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Apis חף

(3,232 words)

Author(s): R. L. Vos
I. Name Apis, the sacred bull of Memphis, occurs in the LXX version of Jer. 46.15 as the most prominent of Egypt’s gods whose flight is mocked by the prophet as a signal of the destruction about to befall Egypt by the hand of God. Most commentators and translators reconstruct Apis in the Hebrew text by a redivision and revocalisation of the MT nisḥap ‘is prostrated’ as nās ḥap ‘Apis has fled’. The LXX version would then be the correct rendering of a corrupt MT rather than Jewish polemics (cf. the Ibis in the LXX versions of Lev. 11.17 and Deut. 14.16) against the cult of Apis(S. Morenz, Ägyptische…

Ibis Ἶβις

(1,274 words)

Author(s): R. L. Vos
I. Name The Ibis was considered to be the visible manifestation of the Egyptian god of wisdom Thoth. The ibis occurs in the Bible in the LXX versions of Deut. 14.16 and Isa. 34.11 as rendering of MT ינשׁוף, vocalised yanšûp, presumably a kind of long-eared owl (?). Whenever the opportunity presented itself, the LXX translators polemised against Egyptian cults (compare their polemics against the cult of Apis in Jer. 46.15). Here they equated the ibis with the owl which in Deut. 14.16 and Lev. 11.17 appears in lists of unclean birds (Becher 1967:379–380; Morenz 1964:253–254; Görg 1978:177–…

Thoth

(2,232 words)

Author(s): R. L. Vos
I. Name Despite many ingenious attempts scholars have failed to establish a plausible etymological explanation of the name of the Egyptian God Thoth (Spies 1991:18–21 gives a convenient summary of current views). Aram. tḥwt and tḥwtmʿ (= Gk. Thothomous, ‘Thoth is justified’: Segal 1983: 47), Akk. tiḫut, Lat. Theut and Greek spellings (e.g. Thōuth, Thōth and Thouth: Hopfner 1946:50–52) reflect Eg. Ḏḥwty. Phoen. Taautos (Eusebius, Praep. evang. I.29.24) has been suggested to refer to Thoth (J. Ebach, Weltentstehung und Kulturentwicklung bei Philo von Byblus [Stuttgart 197…

Atum

(3,213 words)

Author(s): R. L. Vos
I. Name Atum, sun god and eldest of the Ennead of Heliopolis, occurs in the Bible in the place-name Pithom ( Exod. 1.11), Gk. Πατουμος, Eg. Pr-Itm ‘House of Atum’. Recently, it has been suggested to explain the place-name Etam ( Exod. 13.20; Num. 33.6–8), the etymology of which H. Cazelles was unable to determine with certainty (Cazelles, Les localisations de l’Exode et la critique littéraire, RB 62 [1955] 321–364, 357–359) as an abbreviated spelling of ( Pr)- Itm ‘(House) of Atum’ (M. Görg, Etam und Pitom, BN 51 [1990] 9–10). K. Myśliwiec ( Zur Ikonographie des Gottes ἭΡΩΝ [StAeg. 3; 1977…