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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