The meaning of Atargatis in the Bible
(From International Standard Bible Encyclopedia)
a-tar'-ga-tis (Atargatis; the Revised Version (British and American) wrongly ATERGATIS): Is stated in 2 Macc 12:26 to have been worshipped at Karnion, the Ashtaroth-Karnaim of the Old Testament (compare Ant, XII, viii, 4). The name is found on coins of Membij as 'atar-'atah, where 'Atar (i.e. Ashtoreth) is identified with the goddess 'Atah, whose name is sometimes written 'Ati. or 'Atah or 'Ati was also worshipped at Palmyra, and (according to Melito) in Adiabene. The compound Atargatis, often corrupted by the Greeks into Derketo, had her chief temples at Membij (Hierapolis) and Ashkelon where she was represented with the body of a woman and the tail of a fish, fish being sacred to her. Herodotus made her the Aphrodite Urania of the Greeks. 'Ati may have been originally a Hittite goddess with whom the Assyrian Ishtar ('Atar) came afterward to be identified.tory of the kingdom (II Samuel 14:14). For the legal and geographical information, see CITIES OF REFUGE; HOMICIDE.
A. H. Sayce
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