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(1,114 words)

Author(s): G. Mussies
I. Name In the OT and NT the winds (רוחות, πνεύματα, ἄνεμοι) are either ruled as such by God personally ( Exod. 10.13 and Exod. 19; Jer. 49.36; Jer. 51.1; Hos. 13.15; Ps. 135.7) or personified as his servants (מלאכים, ἄγγελοι: Ps. 104.4; Rev. 7.1). They are four in number ( Jer. 49.36; Dan. 7.2; Rev. 7.1; cf. e.g. 1 Chr. 9.24; Dan. 8.8; Mark 13.27, where ‘the four winds’ = the points of the compass), and are conceived of as (a) winged being(s) ( 2 Sam. 22.11; Ps. 18.11; Ps. 104.3). They are addressed ( Cant. 4.16) but not venerated. The following specific winds are mentioned in the OT: the צפון or n…

Titans Τιτᾶνες

(1,196 words)

Author(s): G. Mussies
I. Name In the strict sense ‘Titans’ is the collective name of only six of the sons of Uranus-Sky and Gaea-Earth, whose six sisters and wives were called Titanesses (Τιτανίδες). The most important couple of these were Cronus and his sister-wife Rhea, who became the parents of Zeus, Hera and various other gods. The Greek name ‘Titans’ occurs in the geographical name “Valley of the Titans” in the LXX at 2 Sam. 5.18, 2 Sam. 22; 2 Sam. 23.13 ( Luc); 1 Chr. 11.15 (v. l. Hex), and as a synonym of “giants” in Jdt. 16.6. The name cannot be explained from Greek and is considered to be of pre-Hellenic provenanc…

Jezebel איזבל

(948 words)

Author(s): G. Mussies
I. Name Daughter of Eth.-Baal, king of Sidon, and wife of Ahab, king of Northern Israel. She was an active propagator of the Baal cult (1 Kgs. 16.29–33; 1 Kgs. 18.19; 1 Kgs. 19.1–2; 1 Kgs. 21.25; 2 Kgs. 9.30–37), who persecuted the Yahweh prophets (1 Kgs. 18.4). The meaning of her Phoenician name is disputed; mostly interpreted as ‘where is the Prince’, ‘Prince’ being an epithet of Baal ( Heb. ʾîzebel, pause form ʾîzābel; LXX-NT: Ιεζαβελ; Josephus: Ιεζαβελη, variant reading Ιεζαβηλα). II. Identity In the NT Jezebel occurs in Rev. 2.18–29, in the Letter to the Church at Thyatira (L…

Tabor תבור

(790 words)

Author(s): G. Mussies
I. Name Tabor is the name of a mountain in Lower Galilee (1,700 ft above sea-level, 7km SE of Nazareth). It occurs three times in Josh. 19, in the descriptions of the boundaries of respectively the tribes of Zebulon, Issachar and Naphthali, and is thus a point where the three tribal territories met ( vv. Josh. 12; Josh. 22; Josh. 34). Moses’ blessing of Zebulon and Issachar, which may date back to the heyday of Jeroboam II’s reign, mentions “(the) mountain” to which they call the peoples to participate in rightful sacrifices ( Deut. 33.18–19). In all likelihood, therefore, this is a ref…

Olympus Ὄλυμπος

(719 words)

Author(s): G. Mussies
I. Name Mount Olympus is the holy, mostly snow-capped mountain of the ancient Greeks, lying on the borders of Thessaly and Macedonia. It was considered the dwelling place of the third generation of the gods, who are for that reason called ‘the Olympians’. The name occurs in 2 Macc. 6.2 in ‘Zeus Olympius’, and in Rom. 16.15 in the personal name ὈλυμπᾶϚ, with the textual variants Ὀλυμπίδα (F,G), and ‘Olympiadem’ (Latin versions). All three are hypocoristics, respectively in -ᾶς (masculine) and -ίς, -ιάς (both feminine), formed on the basis of full names composed either with Ὀλυμπο-l…


(1,933 words)

Author(s): G. Mussies
I. Name Ὑ/ὑάκινθος is the name of a pre-Greek and Greek masculine deity or hero and of a species of flower, by extension also of things having the colour of this flower, such as a specific gem-stone, and apparently in the LXX a fabric and a kind of leather. The deity is not referred to in the Bible, the flower possibly but not necessarily in Sir. 40.4 (no Hebrew text) “who wears stephanos (garland?) and hyacinth”, the gem-stone at Rev. 21.20, the fabric and leather mainly in the descriptions or inventories of Tabernacle and Temple ( Exod. 25–39; 2 Chr. 2–3; Ezek. 16.10). The derived adjective ὑα…

Artemis Ἄρτεμις

(4,486 words)

Author(s): G. Mussies
I. Name Artemis is the Greek virgin goddess originally of hunting and animal fertility. It occurs as a divine name in Acts 19 (in Jewish literature only Sib. Or. 5, 293–295); moreover one of Paul’s companions had the theophoric name Ἀρτεμᾶς, a hypocoristic derived from Ἀρτεμίδωρος ‘gift of Artemis’ ( Titus 3.12). Being the divine huntress, her name, especially its Doric-Aeolian form ʼΆρταμις, has been connected etymologically with Attic ἄρταμος ‘butcher; slaughterer’, or else with ἄρκ(τ)ος ‘bear’, because the bear was one of the animals sacrificed to her, and …

Giants γίγαντες

(1,531 words)

Author(s): G. Mussies
I. Name In the strict sense the Gigantes in Greek mythology were the serpent-footed giants who were born from the blood-drops of the castration of Uranus (Heaven) that had fallen on Earth (Hesiod Theogony 183–186). The term gigantes occurs about 40 times in the LXX and refers there respectively to: a) the giant offspring of ‘the sons of God’ and ‘the daughters of mankind’ ( Gen. 6.1–4; Bar. 3.26–28; Sir. 16.7); b) strong and mighty men, like Nimrod ( Gen. 10.8–9); c) several pre-Israelite peoples of tall stature in Canaan and Transjordania. The etymology of the name, which…

Amaltheia Ἀμάλθεια

(705 words)

Author(s): G. Mussies
I. Name Amaltheia is the name of the goat that suckled baby Zeus right after his birth (so Callimachus, Apollodorus, Diodorus Siculus), or of the nymph who nursed and fed him on goat’s milk (so Ovid and Hyginus). The ‘Horn of Amaltheia’ (Ἀμαλθείας Κέρας) was one of the horns of this goat or, according to others, a horn possessed by the nymph, which provided in abundance whatever one wished, and became the well-known image of the ‘horn of plenty’ or cornucopia. This occurs in the LXX of Job 42.14 and in T. Job 1, 3 as the name of one of Job’s second set of three daughters. Etymologically, ἀ-μάλθε-…