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(1.00) (1Sa 5:3)

tc The LXX adds “they entered the temple of Dagon and saw.”

(0.75) (1Sa 5:4)

tc Heb “only Dagon was left.” We should probably read the word גֵּו (gev, “back”) before Dagon, understanding it to have the sense of the similar word גְּוִיָּה (geviyyah, “body”). This variant is supported by the following evidence: The LXX has ἡ ῥάχις (hē hrachis, “the back” or “trunk”); the Syriac Peshitta has wegusmeh (“and the body of”); the Targum has gupyeh (“the body of”); the Vulgate has truncus (“the trunk of,” cf. NAB, NASB, NRSV, NLT). On the strength of this evidence the present translation employs the phrase “Dagon’s body.”

(0.62) (Zep 1:9)

sn The point of the statement all who hop over the threshold is unclear. A ritual or superstition associated with the Philistine god Dagon may be in view (see 1 Sam 5:5).

(0.50) (Jdg 16:24)

tn Most interpret this as a reference to Samson, but this seems premature, since v. 25 suggests he was not yet standing before them. Consequently some prefer to see this statement as displaced and move it to v. 25 (see C. F. Burney, Judges, 387). It seems more likely that the pronoun refers to an image of Dagon.

(0.25) (Dan 1:2)

tn Or “gods” (NCV, NRSV, TEV; also later in this verse). The Hebrew term can be used as a numerical plural for many gods or as a plural of majesty for one particular god. Since Nebuchadnezzar was a polytheist, it is not clear if the reference here is to many gods or one particular deity. The plural of majesty, while normally used for Israel’s God, is occasionally used of foreign gods (cf. BDB 43 s.v. אֱלֹהִים 1, 2). See Judg 11:24 (of the Moabite god Chemosh); 1 Sam 5:7 (of the Philistine god Dagon); 1 Kgs 11:33 (of the Canaanite goddess Astarte, the Moabite god Chemosh, and the Ammonite god Milcom); and 2 Kgs 19:37 (of the Assyrian god Nisroch). Since gods normally had their own individual temples, Dan 1:2 probably refers to a particular deity, perhaps Marduk, the supreme god of Babylon, or Marduk’s son Nabu, after whom Nebuchadnezzar was named. The name Nebuchadnezzar means “Nabu has protected the son who will inherit” (HALOT 660 s.v. נְבוּכַדְרֶאצַּר). For a discussion of how temples functioned in Babylonian religion, see H. Ringgren, Religions of the Ancient Near East, 77-81.

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