🔼The name Heliopolis: Summary
- Sun City
- From (1) the noun ηλιος (helios), sun, and (2) the noun πολις (polis), city.
🔼The name Heliopolis in the Bible
The name Heliopolis — which is the Greek name of an important solar cultic center in Egypt — does not occur in the original texts of the Bible. The Hebrew name that is used in the Bible is a transliteration of the Egyptian name On, namely און, which occurs in most English translations as either On or Aven.
When Jacob's son Joseph dazzled the Pharaoh with his abilities to explain dreams, he was given to marry Asenath, the daughter of Potiphera, priest of On (Genesis 41:45). This city called On was still active in the time of Ezekiel (Ezekiel 30:17). Jeremiah makes mention of an Egyptian city he calls Beth-shemesh, which means House or Temple Of The Sun, which is probably the same as On and Heliopolis (Jeremiah 43:13).
The Greek Septuagint speaks of Ηλιου πολις for On in Genesis 41:45 and 41:50 and lower case ηλιου πολις in Ezekiel 30:17 and Jeremiah 43:13. Of the modern English translations, only the New American Standard uses the name Heliopolis in Jeremiah 43:13, and only the New International Version uses Heliopolis in Ezekiel 30:17.
🔼Etymology of the name Heliopolis
The name Heliopolis consists of two elements. The first part is the noun ηλιος (helios), meaning sun:
The noun ηλιος (helios) is the regular Greek word for sun, and since the sun has been an object of worship for eons, departure from solar worship was a major break in the evolution of theology (which is not a religion but "the study of everything").
The second part of our name is the noun πολις (polis), meaning city:
The noun πολις (polis) means city, i.e. the whole of human economy that goes on in one walled urban nucleus plus its supporting agricultural lands and settlements.
Noun πολιτης (polites) means citizen, which is a person who exists and operates within a so perpetuated community. Hence the verb πολιτευω (politeuo) means to live as or behave like a citizen, to be civilized, to be in tune with others. Noun πολιευμα (politeuma) denotes whatever act can be associated with the verb πολιτευω (politeuo); whatever doings keep the city together. Noun συμπολιτης (sumpolites) means fellow-citizen.
Noun πολιτεια (politeia) denotes citizenship or city-hood, πολιταρχης (politarches) means city ruler or magistrate, κωμοπολις (komopolis) describes a medium-sized but not-walled urban center. and μητροπολις (metropolis) means mother-city.
The name Heliopolis means City Of The Sun. A Hebrew name that has to do with the sun and which may directly or indirectly refer to solar worship is Samson.