Adrammelech

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ADRAMMELECH

ADRAMMELECH (Heb. אַדְרַמֶּלֶךְ). (1) A deity named Adrammelech was worshiped, together with *Anammelech, by the people of *Sepharvaim (ii Kings 17:31), possibly Assyrian Saparrê, who settled in Samaria after its destruction in 722 b.c.e. No Assyrian or Babylonian deity is known by the name Adrammelech. Inscriptions from Gozan (Tell Ḥalaf on the Khabur, beginning of the ninth century b.c.e.) were once thought to attest the name of a god Adad-Milki. Accordingly, it was suggested to correct Adrammelech to Adadmelech assuming the common graphic confusion of dalet and resh. But the reading Adad-Milki in the Gozan inscriptions themselves now seems questionable. The element melech in the name is probably the Hebrew word for king, so Addir-Melech, "the glorious one is king," is a possibility. At the same time Addir-Molech, "glorious is (the god) Molech" (see *Moloch), cannot be ruled out.

(2) According to the received Hebrew text, Adrammelech was the name of a son of *Sennacherib, king of Assyria (ii Kings 19:37; Isa. 37:38). Together with his brother *Sharezer, Adrammelech murdered his father in the temple of Nisroch and escaped to the land of *Ararat (cf. ii Chron. 32:21). Abydenus (Eusebius, Armenia Chronicle, ed. Schoene, 1:35) gives the name of the murderer as Adramelus. That reading is now confirmed by cuneiform evidence that gives the regicide's name as Arda-Mulissi, "servant of Mulissu," Mulissu being the neo-Assyrian name of the goddess Ninlil. In turn we may correct the Hebrew to ארדמלס.

The biblical description of Sennacherib's murder is given in relation to the Assyrian defeat near Jerusalem (ii Kings 19:36–37; Isa. 37:37–38; cf. ii Chron. 32:21). In point of fact, many years elapsed between Sennacherib's campaign in Phoenicia and Ereẓ Israel (c. 701 b.c.e.) and his death (681 b.c.e.), but the Bible telescopes these events to show that the prophecy of Isaiah about Sennacherib (ii Kings 19:7; Isa. 37:7) was fulfilled.

add. bibliography:

(1) S. Kaufman, in: jnes, 37 (1978), 101–9; A. Millard, in: ddd, 10–11; G. Heider, in: ddd, 581–85. (2) S. Parpola, in: Mesopotamia, 8 (1980), 171–82.

[Yuval Kamrat /

S. David Sperling (2nd ed.)]