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Bible Dictionaries

Fausset's Bible Dictionary

Nebo (2)

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The idol of Babylon and Assyria. Νabiu (Hamitic Babylonian), Νabu (Semitic Babylonian). Related to Hebrew nabi , "inspired," "prophet." Described as "the far hearing," "he of intelligence, who teaches." The cuneiform arrow head is his emblem; hence named Τir , "arrow." Answering the Egyptian "Thoth," the Greek "Hermes," "Mercury," the "inspired" interpreter or nabiy of the gods, designated in one place "inventor of the writing of the royal tablets." Presided over learning and letters. Pul, from some special connection with Babylon (Ivalush III) gave Nebo a prominence in Assyrian worship which he had not before.

A statue of Nebo with the god's epithets written across the body, set up at Calah by Pul, is in the British Museum. Babylon from early ages held Nebo among the chief gods. At Birs Nimrud (Borsippa) was his ancient temple, which Nebuchadnezzar rebuilt. He also called his seaport on the Persian gulf Teredon, i.e. given to Tir equalling Nebo. The names Nabo-nassar, Nabo-polassar, Nebu-chadnezzar, Nabo-nadius, show Nebo was their guardian god. The tower of Nebo had the form of the seven spheres. Nebo's sphere has the blue sacred to him. But "Nebo stoopeth," i.e. is prostrate, "a burden to the weary beast" of the conqueror who carried the idol away; so far was Nebo from saving Babylon (Isaiah 46:1; 1 Samuel 5:3-4; Psalms 20:8).

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Bibliography Information
Fausset, Andrew R. Entry for 'Nebo (2)'. Fausset's Bible Dictionary. 1949.

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