Dictionary of Deities and Demons in the Bible Online

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Ancient of Days
(1,216 words)

I. Name

In a throne vision with mythological traits, God is depicted as the ʿattîq yômîn/yômayyāʾ, traditionally rendered as ‘the Ancient of Days’ (Dan. 7.9, Dan. 13, Dan. 22). The expression is to be interpreted as a construct chain expressing a genetivus partitivus. The basic meaning of the common Semitic root ʿtq is ‘to be advanced’. The expression then can be rendered as ‘advanced in days’ implying that the deity was seen as one ‘far gone in years’ or ‘ancient of days’. The background of the imagery in Dan.

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B. Becking, “Ancient of Days”, in: Dictionary of Deities and Demons in the Bible Online, Edited by: Karel van der Toorn, Bob Becking, Pieter W. van der Horst. Consulted online on 22 February 2024 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2589-7802_DDDO_DDDO_Ancientofdays>

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