Beor (biblical figure)

Beor (Hebrew: בְּעוֹר Bə‘ōr, "a burning") is a name which appears in relation to a king ("Bela son of Beor") and a diviner ("Balaam son of Beor"). Because the two names vary only by a single letter (ם, -m, often added to the ends of names), scholars have hypothesized that the two refer to the same person.[1]

In a list of kings of Edom, Genesis records that a "Bela (בלע) son of Beor" was one of the kings of Edom who reigned "before there reigned any king over the children of Israel."[2] Bela son of Beor is listed as the first of eight kings. The same information in Genesis is repeated in Chronicles.[3]

"Balaam (בלעם) son of Beor" appears in a well-known story in Numbers, where he is asked to curse the Israelites but repeatedly blesses them instead.[4] Later, he is killed for tempting the Israelites into sin.[5] He is mentioned in passing in Deuteronomy, in a passage which repeats a synopsis of earlier biblical stories.[6]

Beor the father of Balaam is considered a prophet by Judaism. The Talmud says in Baba Bathra 15b, "Seven prophets prophesied to the heathen, namely, Balaam and his father, Job, Eliphaz the Temanite, Bildad the Shuhite, Zophar the Naamathite, and Elihu the son of Barachel the Buzite." In 2 Peter 2:15, Beor is called Bosor.


  1. Edward Lipiński (1975). Studies in Aramaic Inscriptions and Onomastics. Peeters Publishers. p. 110. ISBN 978-90-6831-610-0.
  2. Genesis 36:31-32. English wording is from the King James Version, the Hebrew from the Masoretic Text.
  3. 1 Chronicles 1:43
  4. Numbers 22-24
  5. Numbers 31:8, 16; Joshua 13:22.
  6. Deuteronomy 23:4-5
This article is issued from Wikipedia. The text is licensed under Creative Commons - Attribution - Sharealike. Additional terms may apply for the media files.