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Bible Encyclopedias

Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature

Chemosh

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(Hebrews Kemosh´, כְּמוֹשׁ , perh. subduer, or [as Fü rst prefers] fire-god; Sept. Χαμώς ), the national deity of the Moabites (Numbers 21:29; Jeremiah 48:7; Jeremiah 48:13; Jeremiah 48:46). In Judges 11:24 (see Kraft, Chamos a Jephtha derisus, Erlang. 1766), he also appears as the god of the Ammonites, but not of the Amorites (as De Wette states, Archiol. p. 328). Solomon introduced, and Josiah abolished, the worship of Chemosh at Jerusalem (1 Kings 11:7; 2 Kings 23:13). (See IDOLATRY). With regard to the meaning of the name, and the position which Chemosh held in mythology, we have nothing to record beyond doubtful and discordant conjectures. Jerome (Comm. in Isaiah 15:2) identifies him with Baal- Peor (comp. Selden, De diis Syr. p. 165, 341); others with Baal-Zebub, on etymological grounds (Hyde, De rel. vet. Pers. 100:5); others, as Gesenius (Thesaur. p. 693), with Mars, or the god of war, on similar grounds; and others (Beyer ad Selden, p. 323) with Saturn, as the star of ill omen, Chemosh having been worshipped, according to a Jewish tradition (comp. Pococke, Specim. p. 307), under the form of a black stone; and Maimonides states that his worshippers went bareheaded, and abstained from the use of garments sewn together by the needle (see Calmet, Dissertt. 2:277 sq.). This last identification is favored by the connection of the name Chemosh with that of Moloch or Milcom (1 Kings 11:7; 2 Kings 23:13), and by the sacrifice apparently of children to him (see 2 Kings 3:27). Hackmann, however (Diss. de Chemoscho, Brem. 1730; also in Oelrich's Opusc. histor. philol. theol. I, 1:19 sq.), makes the name to be equivalent to royal deity. Jerome (ut. sup.) notices Dibon as the chief seat of his worship. Eusebius asain (Onomast. s.v. Ἀρινά, i.e. Ἀριήλ ) names Ariel (?fire-god) as the chief deity of Ar-Moab (thence called Areopolis), and in this character he is represented on coins (Eckhel, Doctr. Numbers I, 3:504). (See SATURN).


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McClintock, John. Strong, James. Entry for 'Chemosh'. Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature. https://www.studylight.org/encyclopedias/tce/c/chemosh.html. Harper & Brothers. New York. 1870.

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