Chaos Χάος
(798 words)

I. Name

The Greek word χάος (related to χάσκω or χαίνω, ‘gape, yawn’) literally means ‘chasm’ or ‘yawning space’. There were various conceptions of it in Greco-Roman antiquity, because in various mythical cosmogonies Chaos played very different roles. The word occurs only twice in the Greek Bible, in Mic. 1.6 and Zech. 14.4, each time as a translation of the Hebrew gyʾ, ‘valley’; and 2 times in the Greek fragments of 1 Enoch (10:13) and Jubilees (2:2), where it seems to be used for the abyss wh…

Cite this page
P. W. van der Horst, “Chaos Χάος”, 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 January 2019 <>

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