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(3,243 words)

Author(s): Achenbach, Reinhard | Lehnardt, Andreas | Liss, Hanna | Ochs, Peter
[German Version] I. Old Testament The noun tôrāh (הרָוֹתּ) is usually derived from the verb הרי/ yrh, “show,” hiphil “instruct.” In Israelite wisdom literature, it denotes ethical and religious instruction by parents (Prov 1:8; 4:1; 6:20; 31:26) or sages (Prov 13:14) as well as religious instruction by priests (Jer 18:18). As a term denoting the law (Law and legislation: II; LXX: νόμος/ nómos), it stands at the end of an ongoing theologization of the law in ancient Israel, following the Deuteronomic centralization of the cult (Josiah) and the establishment…

Wilderness Wanderings/Wilderness Traditions

(884 words)

Author(s): Achenbach, Reinhard
[German Version] According to Exod 13:17–22; 15:22–19:1, Israel’s wandering in the wilderness after the Exodus (see also Exodus tradition) from Egypt and the miracle at the Reed Sea (at ’Etām, Exod 13:20; near the Gulf of Suez ¶ or near Pi-hā-Ḫîrôt in front of Baal-zephon [Katīb al-Qals], Exod 14:1f.) took them first to Horeb (Sinai/Sinai traditions; Ǧabal Mūsā?), the Mountain of God ( har hā’ĕlohîm), then to the southern border of Canaan, where they made an abortive attempt to enter the land (Deut 1:9–46; Num 10:12–14:45; Settlement/Settlement traditions).…

Wrath of God

(3,658 words)

Author(s): Jödicke, Ansgar | Achenbach, Reinhard | Herzer, Jens | Volkmann, Stefan | Bieritz, Karl-Heinrich
[German Version] I. Religious Studies As with other divine attributes, the wrath of God (cf. Wrath/Anger) is an anthropomorphism that is encountered in iconography (I; e.g. of Thangkas [ tʾaṅ Ka] in Tibet), but especially in the mythology of many religions, where it leads to various entanglements within the plot. In Greek mythology, for instance, the enraged god Zeus sends Pandora’s box to humanity after having being deceived by Prometheus, thereby bringing evil into the world. Depending on the situation, the wrath of God can illustrate the capriciousness or predictabil…


(2,776 words)

Author(s): Na’aman, Nadav | Achenbach, Reinhard
[German Version] I. City Samaria (Heb. ןוֹרמְשֹׁ/Šomerôn) was the capital of the kingdom of Israel (II, 1) and later the center of the province established in the hill country of Samaria (see II below) from the late 8th century bce until the late Byzantine period. 1 Kings relates that Omri purchased the “hill of Samaria” from a man named Shemer and built a city, which he called after the original owner (16:24). This, of course, is a folk etymology, the name Shomron is derived from the root שׁמר/ šmr (“to watch, guard”), הַר/ har Šomerôn (“watch-mountain”). Its name fits the place well, loc…

Levi and Levites

(913 words)

Author(s): Achenbach, Reinhard
[German Version] The etymology of Levi and Levites (Heb. לֵוִי/ lēwî, לְוִיִּם/ lewîyim) is unclear – possibly from לוה/ lwh I, “person pledged for a debt,” or II, hypocoristically “client” (of the god N.N.?); a popular etymology relating it to join appears in Gen 29:34 and Num 18:2. According to legend, Levi was the son of Jacob and Leah (Gen 29:34; 35:23). Jacob is said to have cursed him and Simeon on account of their religious zeal in destroying the city of Shechem (Gen 34:25–31); this story explains why the tribes descended from them were divided and scattered in Israel (Gen 49:5–7). Histor…


(8,622 words)

Author(s): Felber, Annelies | Hutter, Manfred | Achenbach, Reinhard | Aune, David E. | Lang, Bernhard | Et al.
[German Version] I. Names and Terms – II. Religious Studies – III. Ancient Near East and Old Testament – IV. New Testament – V. Church History – VI. Philosophy of Religion – VII. Fundamental Theology – VIII. Dogmatics – IX. Judaism – X. Islam – XI. History of Art and Literature I. Names and Terms 1. Devil The secular Greek noun διάβολος/ diabolos comes from one of the meanings of the verb διαβάλλω/ diaballō, “separate, sever,” which led to meanings such as “accuse, slander, deceive.” From the Greek noun came Latin diabolus, from which the English …