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)

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Poseidon Ποσειδῶν

(2,429 words)

Author(s): R. L. Gordon
I. Name Poseidon, the Greek god of the sea, occurs in the Bible only in the Apocrypha, as a theophoric name (Poseidonios: 2 Macc. 14.19). Numerous dialectal forms occur in inscriptions, the main division being between the ποσ- and ποτ-(western dialects, Corinth, Crete, Rhodes) forms. The dominant form occurs in a number of Linear B tablets from Pylos and once at Knossos (nom. po-se-da-o, also po-si-). But the ‘original’ form was probably *Ποτ(σ)ειδάηων. No etymology so far proposed (a selection in Burkert 1985:402 n. 2) is without serious difficulties: the weakness of the a…


(9 words)

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Preface to the Revised Edition

(268 words)

Author(s): K. van der Toorn | B. Becking | P. W. van der Horst
The first edition of DDD, published in the summer of 1995, had to go through two printings in order to meet the demands of the market. The success of the book, also in terms of its academic standing, is a source of pride and gratitude for the editors and the many contributors. The ongoing demand for DDD provided its editorial team also with an excellent opportunity to take a fresh look at the first edition in view of the preparation of a second, revised, edition. Many of the lacunae and occasional errors in DDD1, signalled to us by friends and colleagues, could thus be repaired. The pre…


(9 words)

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Prince שׂר

(905 words)

Author(s): J. J. Collins
I. Name In Dan. 10.13, the angelic interpreter tells Daniel that he has been sent in response to the visionary’s prayer, but he has been delayed because “the prince of the kingdom of Persia opposed me twenty-one days, so Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me”. He adds that when he is through with this first prince, “the prince of Greece will come” ( Dan. 10.20). He also refers to Michael as “your prince” ( Dan. 10.21) and as “the great prince, the protector of your people” ( Dan. 12.1). By analogy with Michael it is clear that the “princes” of Greece and Persia are the pa…

Prince (Nt)

(10 words)

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Prince of the Army of Yahweh

(14 words)

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(9 words)

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Pronoia Πρόνοια

(2,309 words)

Author(s): R. L. Gordon
I. Name Pronoia, Latin Providentia, means in Homer anticipation or foreknowledge, but already by the 5th century bce often expressed intention, especially in a legal sense, and care, for one’s family and in military planning. An analogous care was ascribed to the gods; the early Stoa built on this traditional sense in developing its notion of providence, the divine governance of the world, equivalent of Zeus and Logos. This sense, more or less indebted to Stoic theory and always qualified by ‘divine’ or the like, is to be found in some Hellenistic biblical texts ( Wis. 14.3; Wis. 17.2; 3 Macc…


(646 words)

Author(s): B. Becking
I. Name The common semitic verb šmr/ III zmr/ḏmr ‘to protect; to watch’ can be used with a religious connotation, as becomes clear from personal names like Zimri-Lim, ‘Lim is my Protection’. At Ugarit, the ancestral gods (Ilib) are probably once depicted as ḏmr ʾṯrh, ‘Protector(s) of his place’. In the OT Yahweh is seen as the ‘protector’ of his people (e.g. Exod. 15.2; Ps. 121). At Nah. 2.3 zĕmōrêhem šiḥētû might be rendered as ‘slaughtered their protectors’. II. Identity In the epic of Aqhat a list of filial duties is given. One of these duties is that a son is …

Ptah פתח

(714 words)

Author(s): M. Heerma van Voss
I. Name Josh. 15.9 and Josh. 18.15 mention the “(Spring of the) Water of Neptôaḥ”. This is, however, a secondary interpretation of the “(Spring of) Merenptah”. This Merenptah is Pharaoh Merenptah (ca. 1224–1214 bce) whose name ( Mr.n Ptḥ) means “Beloved by (the god) Ptah”. Other occurrences of the Egyptian god Ptah have been found in the expression baṭṭuḥôt ( Job 38.36; Görg 1980) and in the Hebrew word Topheth (Görg 1988). II. Identity Ptah is anthropomorphic. His close-fitting garment covers his feet and legs, which are not apart, and arms hardly showing. He …