BERIAH AND SHEMA... DROVE OUT THE INHABITANTS OF GATH:
The Philistines control and influence extended beyond the Gaza strip and up the
coastal plain and into the Jezreel valley at this time. This was also the case
at the time of the death of Saul (1Sa 31).
MERIB-BAAL (MEPHIBOSHETH): The treatment of the name
"Baal" is probably an example of deliberate change, for theological reasons, by
the scribes who copied out the scriptures. With personal names that included the
word "Baal" (which could simply mean "master" or "lord"), the scribes
deliberately replaced "Baal" with "Bosheth" (which means "shame"). To them the
idol "Baal", in all his many forms, was a "shameful thing", and any passing
allusion to him was to be avoided if possible. Hence, it is likely that
Jonathan's son was actually named "Meribbaal", but later scribes made sure that
the (by then) hated name of "Baal" was replaced -- yielding "Mephibosheth" (cp
1Ch 8:34; 9:40 and 2Sa 9:6; 19:24; 21:7).