the principal deity of the ancient Greeks and Romans. He was worshipped by them under various epithets. Barnabas was identified with this god by the Lycaonians ( Acts 14:12 ), because he was of stately and commanding presence, as they supposed Jupiter to be. There was a temple dedicated to this god outside the gates of Lystra ( 14:13 ).
the father that helpeth
(a father that helps ), the Greek Zeus. The Olympian Zeus was the national god of the Hellenic race, as well as the supreme ruler of the heathen world, and as such formed the true opposite to Jehovah. Jupiter or Zeus is mentioned in two passages of the New Testament, on the occasion of St. Pauls visit to Lystra, ( Acts 14:12 Acts 14:13 ) where the expression "Jupiter, which was before their city," means that his temple was outside the city. Also in ( Acts 19:35 )
joo'-pi-ter, ju'-pi-ter (Zeus):
"Jupiter" is mentioned in 2 Macc 6:2; Acts 14:12,13, with "Zeus" in the Revised Version margin in all cases. In addition the Greek stem appears in diopetous, in Acts 19:35, English Versions of the Bible "which fell down from Jupiter"; but the word means "from the clear sky" (compare "from heaven" in the Revised Version margin). "Jupiter" was considered the Latin equivalent of the Greek "Zeus," the highest god in the developed Greek pantheon, and Zeus in turn, in accord with the syncretism of the period, was identified with countless deities in the local cults of Asia Minor and elsewhere. So in Acts 14:12,13, "Zeus" and "Hermes" are local deities that had been renamed. On the other hand, the Zeus of 2 Macc 6:2 is the genuine Greek deity, who had been adopted as a special patron by Antiochus Epiphanes and to whose temple in Athens Antiochus had contributed largely. The title "Olympius" (2 Macc 6:2) is derived from the early worship on Mt. Olympus, but had come to be thought one of the god's highest appellations; Xenios, "protector of strangers," was a title in a cult particularly popular with travelers.
See ABOMINATION OF DESOLATION, and Smith, HGHL, 333-34.
Burton Scott Easton
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