Calf עגל
(1,337 words)

I. Name

Hebrew ʿēgel, Ugaritic ʿgl, Aramaic ʿîglaʾ, the common word for ‘calf’ (sc. a young bull), is used of images worshipped by the Israelites in texts written from the deuteronomistic perspective.

II. Identity

The bull as a symbol of physical strength and sexual potency, together with all the economic benefits arising from herding, has an ancient pedigree in the religions of the Ancient Near East. From at least the time of Neolithic Çatal Hüyük in Anatolia, images have b…

Cite this page
N. Wyatt, “Calf עגל”, 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 15 January 2019 <>

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