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ASARAMEL , word of doubtful meaning used in the description of *Simeon the Hasmonean's appointment as high priest and governor of the Jews in i Maccabees 14:27. It is stated there that these offices were conferred on Simeon the high priest ὲν ἁοαραμέλ. The meaning of the word ἁοαραμέλ has given rise to considerable speculation. Some consider it as a title and others as a place. Those who suggest that it is a title regard it as a transliteration of sar am El "a prince of the people of God" (Grimm and Kautsch) or, as the Syrian version has it sar El (Osterley). This interpretation is doubtful, however, since the name of God does not otherwise appear in i Maccabees, nor do they explain the preceding word ὲν. The suggestion of Geiger aẓeret am El ("the courtyard of the people of God") or the similar one of Ewald ḥaẓar am El meets this latter point but leaves the former unanswered. Schalit's emendation ἁοαραμέλ ἁοαρά μεγάλε ("in the great court") meets both difficulties and is the equivalent of the "ha-azarah ha-Gedolah" mentioned in ii Chronicles 4:9.


A. Schalit, Koenig Herodes (1969), 781–7; M. Stern, Te'udot le-Mered ha-Ḥashmona'im (1965), 134; Zeitlin, in: i Macc., ed. Dropsie College (1950), 44, 227, 248.

[Isaiah Gafni]