Dictionary of Deities and Demons in the Bible Online

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Edited by: Karel van der Toorn, Bob Becking and Pieter W. van der Horst

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The Dictionary of Deities and Demons in the Bible Online contains academic articles on the named gods, angels, and demons in the books of the Hebrew Bible, Septuagint and Apocrypha, as well as the New Testament and patristic literature. This online version contains the second extensively revised edition.

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(9 words)

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(573 words)

Author(s): M. Hutter
I. Name The noun ʾăbaddôn is derived from the Heb. root אבד, which is common Semitic (cf. Ug. and Aram. ʾbd, Akk. abātu) and means ‘to destroy’. The Hebrew noun has the meaning ‘place of destruction’ which basically fits all occurrences in the Bible; only in the NT is Ἀβαδδών ( Rev. 9.11) construed as a proper name. II. Identity Though the religions of the ancient Near East know a considerable number of deities and demons relating to the netherworld, there occurs no divine name of such a being which can be derived from the root ʿbd. In the OT ʾăbaddôn occurs six times in Wisdom literatu…


(9 words)

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Abbreviations of Ancient Authors and Works

(857 words)

Achil. Statius, Achilleid Ad Autol. Theophilus of Antioch, Ad Autolycum Adv. haer. Irenaeus, Adversus haereses Aethiop. Heliodorus, Aethiopica Ag. Aeschylus, Agamemnon Ai. Sophocles, Aias Alc. Euripides, Alcestis All. Heraclitus, Homeric Allegories Amator. Plutarch, Amatorius An. Tertullian, De anima Anab. Arrian, Anabasis (of Alexander)   Xenophon, Anabasis Ann. Tacitus, Annales Ant. Sophocles, Antigone Ant. Iud. Josephus, Antiquitates Iudaeorum Ant. serm. Fulgentius, Expositio sermonum antiquorum Anth. Stobaeus, Anthology Anth. Pal. Meleager, Anthologia …

Abbreviations of Biblical Books (Including the Apocrypha)

(190 words)

Gen. Genesis Exod. Exodus Lev. Leviticus Num. Numbers Deut. Deuteronomium Josh. Joshua Judg. Judges 1-2 Sam. Samuel 1-2 Kgs. Kings Isa. Isaiah Jer. Jeremiah Ezek. Ezekiel Hos. Hosea Joel   Obad. Obadiah Amos   Jonah   Mic. Micah Nah. Nahum Hab. Habbakuk Zeph. Zephaniah Hag. Haggai Zech. Zechariah Mal. Malachi Ps (pl.: Pss). Psalm Job   Prov. Proverbs Ruth   Cant. Song of Songs Eccl (or Qoh). Ecclesiastes Lam. Lamentations Esth. Esther Dan. Daniel Ezra   Neh. Nehemiah 1-2 Chr. Chronicles 1-2-3-4 Kgdms. Kingdoms Add. Esth. Additions to Esther Bar. Baruch Bel Bel and the Dragon 1-2 Esdr. Esdras…

Abbreviations of Dead Sea Scrolls and Related Texts

(192 words)

CD Cairo (Geniza text of) Damascus (Document) Ḥev. Naḥal Ḥever texts Mas. Masada texts Mird. Khirbet Mird texts Mur. Wadi Murabbaʾat p. Pesher (commentary) Q. Qumran 1Q, 2Q, 3Q, etc. Numbered caves of Qumran, yielding written material; followed by abbreviation of biblical or apocryphal book 1QapGen. Genesis Apocryphon of Qumran Cave 1 1QH. Hôdāyôt (Thanksgiving Hymns) from Qumran Cave 1 1QIsaa,b. First or second copy of Isaiah from Qumran Cave 1 1QpHab. Pesher on Habakkuk from Qumran Cave 1 1QM. Milḥāmâ (War scroll) 1QS. Serek Hayyaḥad (Rule of the Community, Manual o…

Abbreviations of Periodicals, Reference Works, and Series

(3,699 words)

