("house of the snare" (or, "ambush of God".)) Scene of the sack and massacre by Shalmaneser at his first invasion (2 Kings 17:3; Hosea 10:14). "As Shalman spoiled Betharbel in the day of battle: the mother was dashed in pieces upon her children." Perhaps identical with the stronghold Arbela in Galilee. Jerome curiously refers "Shalman" to "Zalmunna," and Betharbel ("the house of him who judged Baal"), i.e. Jerubbaal (Judges 8). Now Irbid, a ruin S.W. of the sea of Galilee, N. of Tiberias, remarkable for its caves, hard to approach and still more to storm. Hence the resort of robbers. When they turned Bethel ("the house of God") into Bethaven ("the house of vanity"), then it became Betharbel ("the house of ambush of God"), the scene and occasion of their desolation (Pusey).