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Anammelech meaning

ענמלך
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🔼The name Anammelech in the Bible

The name Anammelech occurs once in the Bible. It's the name of one of two gods of the Sepharvites to whom they sacrificed their children by burning (2 Kings 17:31). These Sepharvites were relocated in Israel by decree of the king of Assyria and the Lord had sent lions among them to sort them out. Hence they request of the king a priest attune with the God of Israel, so that they may learn how to keep the lions out. The priest comes and settles in Bethel, but apparently he wasn't much of an evangelist because even though the new locals begin to fear YHWH, they keep worshipping their idols and continue murdering their own children.

🔼Etymology of the name Anammelech

The name Anammelech consists of two elements. The final part is quite clear but the first part is a bit of a mystery. NOBSE Study Bible Name List says it comes from some Anu; probably the name of a god. BDB Theological Dictionary also mentions the proposal of some that Anammelech is a Hebraized version of the Assyrian Anu-malik, but deems it "dubious". Others refer to the goddess Anat, after which, perhaps, the city Anathoth was named (1 Kings 2:26).

Alfred Jones (Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names) who often ventures far, far away from established academic grounds and usually comes back with much more entertaining solutions, sees in the name Anammelech the word ענם (anim), an imported Arabic word meaning image or statue, but doesn't mention that this word is identical to the name of the city Anem, derived from the word meaning eye, and possibly meaning Fountains. But Jones does mention the idea of one mister Hyde, who supposed relations to an Arabic word meaning cattle, and ties the name Anammelech to the constellation Cepheus.

Perhaps to a Hebrew audience there was an association between the first part of the name Anammelech and the enormous root group ענה ('ana):

The origin of the second part of Anammelech is less obscure. It comes from the noun מלך (melek), meaning king:

🔼Anammelech meaning

The name Anammelech may simply mean King Anu, or Anu Is King (NOBSE Study Bible Name List). It may even carry the meaning of King Of Answers, or King Of Fountains or King Of Eyes.

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