(Birʹza·ith) [well of the olive tree].
A name in the genealogy of Asher of the family of Malchiel. (1 Chron. 7:30, 31) Some commentators suggest it to be the name of a woman; however, women were rarely included in Jewish genealogies and, when they were for special reasons, they were generally clearly identified as women. (1 Chron. 7:24, 30, 32) Because Birzaith is the only name of those listed in 1 Chronicles 7:30, 31 that is not found in the parallel genealogical record of Genesis 46:17, and also because of the meaning of the name, others consider Birzaith to refer to a site around which the descendants of Malchiel settled, or an area in which Malchiel was a chief inhabitant, even as Shobal is spoken of as the “father of Kiriath-jearim” and Salma as the “father of Bethlehem.” (1 Chron. 2:51, 52) Supposing Birzaith to have been the name of a place, some would identify it with Birzeit (4.3 miles [6.9 kilometers] N of Ramallah); but, despite the similarity of the names, Birzeit’s location near the southern border of Ephraim (instead of in the territory of Asher) does not lend much support to such a conclusion.—See ATROTH-BETH-JOAB.