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Dictionary of Deities and Demons in the Bible

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... KEEL;UEHLINGER, 1998, p. 385). If one assumes the desertic setting, its identity may represent either an Edomite god Qôs or Yahweh (KNAUF, 1999a(KNAUF, , 1999b. ...
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Recent studies considered the identification of the worshipped deities in the Central Hill Country Canaan at the end of Iron Age I an impossible task. The opinion was based on the difficulty of overcoming the multiple ideologies and textual layers of the late biblical texts that portray the region at the time. The present paper, from the conceptual framework called "Magical-Mythical Networks," tries to take up the challenge by integrating the data from local visual culture to the previous textual and archaeological studies in the analysis of Benjamin's Plateau in the Iron Age I-IIA. In using the social organization and the data from multiple sources, it is proposed two levels of deities that may have been part of the religious experience of the inhabitants, such as the possible identification of them.
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In contrast to those who read Genesis 1 through 11 as myth, the story of Genesis is historical narrative with a theological purpose (theo-history). The Hebrew theo-history of creation was undergirded by a worldview that did not converge with her neighbors but significantly diverged from the surrounding nations. While the literary style of Genesis has elements common to other ancient mythologies, the content itself is quite distinct. Unlike other ancient cosmologies, the Hebrew worldview perceived the people, places, and events of Genesis as historical and not merely religious symbols. The divergence of the Hebrew worldview from all ancient Near East (ANE) cultures is illustrated in three observations: (1) Genesis is monotheism not polytheism/panentheism, (2) Genesis is special revelation not cultic theology, and (3) Genesis is theo-history not myth or mytho-history. These three distinctives of Hebrew cosmology reflect a unique worldview shaped by divine revelation, and because Genesis was written in the genre of theo-history, Hebrew cosmology offers us a dependable foundation for knowing something true about our material origins, shaping ethical priorities, safeguarding the sacredness of human life, directing moral decision making, recognizing the significance of historical progress, and guiding scientific inquiry into the book of nature.
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The excavations at the site of Khirbet Qeiyafa, the results of which have been published in recent years, shed new light on the formation of Judah’s state structure and the united Kingdom of Israel under David (or perhaps even a miniempire) as a whole. The artifacts found here testify to a powerful and well-organized state structure formed during the time of King David, with all the basic attributes inherent in it, as the Bible tells us. The author of the article pays special attention to the interpretation of the name ’Išba‘al (literally “man of Ba‘al”; alternative vocalization and interpretation: ’Ašba‘al, i.e., “Ba‘al gave”), attested in one inscription written from right to left in Canaanite script on a ceramic shard from a vessel from Khirbet Qeiyafa (the turn of the 11–10th centuries BCE), in a broad theological context. The author admits that in theophoric Judahite and Israelite names attested both in the Bible and in epigraphy — including the inscription from Khirbet Qeiyafa — of the period of Judges and the united Kingdom of Israel (at least under Saul and David) the component Ba‘al, literally “Lord,” was used to refer to the God of Israel, not to a Semitic pagan deity. It also implicitly suggests that already at the dawn of Jewish history, pious people sought to avoid pronouncing the Name of God, the Tetragrammaton, “in vain”.
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A partir da análise iconográfica dos selos de estampar da região do platô de Benjamim no Ferro I-IIB, o artigo examina a presença de conceitos de realeza. Reconhecida na literatura política no decorrer da história pelas personalidades ‘bíblicas’ que abrigou, a região ainda não viu um estudo dedicado à ideologia real feito exclusivamente com fontes visuais primárias em recorte. O estudo cresce em importância uma vez que se note que, mesmo no contexto judaíta, a iconografia da região fronteiriça de Benjamim provavelmente serviu de elo entre o imaginário real de Israel e Judá. Argumenta-se que no Período do Ferro I-IIA, a iconografia realça aspectos de vigor e filiação divina dos reis, estes criados à sombra do domínio egípcio, enquanto, no Ferro IIA tardio-IIB, ela passa a enfatizar a agressividade e perfil vitorioso dos reis.
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For the modern mind the notion of heavenly beings or ‘angels’ is an enigmatic and fascinating phenomenon. In the Ancient Near Eastern world and in the Hebrew Bible the word for ‘angel’, namely mal’ āk, is widely attested and refers to both human and supernatural emissaries. The notion and function of angels as messenger-beings are evident. In the Israelite faith and their confession of a sole monotheistic God, Yahweh, several questions arise regarding these ‘angels’: who were these human and supernatural entities? In addition, the Hebrew Bible also recorded ‘other’ ‘angel’-like beings, such as Seraphim and Cherubim. Then there was the ‘angel’ of Yahweh! Who was this figure, and what role did he play in the portrayal of the theologies of the Hebrew Bible? Were there fallen angels? And what has the Hebrew Bible to say about Satan? Ultimately, perspectives on ‘angels’ in the Hebrew Bible are brought into relation with realities of the ‘seen’ and the ‘unseen’ in or from Africa in perspectives of the worldview of African Traditional Religions (ATR). Various categories and agents in African Traditional Religions and their belief systems are apparent. These include the Supreme Being (God), divinities, and spirits. The relationship between the Supreme Being and the other categories describe the character, nature and function of all these entities. Primary and minor divinities are distinguished. They are created, are derivations of God, receive functions to perform in the universe. Furthermore, they serve intermediatory functions between the Supreme Being (the ‘unseen’) and humankind (the ‘seen’). Spirits are similarly ‘created’ entities. In many African narratives they are portrayed in human form, activities and personalities (a change from the ‘unseen’ into the ‘seen’). Hereby the interaction between the ‘seen’ and the ‘unseen’ in African Traditional Religions remain real.
