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Tannin תנין

(1,716 words)

Author(s): G. C. Heider
I. Name Tannin occurs in the OT in reference to a sea monster subdued or slain by Yahweh (whether as a proper name or as a common noun meaning “sea monster” or “dragon” is unclear). The term is found also in the sense of “serpent” and (arguably) “crocodile”; further, it appears five times in the plural ( tannînîm) with the meaning “sea monsters/dragons” or “snakes”. The etymology of Tannin is uncertain. BDB suggests a derivation from tnn-I, perhaps to be linked with tnh-II (“recount, rehearse”) as “lament, i.e. howl”, although this appears to work much better with tan (“jackal”) than with tan…

Molech מלך

(2,772 words)

Author(s): G. C. Heider
I. Name Molech occurs as a divine name in the MT eight times: five times in Leviticus (18.21; 20.2–5); twice in Kings (1 Kgs. 11.7, where it is probably confused with Milcom of the Ammonites; and 2 Kgs. 23.10); and once in Jeremiah ( 2 Kgs. 32.35). The LXX renders the name both as a common noun ( archōn, “ruler”, in Leviticus; basileus, “king”, in 3 Kgdms. 11.5 [MT 1 Kgs. 11.7]) and as a proper name ( Moloch in 2 Kgs. 23.10 and Jer. 39.35 [MT Jer. 32.35]). In addition, the LXX has Moloch for MT malkĕkem (“your king”) in Amos 5.26; the LXX reading is quoted in the one NT occurrence of the name, Acts 7.43. The …

Lahmu לחם

(477 words)

Author(s): G. C. Heider
I. Name Laḫmu has been proposed as a divine name or theophoric element in the OT in certain especially old texts and names, particularly the Song of Deborah ( Judg. 5.8) and the place name Bethlehem. II. Identity Laḫmu is clearly (albeit rarely) attested in Sumerian and in the Akkadian literature of the Old Akkadian, Standard Babylonian and Neo-Assyrian periods and at Mari. As a divine name Laḫmu appears paired with Laḫamu in the theogony of Enuma Elish, begotten by Apsu (Ends of the earth) and Tiamat (the waters) and begetting Anšar (sky) and Kišar (earth). Later …