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Bible Encyclopedias

Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature

Adrammelech

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(Heb. Adramme lek, אִדְרִמֶּלֶךְ , prob. for, אֶדֶר הִמֶּלֶךְ, glory of the king, i.e., of Moloch; Sept. Ἀδραμέλεχ ), the name of a deity, and also of a man. (See CUNEIFORM INSCRIPTIONS).

1. An idol worshipped by the sacrifice of children in the fire, in connection with Anammelech, by the inhabitants of Sepharvaim, who were transported to Samaria by the king of Assyria (2 Kings 17:31). Selden (De Diis Syris, 2, 9) has confounded the two idols, being misled by a corrupt reading of the text (אֵֹלהִ, god, instead of 1.אֵֹלהֵי, gods of, as in the margin). The above etymology (making the name equivalent to the splendid king), first proposed by Jurien (Hist. des cultes, 4, 653) favors the reference of this divinity to the sun, the moon perhaps being denoted by the associated Anammelech (as the female companion of the sun, comp. Rawlinson s Herodotus, 1, 611), in general accordance with the astrological character of Assyrian idolatry (Gesenius, Comment. ub. Jesaias, 2, 327 sq.), and seems preferable to the Persian derivation (i. q. adar or azar, fire) proposed by Reland (De vet. ling. Pers. 9). The kind of sacrifice has led to the conjecture (Lette, De idolo Adrammelech, in the Bibl. Bremens. nov. fasc. 1, p. 41 sq.) that Saturn is meant; but Selden (De Diis Syris, 1, 6) and others have identified him with Moloch, chiefly on the ground that the sacrifice of children by fire, and the general signification of the name, are the same in both (see Gregorius, Feuergotzen d. Samaritaner, Lauban, 1754). Little credit is due to the rabbinical statements of the Bab. Talmud, that this idol was worshipped under the form of a peacock, or, according to Kimchi, that of a mule (Carpzov, Apparatus, p. 516); but it is probable that the former notion may have arisen from a confusion with some other ancient idol of the Assyrians of that form. The Yezidees, or so-called devil-worshippers of the same region, appear to retain a striking vestige of such a species of idolatry in their sacred symbol called Melek Taus, or king peacock, a name by which they personify Satan, the chief object of their reverence (Layard s Nineveh, 1st ser. 1, 245; 2d ser. p. 47).

2. A son of Sennacherib, king of Assyria. Both he and Sharezar were probably the children of slaves, and had therefore no right to the throne. Sennacherib, some time after his return to Nineveh, from his disastrous expedition against Hezekiah, was put to death by them while worshipping in the temple of his god Nisroch; having accomplished this crime, they fled for safety to the mountains of Armenia, and their brother Esarhaddon succeeded to the throne (2 Kings 19:37; Isaiah 37:38; comp. 2 Chronicles 32:21), B.C. 680. See SENNACHERIB. Moses Chorensis (p. 60) calls him Adramelus; so, also, Abydenus (in Euseb. Chron. Armen. 1, 53), who makes him the son and murderer of Nergal, Sennacherib s immediate successor (see Hitzig, Begriff d. Kritik, p. 194 sq.); while, according to Alexander Polyhistor (in Euseb. Chron. Arm. 1, 43), Sennacherib was assassinated by his son Ardumusanus. Colossians Rawlinson (Outlines of Assyrian History, also in the Lond. Athenaeum, March 18 and April 15, 1854) thinks he has deciphered the names of two Assyrian kings called Adrammelech, one about 300 and the other 15 years anterior to Sennacherib; but neither of them can be the one referred to in Scripture.

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Bibliography Information
McClintock, John. Strong, James. Entry for 'Adrammelech'. Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature. https://www.studylight.org/encyclopedias/eng/tce/a/adrammelech.html. Harper & Brothers. New York. 1870.

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