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Dedan דתן

(508 words)

Author(s): K. Spronk
I. Name Dedan is one of the ancestors of the royal families of Ugarit and Assyria. According to Ugaritic texts he was deified. In both Ugaritic and Akkadian texts he is also named Datan or Ditan. This name can be related to Akk. ditānu, didānu, ‘bison’ ( AHW 173) or to Akk. datnu, ‘warlike’. It also appears as a personal name in the OT, viz. dātān ( Num. 16.1; Deut. 11.6; Ps. 106.17). II. Identity Didanu, Ditanu, or also Tidanu, is the name of a tribe living in the western part of ancient Mesopotamia first mentioned at the end of the third millennium bce. The name Ditanu appears as a componen…

Travellers עברים

(662 words)

Author(s): K. Spronk
I. Name The participle Qal plural ʿōbĕrîm of the verb ʿbr, ‘to pass from one side to the other’ seems to have a special meaning in the context of the cult of the dead, denoting the spirits of the dead crossing the border between the land of the living and the world of the dead. It can be interpreted as a divine name in Ezek. 39.11, Ezek. 14, which may have also been preserved in the geographical name Abarim ( Num. 21.10–11; Num. 27.12; Num. 33.44, Num. 47–48; Deut. 32.49; and Jer. 22.20). Its Ugaritc cognate, then, would be ʿbrm in KTU2 1.22 i:15. II. Identity In the Ugaritic text KTU2 1.22 describin…

Lord מרא

(1,523 words)

Author(s): K. Spronk
I. Name The title ʾādôn, Aramaic maraʾ, ‘lord’, is used of men and of gods and denotes one’s authority (not: ownership; this notion is more attributed to the word Baal). Usually it concerns the relation between a lord and his subordinates. Its etymology is uncertain (see for a survey of the many options Jenni 1971:31). Most likely seems to be a connection with Ugaritic ad, ‘father’ (Eissfeldt 1973:63; DLU, I, 8–9). Heb. ʾădōnāy exclusively denotes the god of Israel. It is attested about 450 times in the OT, especially in Ezekiel (more than 200 times), usually w…

Noble Ones אדירים

(382 words)

Author(s): K. Spronk
I. Name In the OT the adjective ʾaddîr is used in describing Yahweh ( Exod. 15.11; 1 Sam. 4.8; Pss. 18.2, Pss. 10; Pss. 76.5) and also of persons or things of more than normal stature or strength, like the sea ( Ps. 93.4), the mighty cedars of the Libanon ( Ezek. 17.23), mighty people ( Ezek. 32.18), or kings ( Ps. 136.18). In Ps. 16.3 it seems to denote pagan deities (Tournay 1988:335). II. Identity In the ancient Ugaritic legend of Aqhat the ʾadrm are mentioned together with the king fulfilling his usual duties ( KTU2 1.17 v:7). They reside on the threshing-floor. According to KTU2 1.20–22 this i…

Baal of Peor בעל פעור

(863 words)

Author(s): K. Spronk
I. Name This local god, mentioned only in the OT, is associated with the mountain Peor in the land of Moab ( Num. 23.28) and the place Beth-Peor ( Deut. 3.29; Deut. 4.46; Deut. 34.6; Josh. 13.20). He probably represents there the chthonic aspect of the Canaanite god of fertility, Baal (Spronk 1986:231–233). The name Peor is related to Heb. pʿr, ‘open wide’, which in Isa. 5.14 is said of the ‘mouth’ of the netherworld (Xella 1982: 664–666). According to Num. 25 the Israelites participated in the Moabite cult honouring this god. This incident is recalled in Num. 31.16; Deut. 4.3; Josh. 22.17; Hos.

Rahab רהב

(1,286 words)

Author(s): K. Spronk
I. Name Rahab is one of the names in the OT of the chaos monster(s) (cf. also Leviathan, Tannin, Tehom [Tiamat], and Yam). Although there are in the neighbouring cultures many parallels to this phenomenon of chaos monsters, the name Rahab seems to have no cognates. The only exception is in an Akkadian text about a chaos monster usually called Labbu. The first syllable in this name is written with the sign kal which can be read as lab as well as reb; so the reading Rebbu (<* reb-bu) is possible too (Lambert 1986:55 n.1). The Hebrew name is probably related to Heb. rhb, ‘assail’, ‘press’, and Akk. raʾā…