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Shield of Abraham מגן אברהם

(1,019 words)

Author(s): M. Köckert
I. Name The phrase māgēn ʾabrāhām, ‘Shield of Abraham’, occurs only in Sir. 51.12 [in the Hebrew text, not in LXX], the final song of thanksgiving in the context of a liturgical antiphony (cf. Ps. 136). Alt (1929) and Leslie (1936) assumed that māgēn ʾabrāhām was a special name of the god of Abraham, because God is described as presenting himself as “a shield for you” ( ʾānōkî māgēn lāk, “I am a shield for you”, Gen. 15.1). The suggestion cannot be properly understood outside the context of Alt’s hypothesis concerning the God of the Fathers. II. Identity Alt’s reconstruction of…

Mighty One of Jacob אביר יעקב

(1,131 words)

Author(s): M. Köckert
I. Name ‘The mighty one of Jacob’ was interpreted as a divine name by Alt (1929). He classified it as a designation of one of the anonymous gods ‘of the father’. The only place where it may occur as a proper name is Gen. 49.24; elsewhere it is always an epithet of Yahweh ( Isa. 49.26; Isa. 60.16; Ps. 132.2–5; cf. Sir. 51.12; see also ʾăbîr yiśrāʾēl as a parallel to ʾădōn and yhwh ṣĕbāʾōt in Isa. 1.24). It is doubtful whether ʾăbîr Yaʿăqōb may be translated as “Bull of Jacob” (Cross 1973:4). The only possible evidence for this could be found in Ugaritic texts. II. Identity In KTU 1.12 ii…

Fear of Isaac פחד יצחק

(1,712 words)

Author(s): M. Köckert
I. Name No definite interpretation can be given for the expression paḥad yiṣḥāq. It only occurs in Gen. 31.42, Gen. 53 (in the latter verse as paḥad ʾābîw yiṣḥāq). Paḥad yiṣḥāq was interpreted as a divine name by Alt (1929) because of its archaic impression (cf. ʾăbîr yaʿăqŏb) and because of its apparent resemblance to divine names of the “God of X” type. This designation was used for the god of Isaac, which Alt thought belonged to the category of the God of the Fathers. II. Identity The interpretation of the expression as a divine name, as well as the definition…