Dictionary of Deities and Demons in the Bible Online

Get access Subject: Biblical Studies And Early Christianity
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.

More information: Brill.com


(9 words)

see humbaba ← previous entry          next entry →


(9 words)

see wisdom ← previous entry          next entry →

Holy and Righteous

(13 words)

see Hosios kai dikaios ← previous entry          next entry →

Holy One קדושׁ

(2,101 words)

Author(s): F. van Koppen | K. van der Toorn
I. Name The Hebrew root qdš indicates ‘to be reserved for a god, to be sacred’ and is frequently used in the Hebrew Bible. A number of nominative forms are derived from this root: qādēš ‘prostitute’ and qōdeš ‘sacred object, sacred place, holiness’. The adjective qādôš, ‘the Holy One’, is attested as a name for Yahweh in the MT. The root qdš occurs frequently in West-Semitic languages as a verb, as an adjective ‘holy’, or as a substantive ‘sanctuary, sacred object, sacred personnel’ (Hoftijzer-Jongeling, DNWSI 993–97 s.v.qdš 1–3). A number of scholars assume that in Uga…

Holy Spirit πνεῦμα ἅγιον

(4,290 words)

Author(s): J. Reiling
I. Name The expression ‘holy spirit’ occurs only three times in the OT ( Ps. 51.13; Isa. 63.10, Isa. 11) but is part of a large semantic field in which rûaḥ, referring to some form of divine action, is the central component (about 250 times in the OT). In the NT the expression occurs 84 times whereas pneuma, referring to the divine spirit (with or without attributes), occurs about 350 times. Within the Bible neither rûaḥ nor pneuma are used as a divine name. They are not worshipped as divine beings. The religious use of the words derives from general, non-religious u…

Horeph חרף

(736 words)

Author(s): U. Rüterswörden
I. Name The name ‘Horeph’ is a hapax in the OT. It occurs as a possible theophoric element in the personal name Elihoreph: one of Solomon’s secretaries in 1 Kgs. 4.3. It has been connected with the Egyptian god Apis: and, alternatively, with the Kassite god Ḫarpa/e. In epigraphical Hebrew, the putative divine name Horeph is probably attested in the seal inscription lʿzyhw bn ḥrp (Diringer 1934:196 No 37; Tigay 1986: 77). Besides, in Hebrew a noun ḥōrep occurs indicating the autumnal season (e.g. Gen. 8.22; Zech. 14.8; Ps. 74.17). It is unclear whether this noun and the possibly…

Horon הרן

(943 words)

Author(s): U. Rüterswörden
I. Name In the OT, Horon is a divine element in the place-name Beth-Horon (House of Horon; Ges.18 146). Two cities were known as Beth-Horon, the one Lower Beth-Horon ( bēt ʿūr el-fōqa; 16 km nw of Jerusalem) and the other Upper Beth-Horon ( bēt ʿūr et-taḥta; 18 km nw of Jerusalem). The toponym is known from a topographical list of the pharao Shoshenk at Karnak (van Dijk 1989:60) and from a Hebrew ostracon from Tell el-Qasile ( TSSI I 4 B). Perhaps Horonaim in Moab ( Isa. 15.5, Jer. 48.3) is also related to the god Horon ( KAI II, 179). The name of the deity may be connected with arabic ḥaur ‘bottom…

Horus חר

(550 words)

Author(s): M. Heerma van Voss
I. Name Hor, Gk. Horos (Horus) is the name of a number of Egyptian gods. It has been suggested that it occurs, as a (theophoric element in) biblical personal name(s). It is found in Šîḥôr, Josh. 13.3; Isa. 23.3; Jer. 2.18; 1 Chr. 13.5; cf. Josh. 19.26. This toponym renders Eg. “Lake of Horus” (on the n-e. Egyptian border), in spite of the Hebrew interpretation as “The Black One” (Bietak 1983:625). II. Identity Two are very prominent among the Horuses. The sky-god (A), and the son of Osiris and Isis (B). A is also called “Horus the Elder” (Haroëris) or “Horus the …

Hosios Kai Dikaios Ὅσιος καὶ Δίκαιος

(590 words)

