Bible Encyclopedias
Saturn, the Planet

Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature

Search for…
Prev Entry
Saturn, or Kronos
Next Entry
Resource Toolbox

seems to be named as an object of worship in Amos 5:26, under the title Kiyun', כַּיּוּן, where it is said of the Israelites in the wilderness, "Ye have borne the tabernacle of your Moloch and Chiun, your images," etc.; for a similar word is the name of this star in both Syriac and Arabic (comp. Aben-Ezra, ad loc.), and it is known that the ancient Arabians strove to propitiate Saturn as a star of evil influence (see Pococke, Spec. Hist. Arab. p. 103, 120, ed. nov.; comp. Norberg, Onomast. Cod. Nas. p. 78 sq.; Ephrem Syr. Opp. 2, 458; Propert. 4, 1, 104; Lucan, 1, 652; Juvenal, 6, 569). On account of its distance from the sun it was considered by the ancient astronomers as having a cold nature (Pliny, 2, 6, p. 75 ed. Hard.), and they ascribed to it heavy storms of rain (ibid. 2, 39; see Harduin, ad loc.; see also, on its evil influence, Macrobius, Saturn, 1, 19, p. 95, 97 Bip.; (See MOLOCH) ). The Sept. has ῾Ραιφάν; comp. Acts 7:43, where the MSS. vary much (see Griesb. ad loc.; comp. O. Mü ller, in the Bibl. Lubec. 7:469 sq.), but the best read ῾Ρηφάν . This is a Coptic word, as Kircher has shown from an Arabico-Coptic inscription (Ling. Aeg. Restit p. 49; Oedip. Aeg. p. 1, 386 sq.). Seyffarth would derive it from PE, to make or be, and ουοειν, light, i.e. shining (comp. Tatius Isag. in Arati Phoen. c. 17). Jablonski, however (Remph. .Egypt. Deus [Frankfort and Leips. 1731], also in his Opusc. 2, 1 sq., and in Ugolini Thesaur. 23), would deny that this and the other names of planets associated with it in the inscription are Egyptian, and renders the word as Ethiopic, king of heaven, i.e. sun (comp. Opusc. 1, 230 sq.), from ro, "king," and pheh, "heaven." [Hence the true reading would be ῾Ρομφά Then we must understand the passage in Amos to refer to the worship of Osiris. But there is little evidence for the reading with μ . Ign. Rossi (Etymol. Egypt. [Rome, 1808] p. 176) explains ῾Ρεμφά as meaning inhabitant of heaven, from pheh, "heaven," and rene, "inhabitant" (comp. Coptic version of 1 Corinthians 15:48 sq.). But this is not striking. More recently, Hengstenberg agrees with Jablonski in rejecting all glosses, and has returned to the old view t that ῾Ρηφάν is the mistake of a scribe for Kiyun, or Riyun (Authent. des Pentat. 1, 110 sq.); yet this seems too hasty; and Kircher's view is supported by some well 1 acquainted with the Coptic, and is defended by Baur (Comment. ad loc.) and Winer, who considers the rendering of Hengstenberg (Gestell eurer Bilder, i.e. the frame or support of your images) as without force, though Hitzig and Ewald adopt it. Gesenius (Thesaur. 2, 669 sq.) renders statuam idolorum vestrorum, i.e. statue of your idols, which is without good reason. (Comp., in gen., Braun, Selecta Sacra, p. 477 sq.; Maius and Schwab, in Ugolini Thesaur. 23 [but these are unimportant]; Schrö der, De Tabernac. Mol. et Stella Dei Rempha [Marb. 1745].) Rosenmü ller denies that the Sept. renders Kiyun by ῾Ραιφάν, but refers it as a word of explanation to elohekem אַלֹהֵיכֶם, your gods. But this is with little reason. An attempt has been made to connect Saturn with the Jewish Sabbath, as the day of Saturn. See, contra, Bä hr, Symbol. 2, 584. Wolff's Diss. 1. de Chiun et Remph. (Leips. 1741) is unimportant. (See CHIUN).

Bibliography Information
McClintock, John. Strong, James. Entry for 'Saturn, the Planet'. Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature.​encyclopedias/​eng/​tce/​s/saturn-the-planet.html. Harper & Brothers. New York. 1870.