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Tirash תירשׁ תירושׁ

(960 words)

Author(s): J. F. Healey
I. Name Heb. tîrōš appears to be the term for ‘new wine’, i.e. wine which is incompletely fermented (though it should be noted that Köhler [1928] took the view that it simply meant ‘wine’ and was an archaic alternative to yayin: this question does not affect the present treatment). It occurs in Hebrew frequently in this plain meaning, often in the context of the formulaic phrase ‘the grain, the new wine and the oil’ ( Deut. 7.13; Deut. 11.14 etc.). There are analogous forms in Ugaritic ( trṯ: KTU 1.114:4, 16 [// yn] and 1.17 vi:7 [with yn]) and Phoenician and Punic ( trš: Karatepe KAI 26 A III…

Ilib

(1,187 words)

Author(s): J. F. Healey
I. Name The term ilib is found in Ugaritic texts both cultic and literary. In the former the ilib receives offerings and in the latter it is mentioned incidentally as the object of a particular family cult. There is very slight evidence for the ilib otherwise in Israelite literary and epigraphic sources. There are various explanations of the form, the most obvious and widely accepted being that it is a modification of ʾil + ʾab, ‘god’ + ‘father’. Ilib would, on this argument, be the ‘divine ancestor’ par excellence. Others, however, have sought explanations in Hittite a-a-bi (also the deity d A…

Mot מות

(3,431 words)

Author(s): J. F. Healey
I. Name māwet/mōt is the Hebrew word for ‘death’. It is also, however, the name of a specific Canaanite deity or demon, Mot (more precisely Mōtu), known especially from the Ugaritic literature. Attempts to explain his name as connected with Akkadian mutu, ‘warrior’, and not with ‘death’, are to be discounted. In OT poetry Death is often personified (e.g. Hos. 13.14), so that there is frequently the possibility that there may be mythological overtones in texts which could, however, be read in a totally demythologised way. Plausible cases of Hebrew pas…

Dew טל

(811 words)

Author(s): J. F. Healey
I. Name ‘Dew’ (which, for the ancients, included very fine rain and mist and even exudations on leaves and was caused by the stars; cf. ARTU 7–8, note 38; Isa. 26.19) has a special significance as a prerequisite of fertility in areas of the Middle East where rain is limited and there is no possibility of river-irrigation. It is especially important in the summer on the Palestinian coastal plain and nearby sea-facing slopes. Some specific crops depend on it. The withdrawal of rain and dew leads to drought (cf. e.g. 1 Kgs. 17.1; Hag. 1.10). The normal Hebrew word for ‘dew’ is ṭal. This has cognat…

Dagon דגון

(2,252 words)

Author(s): J. F. Healey
I. Name Dagon is the Hebrew form of the name of the god Dagan, who was an important Mesopotamian and West Semitic deity. Dagon occurs as a Philistine deity in the Hebrew Bible, specifically as the god of Ashdod (1 Sam. 5.1–7 and 1 Macc. 10.83–84; Judg. 16.23 [Gaza]; 1 Chr. 10.10 [Beth-Shan?]). The LXX also reads the name Δαγων instead of Nebo (Nabû) in Isa. 46.1. The etymology of the name Dagan is uncertain. Etymologies based on dāg, ‘fish’, dāgān, ‘grain’, and on a root meaning ‘be cloudy’ (Arabic dajj or dajana) are all equally dubious and there is no contextual evidence from the…