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


(278 words)

Author(s): H. te Velde
I. Name The name of the Egyptian god Khonsu occurs once in the Apocrypha of the Old Testament ( 3 Macc. 6.38) as part of the Egyptian name of the ninth month of the year and first month of the summer season: Pachôn, i.e. ‘He of Khonsu’. II. Identity The god Khonsu was mostly represented in the form of a mummy with the head of a child wearing the sidelock of youth or with the head of a hawk. In both cases he usually wears the sign of the moon on his head. He was a moongod. His name might be explained as the “wanderer” or “he who comes and goes”…


(1,524 words)

Author(s): A. F. de Jong
I. Name The Iranian divinity Khvarenah (Avestan Xvarenah), Glory, is once found in the Bible as an element of a personal name. In Num. 34.25 mention is made of Parnāk (LXX Pharnach), which resembles Old Iranian * farnāka, comparable to other hypocoristic theophoric names attested in the Persepolis Fortification Texts, such as * Mazdāka, * Mithraka and * Bagaka. This resemblance can only be a coincidence in the context of Moses, but the adversary of Judith in the book named after her is called by the truly Iranian name Holophernēs, probably borrowed from the historical Cappadocia…


(9 words)

see pleiades ← previous entry          next entry →

King מלך

(1,946 words)

Author(s): J. A. Wagenaar
I. Name The concept of kingship is widespread in the ancient Near East. The epithet melek, ‘king’, is also used 41 times for Yhwh in the OT. In addition Yhwh is 13 times subject of the verb mlk, ‘to rule’, ‘to be king’. The abstract nouns derived from the root mlk occur nine times with reference to Yhwh. Moreover, personal names that refer to the kingship of Yhwh have been found on Hebrew ostraca, bullae and seals from the early seventh century bce onward. Furthermore, the name of a number of ancient Near Eastern deities seems to have been derived from the root mlk: Malik, Melqart (< Milk-qart, ‘…

King of Terrors מלך בלהות

(1,012 words)

Author(s): U. Rüterswörden
I. Name The Designation ‘King of Terrors’ ( mlk blhwt) occurs only once in the OT, in Job 18.14. Some commentators describe the term ‘King of Terrors’ as a metaphorical expression with some mythological background that was common in the ancient world; compare rex tremendus in Virgil, Georgics 4.469 (Fohrer 1988:304). II. Identity Attempts at identifying the ‘King of Terrors’ with ancient Near Eastern deities of the underworld remain doubtful. According to Irwin, Job 18.14 is an allusion to the rule of Ereshkigal, queen of the ‘Land of no Return’ (1962:222). The argum…

King of Tyre

(11 words)

see Melqart ← previous entry          next entry →

Kinnaru כנור

(600 words)

Author(s): N. Wyatt
I. Name The word kinnôr (‘lyre’) occurs some 42 times in MT. Stringed instruments used in the cult, such as the lyre, were at times deified in the cultures surrounding Israel. II. Identity The term knr appears 6 times in the Ugaritic texts, both as a stringed instrument (e.g. KTU 1.19 i:8; 1.108:4), and as a divine name in the Ugaritic pantheon lists KTU 1.47:32 = 1.118:31, in the Akkadian list RS 20.24:31 (d.giš ki-na-rum), and in the sacrificial list KTU 1.148:9.38, where the god receives one sheep. In view of the close relationship between cult, religious language and …


(844 words)

Author(s): F. van Koppen | K. van der Toorn
I. Name Kiririša (var. Kirišša) is an Elamite goddess, consort of Napiriša, and mother of Ḫutran ( WbMyth. I/1, 55). Jensen 1892:64 urged that the name of Zeresh (זרשׁ, Est. 5.10, Est. 14; Est. 6.13), the wife of Haman, goes back to the name of the goddess Kiririša. This theory is to be rejected on phonological grounds II. Identity Kiririša is an important Elamite deity. Her name means ‘great lady’ (kiri-riša) and she was the consort of Napiriša, the ‘great lord’. She is a mother goddess and her most important epithet is ‘mother of the gods’ ( amma nappipir). Her cult is attested fr…