet Hosea ( Hosea 10:14) as the scene of some great military exploit known in his day, but not recorded in Scripture: "All thy [Israel's] fortresses shall be spoiled, as Shalman spoiled Beth-arbel (Sept. Ως Ἄρχων Σαλαμὰν Ἐκ Τοῦ Οἴκου ῾Ιεροβαάλ [v. r. ῾Ιεροβοάμ and Ἀρβεήλ ]) in the day of battle." In the Vulgate, Jerome (following the Sept.) has translated the name "e domo ejus qui judicavit Baal," i.e. Jerubbaal, understanding Salman as Zalmunna, and the whole passage as a reference to Gideon's victory (Judges 8); but this is fanciful. Most modern commentators follow the Jewish interpreters (see Henderson, in loc.), who understand the verse to relate to Shalman (q.v.), or Shalmanezer, as having gained a battle at Beth-Arbel against Hoshea, king of Israel. As to the locality of this massacre, some refer it to the Arbela of Assyria (Strabo 16:1, 3), the scene of Alexander's famous victory; but there is no evidence of any such occurrences as here alluded to in that place. It is conjectured by Hitzig (in loc.) to be the place called Arbela ( Ἀρβηλά ) by Eusebius and Jerome in the Onomasticon (s.v.), where it is placed near Pella, east of Jordan; but as it is spoken of in Hosea as a strong fortress, the probability is rather that the noted locality in N.W. Palestine, called Arbela ( Τὰ ῎Αρβηλα ) by Josephus and the Apocrypha, is meant. This was a village in Galilee, near which were certain fortified caverns. They are first mentioned in connection with the march of Bacchides into Judaea, at which time they were occupied by many fugitives, and the Syrian general encamped there long enough to subdue them ( Ant. 12, 11, 1;  1 Maccabees 9:2). At a later period these caverns formed the retreats of banded robbers, who greatly distressed the inhabitants throughout that quarter. Josephus gives a graphic account of the means taken by Herod to extirpate them. The caverns were situated in the midst of precipitous cliffs, overhanging a deep valley, with only a steep and narrow path leading to the entrance; the attack was therefore exceeding difficult. Parties of soldiers, being at length let down in large boxes, suspended by chains from above, attacked those who defended the entrance with fire and sword, or dragged them out with long hooks and dashed them down the precipice. In this way the place was at length subdued (Ant. 14, 15, 4, 5; War, 1, 16, 2-4). These same caverns were afterward fortified by Josephus himself against the Romans during his command in Galilee. In one place he speaks of them as the caverns of Arbela, and in another as the caverns near the Lake of Gennesareth (Life, 37; War, 2, 20, 6). According to the Talmud, Arbela lay between Sepphoris and Tiberias (Lightfoot, Chorog. Cent. c. 85). These indications leave little doubt that Arbela of Galilee, with its fortified caverns, may be identified with the present Kulat ibn Maan and the adjacent ruins now known as Irbid (probably a corruption of Irbil, the proper Arabic form of Arbela). The latter is the site which Pococke (2, 58) supposed to be that of Bethsaida, and where he found columns and the ruins of a large church, with a sculptured doorcase of white marble. The best description of the neighboring caves is that of Burckhardt (p. 331), who calculates that they might afford refuge to about 600 men. (See Arbela).

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia [6]

beth - ar´bel ( בּית ארבּאל , bēth 'arbē'l ): The scene of a terrific disaster inflicted on the inhabitants by Shalman ( Hosea 10:14 ). If the place intended was in Palestine, and was not the famous city of that name on the Euphrates, then probably it should be identified either with Irbid (or Irbil ) in Galilee, or with Irbid , which corresponds to Arbela of the Eusebius, Onomasticon , East of the Jordan, about 12 miles Southeast of Gadara. If, as Schrader thinks ( COT , II, 140), Shalman stands for the Moabite king, Shalamanu, a tributary of Tiglath-pileser, the eastern town would be the more natural identification. Possibly however the reference is to Shalmaneser Iii or IV. For the Galilean site, see Arbela; see also DB , under the word