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The meaning of Asaramel in the Bible
(From International Standard Bible Encyclopedia)

a-sar'-a-mel (Asaramel or Saramel): A name of uncertain origin occurring in 1 Macc 14:28, in the inscription set up in memory of Simon and the Maccabean family. "On the eighteenth day of Elul, in the hundred and seventy and second year, and this is the third year of Simon the high priest, in Asaramel, in a great congregation of priests and people and princes of the nation, and of the elders of the country," etc. The phrase "in Asaramel" has been taken as referring to a place, and as the name of a title of Simon. Ewald and others take it to be the equivalent of ba-chatsar 'am 'el, "in the court of the people of God." Another reading is "in Saramel." The majority prefer to take the phrase as a title of Simon; the original phrase is then taken to have been wesar 'am 'el, "and prince of the people of God," i.e. ethnarch. If the translator mistook the waw (w) for beth (b) and read 'en, he might have left the phrase untranslated because he supposed it to be the name of a place. Schurer disposes of the en by taking it as a corruption of segen = ceghen, which is equivalent to the Greek strategos (GVI, I, 197, note 17).

H. J. Wolf


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