Nereus is a minor Greek god, whose name may be connected with Lithuanian nérti ‘to dive’ (Chantraine 1980). As a theophoric name, it occurs once in the Bible (Rom. 16.15). It is also the name of Job’s brother in Test. Job 51:1. It remains unclear why the author of this Jewish pseudepigraph chose precisely this name.
Nereus has only a shadowy role in Greek mythology. He is a typical ‘Old Man of the Sea’, a category which is usually anonymous in Homer (Il. 1.358, 18.141 etc.), who also uses it f…