|Easton's Bible Dictionary|
Life of (i.e., from) God, a native of Bethel, who built (i.e., fortified) Jericho some seven hundred years after its destruction by the Israelites. There fell on him for such an act the imprecation of Joshua (6:26). He laid the foundation in his first-born, and set up the gates in his youngest son (1 Kings 16:34), i.e., during the progress of the work all his children died.
Int. Standard Bible Encyclopedia
hi'-el (chi'el; Achiel): A Bethelite who according to 1 Kings 16:34 rebuilt Jericho, and in fulfillment of a curse pronounced by Joshua (Joshua 6:26) sacrificed his two sons. This seems to have been a custom prevalent among primitive peoples, the purpose being to ward off ill luck from the inhabitants, especially in a case where the destroyer had invoked a curse on him who presumed to rebuild. Numerous instances are brought to light in the excavations of Gezer (Macalister, Bible Side-Lights from the Mound of Gezer, chapter x). At first the very best was claimed as a gift to the deity, e.g. one's own sons; then some less valuable member of the community. When civilization prevented human sacrifice, animals were offered instead. The story of Abraham offering Isaac may be a trace of this old custom, the tenor of the story implying that at the time of the writing of the record, the custom was coming to be in disrepute. A similar instance is the offering of his eldest son by the king of Edom to appease the deity and win success in battle (2 Kings 3:27; compare Micah 6:7). Various conjectures have been made as to the identity of this king. Ewald regarded him as a man of wealth and enterprise (unternehmender reicher Mann); Cheyne following Niebuhr makes it Jehu in disguise, putting 1 Kings 16:34 after 2 Kings 10:33; Winckler explains as folklore.
W. N. Stearns
Hiel (1 Occurrence)
1 Kings 16:34 In his days did Hiel the Bethelite build Jericho: he laid its foundation with the loss of Abiram his firstborn, and set up its gates with the loss of his youngest son Segub, according to the word of Yahweh, which he spoke by Joshua the son of Nun. (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS NIV)