BELT'S, TEMPLE OF (belt's, temple 6v). SEE BABEL.
BEN (ben), (Heb. P., ben, son), is often found as the first element of proper names; in which case the word which follows it is always to be consid ered dependent on it, in the relation of our geni tive.
The word which follows Ben may either be of itself a proper name, or be an appellative or abstract, the principle of the connection being essentially the same in both cases. As for the first class, as the Syro-Arabian nations are all particularly addicted to genealogy, and as they possess no surnames, nor family names in our sense, they have no means of attaching a definite designation to a person, except by adding some accessory specification to his distinctive, or, as we would term it, Christian, name. This ex plains why so many persons both in the Old and New Testament are distinguished by the addi tion of the names of their father. The same usage is especially frequent among the Arabs, but they have improved its definiteness by adding the name z,f the person's child, in case he has one. In de'ng this they always observe this arrange ment—the name of the child, the person's own name and the name of his father. Thus the designation of the patriarch Isaac would, in Arabic, run thus : Father of Jacob, Isaac, son of Abraham (AIM Ja'qUb !shag hen Ibrahim.)
As for the latter class, there is an easy transi tion from this strict use of son to its employ ment in a figurative sense, to denote a peculiar dependence of derivation. The principle of such a connection not only explains such proper names as Ben Chesed (son of mercy), but applies to many striking metaphors in other classes of words, as sons of the bow, a son of seventeen years (the usual mode of denoting age), a hill, the son of oil (Is. v:2), and many others, in which our transla tion effaces the Oriental type of the expression All proper names which begin with Ben belong to one or the other of tly.se classes. Ben Arninadab, Ben Gaber, and Ben Chesed (1 Kings iv :10. 1 t ) illustrate all the possibilities of combination no ticed above. In these name; Ben would, per haps, be better not translated, as it is in our ver sion, although the Vulgate has preserved it. as the Septuagint also appears to have once done in verse 8, to judge by the reading there.
These remarks apply also in part to Bar, the Aramaic synonym of Ben, as in the name Bar Abbas. (See BAR.) J. N.