Author(s): P. W. van der Horst
I. Name Both ὅσιος (‘pious, holy’) and δίκαιος (‘just, righteous’) occur countless times in the Greek Bible as epithets of both humans and God. Also the combination of both words occurs, e.g. Deut. 32.4; Tit. 1.8; Rev. 16.5; cf. Eph. 4.24, as is very often the case in pagan Greek literature. As the name of an angel or a pair of angels Ὅσιος καὶ Δίκαιος occurs, almost always in this combination, on several dozen inscriptions, mostly from third century ce Phrygia and Lydia in Asia Minor, which were discovered during the last decades (many of them were published in MAMA IX and TAM V 1; see also D…

Host of Heaven צבא השׁמים

(993 words)

Author(s): H. Niehr
I. Name At the origin of the conception of a ‘host of heaven’ stands the metaphor of Yahweh as warrior. When waging his wars, Yahweh was helped by warriors and an army (e.g. 2 Kgs. 6.17; 2 Kgs. 7.6; Isa. 13.4–5; Joel 4.11; Hab. 3.8; Ps. 68.18). Only a few examples of this military background of the host of heaven have been preserved in the OT ( Dan. 8.10–11, cf. Josh. 5.13–15). Due to a semantic shift, host of heaven also designates the divine assembly gathered around Yahweh, the heavenly king (1 Kgs. 22.19 = 2 Chr. 18.18). In the course of Israelite religious history this concept underwen…

Hubal הבל

(434 words)

Author(s): B. Becking
I. Name As used in Deuteronomistic polemics, Hebrew הבל, vocalized hebel, has been interpreted as a divine name. Identified as a putative Canaanite fertility god *Hubal, he has been equated with the pre-Islamic central-Arabian deity Hubal (Barstad 1978). II. Identity Hubal was a central-Arabian deity. His cult has endured until today. A statue of Hubal is still standing near the Kaʿba in Mecca. He has been related to divination. An arrow oracle of Hubal has been famous (Fahd 1958:54–79; Höfner, WbMyth. 1/I 447–448). In a Nabataean inscription a deity hblw occurs between Dusares and Manā…


(797 words)

Author(s): H. D. Galter
I. Name According to Mesopotamian tradition the border of the netherworld was marked by a river called Ḫubur in Akkadian and i7-kur-ra “river of the netherworld”, i7-lu2-ku2-ku2 “man-devouring river” or i7-lu2-ru-gu2 “river that runs against man” in Sumerian. Hubur, according to the dictionaries ( AHW 352 and CAD H 219) a Sumerian loan-word, also occurs as a synonym for the whole of the netherworld (W. G. Lambert, AfO. 17 [1954–56] 312:9; BWL 58:7) and as the name of the place of the river-ordeal ( CAD H 219 [a]). It has been equated with the river Ḥābōr in the OT (e.g. 2 Kgs. 17.6). II. Iden…


(523 words)

Author(s): K. van der Toorn
I. Name In the Mesopotamian mythological tradition, Ḫumbaba is the superhuman guardian of the Cedar forest in the West (Lebanon). He was killed at the hands of Gilgamesh and Enkidu (Tigay 1982:6–7.32–33.93–94.112–114; and see index s.v.). His name has been connected with that of Hobab the Kenite, a relative of Moses ( Num. 10.29; Judg. 4.11). II. Identity Ḫumbaba (Old Babylonian Ḫuwawa) occurs already in the Sumerian Tale known as Gilgamesh and the Land of the Living, one of the sources of the integrated Gilgamesh Epic that took shape in the Old Babylonian period (Tigay 1982:32–33). T…


(1,006 words)

Author(s): F. van Koppen | K. van der Toorn
I. Name The Elamite god Humban (Ḫumban, var. Umban) was the head of the pantheon of the Awan dynasty (ca. 2200 bce). In the subsequent period his political importance diminished as a result of the rise of other deities, but he remained an important deity into the Achaemenid period. Jensen 1892:58 urged that the name Haman (Est. 3.1), the son of Hammedatha (Haoma) and adversary of Esther and Mordechai (Marduk), goes back to the theonym Ḫumban. This theory is to be rejected on phonological grounds. II. Identity Ḫumban is an Elamite deity whose cult is documented for over two mill…


(9 words)

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