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Fausset's Bible Dictionary

Mahalath

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1. Daughter of Ishmael, Esau's wife, Bashemath. (See BASHEMATH.) In Genesis 28:9, the narrative, she is called Mahalath; in Genesis 36:3-4; Genesis 36:10; Genesis 36:13; Genesis 36:17, the Edomite genealogy, she is called Bashemath. They are two names for the same person, both being described as "daughter of Ishmael, and sister of Nebaioth." But Bashemath, daughter of Eros, is the same as Adah daughter of Elon. So that there were two Bashemaths.

2. One of Rehoboam's 18 wives (2 Chronicles 11:18). Her husband's cousin, daughter of David's son Jerimoth.

3. Title of Psalm 53 and Psalm 88. A poetical enigmatical description of the subject, "upon sickness," namely, man's spiritual malady (Isaiah 1:5-6). Psalm 53 is an instructive warning (maschil) to the wicked, as Psalm 14 is for the comfort of the righteous when cast down by the prevailing "corruption." The addition Leannoth, from 'anah "to afflict" (compare Psalms 14:15), in Psalm 88 expresses "concerning the sickness of affliction," i.e. Israel's disorganization. Praise songs are the comfort of the afflicted. Psalm 88 is the most gloomy throughout of all the psalms, therefore the title (shir ) praise song must refer to Psalm 89, which forms the latter part of one whole, of which Psalm 88 is the first part. The maschil or "instruction" is that the afflicted should pour out their grief to God (James 5:13). David and the sons of Korah after him delight in such poetical enigmas in titles of psalms. Gesenius and Ludolf derive Mahalath less probably from the Ethiopic machlet , a "harp". Delitzsch explains it as a direction for singing in slow pensive tone, ("moestoso").


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Bibliography Information
Fausset, Andrew R. Entry for 'Mahalath'. Fausset's Bible Dictionary. https://www.studylight.org/dictionaries/fbd/m/mahalath.html. 1949.

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