ANAMMELECH (Heb. עֲנַמֶּלֶךְ), deity worshiped by the people of *Sepharvaim (ii Kings 17:31), who were settled in Samaria (ii Kings 17:24; Isa. 36:19), probably by Shalmaneser v or by *Sargon ii. The people of Sepharvaim (possibly Sibraim in Syria [cf. Ezek. 47:16; ii Kings 17:24; 18:34], or Sipra'ani, a Chaldean locale) continued to worship their gods, Anammelech and *Adrammelech, and maintain the worship of the God of Israel. According to ii Kings 17:31, the cult of Anammelech was accompanied by the sacrifice of children (see *Moloch). The identity of this deity raises some difficulties, as no Assyrian or Babylonian deity bearing this name is known. The "Ana" element in the name has been variously explained as referring to Anu, the sky god, who was the head of the old Babylonian trinity (Anu, Bel, and Ea) and as a male counterpart of the well-known goddess *Anat. The "Melech" element has been explained as meaning "king" or "prince" (melekh), or as referring to human sacrifice to Moloch, or to a god bearing that name (cf. de Vaux, Anc Isr, 446).
E. Ebeling and B. Meissner (eds.), Reallexikon der Assyriologie, 1 (1932), 115–7; A. Jirku, Altorientalischer Kommentar zum Alten Testament (1923), 180 ff.; Maisler, in: jpos, 16 (1936), 152–3; Pohl, in: Biblica, 22 (1941), 35 (Ger.); Albright, Arch Rel, 162 ff., 220 ff.; de Vaux, Anc Isr, 529 (incl. bibliography). add. bibliography: M. Smith, in: jaos, 95 (1975), 477–79; A. Green, The Role of Human Sacrifice in the Ancient Near East (1975); S. Kaufman, in: jnes, 37 (1978), 109–18; R. Zadok, in: janes, 8 (1976), 115–16; M. Cogan and H. Tadmor, ii Kings (1988), 212; A. Millard, ddd, 34–5.