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§ 415. of other Deities. 531
that the waters of the deluge had escaped through that aperture in the earth, already spoken of over which the Temple was built. Something in corroboration of this view of the subject may be inferred from the representations on the coins of the city of Ascalon, which exhibit on one side a figure of Derketo, and on the other, a ship with seven, eight, or nine men. So that the mythology of the goddess in question, which is sufficiently wonderful, appears to have been founded, partly on the traditionary accounts of the Deluge, and partly on the opinions which were prevalent among the ancients respecting either the mermaid, or that animal of the ocean, denominated by Linnaeus TRICHEcus MANAtus, (sea-cow.) Compare Donat. in Scheuchzer's Physica sacra, P. II. p. 281.
§ 415. Of other deities.
The character of some of the heathen deities mentioned in the Bible, for instance Apollo, Diana, Castor and Pollux, may be learnt from the records of profane antiquity; but in regard to that of some others, we are left in great ignorance, for instance,
I. Shedim, E-Tuj, Deut. 32: 17. Ps. 106:37. It appears, that children were sacrificed to the deities thus named ; that they were considered to be of an angry nature, and inimical to the human race; and that the object of the homage rendered to them, was to avert calamities. The name p"ou may signify either lord or master, or any thing that is black; it being derived from an Ara
bic Ain Vav verb, viz. ou. to be black, or to be master. If it had been derived from 11p, it would have been pointed to or p"Toj. The Mehestani named one of the evil spirits Shed ; but it was at length changed into light by Ormuz, i. e. made a good spirit, and was confined to the planet Venus, Zend Avesta, P. III. Bun-Dehesh p. 66. It might be said, if any one chose to take that ground, that the persons, who introduced the present system of punctuation into the Hebrew text, pointed the word, in reference to the Shed of the Mehestani, Doug instead of proup or broug; or that the Mehestani, in the recent book of Bun-Dehesh, had borrowed the name from the Hebrew. The Syriac word N-oup appears to be adopted from the Hebrew. II. Nebo, i=3, Is. 46:1, a deity of Babylon, worshipped by the
532 § 415. of other deities.
Chaldeans properly so called, the name of which is found in the first syllable of the proper Chaldaic word -xx:----- Nebuch adNezzan. Perhaps the term may be explained by a comparison of the Slavonian word Nebo heaven; since the last syllable of the word inx Tszar, is still found in the Russian language. III. Gad and Mesi, +3 and *- : Is. 65: 11. The Hebrews set
tables in honour of these deities, and furnished them with food and beverage. Jerome, in his remarks on the passage here quoted, observes, that it was the custom so late as his time in all cities, especially in Egypt, to set tables, and furnish them with various luxurious articles of food, and with goblets containing a mixture of new wine, on the last day of the month and of the year, and that the people drew omens from them in respect to the fruitfulness of the year; but in honour of what god these things were done, he does not state. Perhaps Ta is the goddess of fort.ne, for this word in the Syriac dialect means fortune, and *:r is fate, from Hio, to number, to define, or perhaps the idol known under the Arabic word c\}, which was formerly worshipped by the tribes Hudeil and Choraa between Mecca and Medina, Golius' Arabic Lexicon, col. 2:270.
IV. Rivvos, jo-, an idol of the Assyrians, 2 K. 5: 18 perhaps the tutelary deity of pomegranates; Nisroc, T-23, a god of the Assyrians, 2 K. 19:37. Is. 37:38; and the deities of the colonies sent by the king of Assyria into Samaria, viz. Nergal -3-2, Ashima, Hous, Ninchaz, tri-, and Tarrak, pron, 2 K. 17: 30, 31, are altogether unknown.
V. NANAEA, vavala, otherwise called ANA is, ANAItis, ANEltis, and TANAIs, a goddess, to whom a very splendid temple was consecrated in Elymais, 2 Macc. 1: 13, 14. comp. 1 Macc. 6: 1,2. The worship, rendered by the Mehestani to this goddess, was the prostitution of virgins; so that she seems to have agreed in character very much with the Babylonish deity Myllitta, Nnon in whose honour every woman of Babylon was bound once during her life, to commit prostitution, Herodot. I. 199, comp. Strabo. p. 512, 532, 533, 559.
of passages ILLUSTRATED, or ALLUDED TO, IN this WORK.
INDEX OF PASSAGES ILLUSTRATED.
index of PASSAGES illustrated.