The meaning of Adra in the Bible
(From International Standard Bible Encyclopedia)
See ARAD (city).
ADRAMMELECH and ANAMMELECH
a-dram'-el-ek and a-nam'-el-ek ('adhrammelekh and 'anammelekh, apparently, according to Assyrian usage, "Adar is prince," "Anu is prince." By Palestinian usage it would be "Adar is king," "Anu is king"):
(1) The names given by the Israelite narrator to the god or gods imported into the Samaritan land by the men of Sepharvaim whom the king of Assyria had settled there (II Kings 17:31). In the Babylonian pantheon Anu, the god of heaven, is one of the three chief gods, and Adar, otherwise known as Ninib, is a solar god. Concerning the statements in this verse in Kings, archaeologists differ in some important points, and it is a case in which a suspended judgment may be becoming in one who is not an expert. But at least a portion of the alleged difficulties have arisen from failures to get the point of view of the Israelite narrator. He is writing from a time considerably later than the establishment of the institutions of which he speaks—late enough to render the phrase "unto this day" suitable (II Kings 17:34), late enough so that words and usages may have undergone modification. He is describing a mixture of religions which he evidently regards as deserving of contempt and ridicule, even apart from the falsity of the religions included in it. This mixture he describes as containing ingredients of three kinds—first, the imported religions of the imported peoples; second, the local high-place religions (II Kings 17:32, etc.), and third, the Yahweh religion of Northern Israel (not that of Jerusalem). It is not likely that he thought that they practiced any cult in its purity. They contaminated the religion of Yahweh by introducing Canaanitish usages into it, and they are likely to have done the same with the ancestral religions which they brought with them. The proper names may be correct as representing Palestine usage, even if they differ somewhat from the proper Babylonian usage. The writer says that they "burnt their children in the fire to Adrammelech," but this does not necessarily prove that he thought that they brought this practice from Babylonia; his idea may be that they corrupted even their own false cult by introducing into it this horrible Canaanitish rite. In considering the bearings of the evidence of the monuments on the case, considerations of this kind should not be neglected.
(2) The name of a son of Sennacherib king of Assyria—one of the two who slew him and escaped, indirectly leading to the accession of Esar-haddon (II Kings 19:37; Isaiah 37:38). Mention of the incident is found on the monuments, and traces of the name appear in the writings of Abydenus and Poly-histor.
Willis J. Beecher
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