Bible Dictionaries

Fausset's Bible Dictionary


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The "abomination" (i.e. idol, in Scripture's contemptuous phrase) of Moab (Numbers 21:29; Jeremiah 48:7; Jeremiah 48:13-46). Depicted on coins with sword, lance, and shield, and two torches at his side. Ammon, from its close connection with Moab, also worshipped Chemosh, but Moloch (kin) was their peculiar deity (Judges 11:24). Solomon introduced, and Josiah overthrew, Chemosh worship in Jerusalem. A black star, according to Jewish tradition, was his symbol, whether as identical with Mars or Saturn. Jerome states that Dibon was his chief seat of worship.

A black stone was the Arab symbol of him. The inscribed black stone set up at Dibon, lately discovered, is full of the Moabite king Mesha's praises of Chemosh as the giver of his martial successes against Israel. (See MOAB; DIBON.) Derived from kabash , to vanquish. Idolatry originated in appropriating to separate deities the attributes combined in the one true God. "Ashtar Chemosh," mentioned on the Moabite stone, connects the Moabite and the Phoenician worship. Ashtar is the masculine of Astarte, an androgynous god, combining the active and passive powers of nature. Chemosh required human sacrifices as god of war; Mesha, after taking Ataroth, offered all the warriors in sacrifice.

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Bibliography Information
Fausset, Andrew R. Entry for 'Chemosh'. Fausset's Bible Dictionary. 1949.

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