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(126 words)

Author(s): Niehr, Herbert
[German Version] The Phoenician personal name Sanchuniaton (“Sakun has given”) appears in Greek in passages from the writers Porphyry and Philo of Byblos quoted by the church father Eusebius of Caesarea ( Praep. I 9.20f., 24–29; X 9.12–16). He is said to have been a Phoenician priest from the time before the Trojan War, cited by Philo Byblius as vouching the Phoenician tradition he records and for its great antiquity. Philo Byblius is claimed to have translated Sanchuniaton’s work on Phoenician history from Phoenician into Gre…


(10,133 words)

Author(s): Gutmann, Emanuel | Knauf, Ernst Axel | Otto, Eckart | Niehr, Herbert | Kessler, Rainer | Et al.
[German Version] I. The State of Israel – II. History – III. Society I. The State of Israel The formal full name, State of Israel (Heb. Medinat Yisrael), calls attention to the spatial divergence between the political entity and the geographical and historical Erets Israel (Land of Israel, Palestine and its linguistic equivalents). Israel is located in southwest Asia, on the southern stretch of the eastern coast of the Mediterranean. In its northern half, inland from the shore, is the coastal area and further east are the hills, from n…

Ordeal, Trial by

(1,373 words)

Author(s): Wißmann, Hans | Niehr, Herbert | Ogris, Werner
[German Version] I. Religious Studies – II. Old Testament – III. Legal History I. Religious Studies Trial by ordeal is a means of decision-making as to the guilt or innocence of a suspect in legal cases where there is no available evidence or testimony, and where no guilty plea has been entered. In place of an oath, but in ¶ line with the inherent logic of the oath, a conditional self-curse was sometimes employed; this would apply in cases where, for example, a slave was disqualified from a hearing under oath, and a divine declaration of the truth was so…


(327 words)

Author(s): Niehr, Herbert
[German Version] (“Black Hill”), an ancient fortified hill in Cilicia. Together with the neighboring fortress Domuztepe, it dominates the overland route from northern Syria and Cilicia to Central Anatolia across the Anti-Taurus mountain range. Now a Turkish city, it lies roughly 100 km northeast of Adana. Following the discovery of the archaeological site in 1946, excavations uncovered the upper and lower city on the Karatepe from 1947 onward. A considerable stir was caused by the Phoenician and H…


(2,007 words)

Author(s): Köhler, Ulrich | Niehr, Herbert | Cansier, Dieter
[German Version] I. Religious Studies There are two basic types of interaction between trade and religion: trade growing out of the practice of religion and religious phenomena as by-products of trade. Only in exceptional cases do both have equal weight. Trade can arise from the need for sacrificial offerings, as well as for special vestments and regalia for religious specialists and other officiants, and not least the need to feed participants in religious events. Special foods required by the relig…

Unity, Divine

(2,061 words)

Author(s): van den Brom, Luco J. | Niehr, Herbert
[German Version] I. Philosophy of Religion Unity, uniqueness and simplicity are considered God’s incommunicable properties. In philosophy of religion unity was originally thought of as the One, as the ground supporting the many in their multiplicity and difference. Thus unity was conceived as the timeless and spaceless ground and numerical beginning of the cosmos with its multiplicity of beings. In Plato’s teaching about ideas, unity as the One transcends the plurality of ideas, and has ontological pr…

Israel and Canaan

(592 words)

Author(s): Niehr, Herbert
[German Version] While Canaanites are already mentioned in the Mari correspondence (mid-18th cent. bce), the place name Canaan appears for the first time in the inscription of Idrimi of Alalach (1500 bce). According to the Amarna correspondence (mid-14th cent. bce), Canaan constituted an Egyptian province with the major localities Gaza and Beth-Shean, encompassing Palestine andLebanon as far as Beirut. The Old Testament still reflects Canaan as a designation for Palestine in the 1st millennium bce (Gen 10:19; 37; Num 34:2–12; cf. Deut 1:7). “Canaan” as a theological a…

Judges of Israel, The Biblical

(546 words)

Author(s): Niehr, Herbert
[German Version] In order to understand the title שֹׁפֵט/šopeṭ, fundamental to the office of judge, reference should be made to the institution of the šāpiṭu in Mari in the 18th century bce and to the office of the Suffetes among the Phoenicians and in Carthage from the 6th century bce onward. It is a non-royal office of leadership in various realms. The list-like enumeration in Judg 10:1–5; 12:7–15 suggests that a pre-deuteronomistic tradition, which cannot be dated more precisely, knew of an office of leadership over the tribes of Israel in …

Richter in Israel

(469 words)

Author(s): Niehr, Herbert
[English Version] . Zum Verständnis des dem Richteramt zugrundeliegenden Titels שֹׁפֵט/šopeṭ ist auf die Institution des šāpiṭu in Mari im 18.Jh. v.Chr. und auf das Amt der Suffeten bei den Phöniziern und in Karthago ab dem 6.Jh. v.Chr. hinzuweisen. Es handelt sich um ein nichtkönigliches Leitungsamt in unterschiedlichen Bereichen. Die listenähnliche Aufzählung in Ri 10,1–5; 12,7–15 läßt für Israel ersehen, daß eine nicht näher datierbare vordtr. Tradition eines Leitungsamtes über die Stämme Israels im S…


(129 words)

Author(s): Niehr, Herbert
[English Version] . Der phön. Personenname S. (»Sakun hat gegeben«) findet sich griech. bei den durch den Kirchenvater Eusebius von Caesarea rezipierten Schriftstellern Porphyrius und Philo Byblius (Eus.praep. I 9,20f.24–29; X 9,12–16). Es soll sich bei S. um einen phön. Priester aus der Zeit vor dem trojanischen Krieg handeln, der von Philo Byblius als Bürge für die von ihm rezipierte phön. Tradition und ihr hohes Alter herangezogen wird. Philo Byblius habe die Schrift des S. über die phön. Gesch…