AAA Annals of Archaeology and Anthropology AAAS Annales archéologiques arabes syriennes AASF Annales Academiae Scientiarum Fennicae AASOR Annual of the American Schools of Oriental Research AB Anchor Bible AbB. Altbabylonische Briefe in Umschrift und Übersetzung ABD Anchor Bible Dictionary ABL R. F. Harper, Assyrian and Babylonian Letters ABRT J. A. Craig, Assyrian and Babylonian Religious Texts AC Antiquité classique AcOr. Acta Orientalia ADAJ Annual of the Department of Antiquities of Jordan ADD C. H. W. Johns, Assyrian Deeds and Documents ADPV Abhandlungen des Deutschen P…

Abbreviations of Pseudepigraphical and Early Patristic Works

(223 words)

Adam and Eve Books of Adam and Eve 2–3 Apoc. Bar. Syriac, Greek Apocalypse of Baruch Apoc. Mos. Apocalypse of Moses Ass. Mos. Assumption of Moses 1–2–3 Enoch. Ethiopic, Slavonic, Hebrew Enoch Ep. Arist. Epistle of Aristeas Jub. Jubilees Mart. Isa. Martyrdom of Isaiah Odes Sol. Odes of Solomon Or. Jo. Prayer of Joseph Pss. Sol. Psalms of Solomon Sib. Or. Sibylline Oracles T. 12 Patr. Testaments of the Twelve Patriarchs T. Levi. Testament of Levi T. Benj. Testament of Benjamin, etc. Acts Pil. Acts of Pilate Apoc. Pet. Apocalypse of Peter Gos. Eb. Gospel of the Ebionites Gos. Eg. Gospel of the Eg…

Abbreviations of Targumic Material

(79 words)

Frg. Tg. Fragmentary Targum Pal. Tgs. Palestinian Targums Sam. Tg. Samaritan Targum Tg. Esth. I ‘and’ II. First ‘and’ Second Targum of Esther Tg. Isa. Targum of Isaiah Tg. Ket. Targum of the Writings Tg. Neb. Targum of the Prophets Tg. Neof. Targum Neofiti I Tg. Onq. Targum Onqelos Tg. Ps.-J. Targum Pseudo-Jonathan Tg. Yer. I. Targum Yerushalmi I Tg. Yer. II. Targum Yerushalmi II Yem. Tg. Yemenite Targum ← previous entry          next entry →

Abel הבל

(558 words)

Author(s): B. Becking
I. Name Abel is a novelistic figure in Gen. 4. His name is etymologically related to hebel ‘breath; nullity; vapor’ (Vanities). He has been related to the personal name é-bil // ʾà-bil in texts from Ebla. Within the paradigm that the antediluvian patriarchs were demigods or at least heroes, Gordon seems to suggest that Abel was a deity in Ebla (1988:154). In a later Jewish Hellenistic speculation Abel is seen as a judging angel. II. Identity The texts referred to by Gordon point to a person called * Ebil and not to a deity. The name é-bil (MEEI 338 s.v. é-bil; MEE II 12 r. ii:6; II 7 r. i:…

Abomination שׁקוץ

(470 words)

Author(s): M. I. Gruber
I. Name The singular noun šiqqûṣ ‘abomination’ as a dysphemism meaning ‘god, goddess’ appears seven times in the Masoretic text of Hebrew Scripture. This term refers respectively to (a) Milcom, the chief god of the Ammonites (1 Kgs. 11.5, 1 Kgs. 7); (b) Chemosh, the chief god of Moab ( 2 Kgs. 11.5; 2 Kgs. 23.13); (c) Ashtoreth (Astarte), the chief goddess of the Sidonians ( 2 Kgs. 11.5, 2 Kgs. 7); and (d) the abomination of desolation ( šiqqûṣ mĕšōmēm, Gk. βδέλυγμα ἐρημώσεως, Dan. 11.31; Dan. 12.1), which most modern interpreters identify with the statue of Zeus Olym…

Abraham אברהם

(1,444 words)

