Hi'el (Heb. Chiel', חַיאֵל, life of, i.e. from God, or perh. for יחַיאֵל, God shall live; Sept. Α᾿χιήλ), a native of Bethel, who rebuilt Jericho (B.C. post 915), above 700 years after its destruction by the Israelites, and who, in so doing (1Ki 16:34), incurred, in the death of his eldest son Abiram and his youngest son Segub, the effects of the imprecation pronounced by Joshua (Jos 6:26):
"Accursed the man in the sight of Jehovah, Who shall arise and build this city, even Jericho; With the loss of] his first-born shall he found it, And with [the loss of] his youngest shall he fix its gates." SEE JERICHO. Strabo speaks of such cursing of a destroyed city as an ancient custom, and instances the curses imprecated by Agamemnon and Croesus (Grotius, Asnnot. ad Joshua 6:26); Masius compares the cursing of Carthage by the Romans (Poli Syn.). The term Bethelite (בֵּית הָאֵַלי) here only is by some rendered fanily of cursing (Pet. Martyr), and also house or place of cursing (Ar., Syr., and Chald. verss.). qu. בֵּית אָלָה; but there seems no reason for questioning the accuracy of the Sept. ὁ Βαιθηλίτης,- which is approved by most commentators, and sanctioned by Gesenius (Lex. s.v.). The rebuilding of Jericho was an intrusion upon the kingdom of Jehoshaphat, unless, with Peter Martyr, we suppose that Jericho had already been detached from it by the kings of Israel. SEE ACCURSED.