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With the sudden heightened controversy surrounding tithing lately around the world, the subject of tithing deserves a critical analysis and a re-examination especially with regard to its ethical implications both in the New Testament text and the New Testament era. With the Rationality Theory applicable in the framework of Deontology and Form Criticism as its methodology, this study analysed New Testament texts that speak about tithe in line with their moral obligation as a duty both to the organised church and the poor congregants.
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A myth asserts that at sunrise on the summer solstice ‘something’ came to the Calanais Stones’ central ring heralded by the cuckoo’s call. This paper investigates which of the three celestial objects easily visible at sunrise, the Sun, Moon and Venus, might be referred to. The stones have no obvious orientation with the Sun and, while a ‘window’ of the midsummer full-moons could be seen over the stone ring, complex lunar orbits preclude any precise alignments including the lunar standstill positions. Several widespread European goddesses of fertility and sovereignty were associated with both Venus and the cuckoo, astronomically symbolised by the Pleiades in northern Europe. The east -row of the Calanais Stones is aligned with crossover events of Venus. Three crossover events occurred during the period of the east row construction suggested by radiocarbon dating. The azimuth of the rising Pleiades coincided with the Venus crossover of 1677 and 1674 BC. The ‘something’ was ‘bright, shining, holy’ in Brittonic, gwen, while Gwener is the planet Venus. The appearance of the Sun and Venus at sunrise on the summer solstice might represent a divine wedding. This is believed to be the first European prehistoric monument demonstrated to be purposely aligned with Venus.
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Astronomy and religion have long been intertwined with their interactions resembling a symbiotic relationship since prehistoric times. Building on existing archaeological research, this study asks: do the interactions between astronomy and religion, beginning from prehistory, form a distinct religious tradition? Prior research exploring the prehistoric origins of religion has unearthed evidence suggesting the influence of star worship and night sky observation in the development of religious sects, beliefs and practices. However, there does not yet exist a historiography dedicated to outlining why astronomy and religion mutually developed, nor has there been a proposal set forth asserting that these interactions constitute a religious tradition; proposed herein as the Astronic tradition, or Astronicism. This paper pursues the objective of arguing for the Astronic tradition to be treated, firstly, as a distinct religious tradition and secondly, as the oldest archaeologically-verifiable religious tradition. To achieve this, the study will adopt a multidisciplinary approach involving archaeology, anthropology, geography, psychology, mythology, archaeoastronomy and comparative religion. After proposing six characteristics inherent to a religious tradition, the paper will assemble a historiography for astronomical religion. As a consequence of the main objective, this study also asserts that astronomical religion, most likely astrolatry, has its origins in the Upper Palaeolithic period of the Stone Age based on specimens from the archaeological record. The assertion is made that astrolatry is the original religion and fulfils the Urreligion theory. To end, the proposed characteristics of a religious tradition will be applied to Astronicism to ultimately determine whether it is a valid tradition that can stand alongside the established Abrahamic, Dharmic and Taoic traditions.
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Los dioses de la pestilencia en el discurso inter-cultural en la época de El Amarna. Este trabajo analiza la existencia de un brote de epidemia fatal en varias regiones en el Levante durante la época de El Amarna. En el Levante, Nergal y Reshep fueron dioses de la muerte, la pestilencia, la plaga, la enfermedad y la guerra. En Egipto, la pestilencia fue asociada con Sekhmet, la diosa de la enfermedad, la curación, la venganza, el odio y la guerra. En cinco Cartas de El Amarna, se mencionan casos de pestilencia, plaga, epidemia, y la “mano de Nergal”. Según estas cartas, la pestilencia afectó a Egipto, Megiddo, Sumur, Biblos y Alashiya (Chipre). Sabemos por las Plegarias heteas que después la epidemia llegó al país de Hatti. Dada la magnitud de esta epidemia, es muy posible que la muerte repentina de varios miembros de la familia real egipcia pudiera estar relacionada con la peste (probablemente la peste bubónica) y otras enfermedades. Estudios recientes evidencian que la peste bubónica habría afectado a los habitantes del barrio de los trabajadores en El Amarna. Asimismo, la peste pudo haber sido interpretada como un castigo enviado por los antiguos dioses ignorados por Akenatón y en consecuencia pudo haber llevado al fin del culto de Atón y el abandono de la nueva capital. Los últimos días de Aketatón fueron testigos del ascenso del dios Shed, el “Salvador”, que buscaba salvar a los egipcios de la enfermedad y la desgracia. Abstract: The Gods of Plague in Cross-Cultural Discourse in the Amarna Period. This paper aims to analyse the outbreak of a fatal epidemic in several regions in the Levant during the Amarna Period. In the Levant, Nergal and Resheph were gods of death, pestilence, plague, disease, and war. In Egypt, plague was associated with Sekhmet, the goddess of disease, healing, vengeance, anger, and war. Pestilence, plague, epidemic, or the “hand of Nergal” are mentioned in five Amarna Letters. According to these letters, the pestilence affected Egypt, Megiddo, Sumur, Byblos, and Alashiya (Cyprus). We know from the Hittite Prayers that afterwards the pestilence reached the land of Hatti. Given the scale of this epidemic, it is very possible that the sudden deaths of several members of the Egyptian royal family were linked to the plague (probably the bubonic plague) and other diseases. Recent studies confirm that bubonic plague affected the people living at the Workmen’s Village at Amarna. Furthermore, the plague may have been interpreted as a punishment sent by the ancient gods ignored by Akhenaten and may thus have brought about the end of the cult of Aten, and the abandonment of the new capital city. The last days of Akhetaten witnessed the rise of the god Shed, who sought to save the Egyptians from disease and misfortune.
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