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Holman Bible Dictionary


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(ahb' eh lihssk) Stone pillar used in worship, especially of the Egyptian sun god Amun-Ra. Four-sided and made from one stone, obelisks tapered to the top, where a pyramid rested. They apparently symbolized the rays of the rising sun and the hope of the Pharaoh for rejuvenation and new vitality. At times, they were used in tombs to represent hope for resurrection. A four thousand-year-old obelisk still stands in modern Matariyeh, ancient On. Another has been transplanted to Central Park in New York City. Many obelisks were built from about 1550 to about 1100 B.C. Some were more than 100 feet tall. The Hebrew term translated obelisks at Jeremiah 43:13 (NAS, NRSV, RSV) means pillar or standing stone (“sacred stone,” NIV, REB). The Egyptian context suggests the pillars were in fact obelisks, perhaps dedicated to the sun-god Ra. See on .

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These dictionary topics are from the Holman Bible Dictionary, published by Broadman & Holman, 1991. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Broadman & Holman.

Bibliography Information
Butler, Trent C. Editor. Entry for 'Obelisk'. Holman Bible Dictionary. 1991.

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Wednesday, October 28th, 2020
the Week of Proper 25 / Ordinary 30
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