Author(s): M. Dijkstra
I. Name The ‘original’ name of the patriarch ʾabrām belongs to the common stock of West Semitic names known since the beginning of the second millennium bce. It is a contracted form of ʾăbîrām ( HALAT 9; de Vaux 1968:11; 1 Kgs. 16.32; Num. 16.1; Num. 26.9; Ps. 106.17), written abrm in Ugarit ( KTU 4.352:2, 4 = I A-bi-ra-mu/i; PRU 3, 20; 5, 85:10; 107:8, cf. also Mari, H. B. Huffmon, Amorite Personal Names in the Mari Texts [Baltimore 1965] 5), ʾbrm in Elephantine (E. Sachau, Aramäische Papyrus und Ostraka aus einer Militär-Kolonie zu Elephantine [Leipzig 1911] no. 75/1 II.8). It occur…


(531 words)

Author(s): P. W. van der Horst
I. Name In the Bible itself there are no traces of traditions that Adam was ever regarded as a divine or angelic being. For non-biblical ANE material possibly relevant to Adam veneration the reader is referred to the lemma Soil. Here only post-biblical material pertinent to the motif of Adam’s divine or angelic status is dealt with. II. Identity Some passages in early rabbinic literature testify to the existence of ‘heretics’ ( minim) that held that Adam had acted as God’s associate in creation or as his plenipotentiary (e.g., b.Sanh. 38a: “Our rabbis taught: Adam was created [last …

Adat אדת

(431 words)

Author(s): M. Dijkstra
I. Name The Ugaritic male title adn (Lord) for god and men has a female counterpart: adt (< * adattu < * adāntu). Eissfeldt (1939) proposed to read in the lament Jer. 22.18 wĕhôy ʾādāt, ‘oh, Mistress’, implying that a female deity is invoked. II. Identity At Ugarit, adt occurs as the female counterpart to adn. adt is not only used to indicate the Ugaritic queen-mother, but also the mother-goddess as can be inferred from names like bn adty = dumu a-da-ta-ya ( PRU VI, 83 iv:11); f A-da-ti-ya ( PRU III, p.114:29); ʿbdadt = I ìr- a-da-te (F. Gröndahl, Die Personennamen der Texte aus Ugarit [StP 1;…


(10 words)

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(9 words)

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(9 words)

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Adonis Ἄδωνις

(2,019 words)

Author(s): S. Ribichini
I. Name Adonis (originally ‘Lord’, see Hesychius s.v.) is a hero of classical mythology, beloved by Aphrodite and Persephone. He has been identified with a Phoenician god in Byblos who is referred to as d da.mu in the Amarna letters. The divine name Adonis occurs in Vulg Version of Ezek. 8.14 instead of VL and LXX Thammuz. As ḥemdat nāšîm, ‘Darling of women’, Adonis occurs possibly in Dan. 11.37. References to his cult are perhaps also to be found in some chapters of Isaiah. II. Identity According to classical tradition (e.g. Anton. Liber. 34; Apollod. III 14, 3–4; Ovid, Meta. X 298–739; …

Adrammelech אדרמלך

(630 words)

Author(s): A. R. Millard
I. Name Adrammelech is a god worshipped by the people of Sepharvaim whom the Assyrians settled in Samaria, coupled with Anammelech, 2 Kgs. 17.31. II. Identity No attempt to identify Sepharvaim or its deities has yet commanded general acceptance. An interesting proposal has been produced by Zadok (1976). Building on a study by Driver (1958) he argued that the place was Assyrian Saparrê, Babylonian Sipirani, from a putative Siprayn, situated in Chaldaea, south of Nippur. Its inhabitants could have revered gods with West Semitic names. Yet a location…

Aeneas Αἰνείας

(761 words)

Author(s): K. Dowden
I. Name Aeneas, already a prominent Trojan hero in Homer’s Iliad, is best known to us as the central figure of Virgil’s Aeneid, whose task it is to create the Roman identity and destiny. His name occurs as that of the paralysed man cured by Peter at Acts 9.33–34. The name appears to be Greek, based on the root for ‘praise’ (αἰν-). The form Aineas (as at Acts 9.33), as opposed to Aineias, is originally the Doric dialect form according to Pape-Benseler 1884 s.v.; the Latin is in either case Aeneas. II. Identity Aeneas, the son of lame Anchises and the Goddess Aphrodite (Venus), is presen…
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