bil'-shan (bilshan): An Israelite who returned with Zerubbabel (Ezr 2:2 = Ne 7:7). The name may be explained as "inquirer" (new Hebrew and Aramaic), balash, the ("b" being an abbreviation of ben, as in bidhqar, and bimhal. Bilshan would then be a compound of ben, and lashon. J. Halevy (Revue etudes juives, X, 3) translates the name "pere de la langue," 'abh lashon. In 1 Esdras 5:8, he is called "Beelsarus," which is akin to the form "Belshar" = "Belshar-uccur" or "O Bel, protect the king." Bilshan points to "Belsun," "his lord." The rabbis take Bilshan as a surname to the preceding Mordecai.
H. J. Wolf