HADAD, an early Semitic god, first appears in texts written in the Old Akkadian dialect and in Eblaite (third millennium). He was one of the chief gods of the amorites and, later, the canaanites and Arameans. In Akkadian documents Hadad appears as Adad / Addu and in Ugaritic as "Hd." He also appears at emar in Syria. The name Hadad probably means "thunderer," and as god of the storm he is responsible for fertility as well as destruction. He appears together with the sun goddess as guarantor of the treaty between Ebla and Abarsal. A letter found at Mari (A. Roberts, 1968, 166–68, 18th century B.C.E.) refers to a prophet of Adad, reminding King Zimri-Lim of Mari that it was Adad who returned Zimri-Lim to his ancestral throne and who gave the king the divine weapons with which he had defeated the sea god. This ancient myth is echoed in Ugaritic sources in which Baal, also called Hd, defeats Yam the sea god, as well as in Ps. 89:21–6. The cult of Hadad persisted in Syria from the earliest period up to Roman times. By the ninth century B.C.E. Baal and Hadad had bifurcated, with Baal, the biblical rival of Yahweh, worshipped in Israel, the Phoenician homeland in Lebanon, and the Phoenician diaspora, and Hadad among the Arameans, where he headed the pantheon. The bullock was sacred to him, and the sheaf of wheat, symbol of fertility, was one of his symbols. His consort was Atarʿata (called Atargatis, "the Syrian goddess," in Greek sources). The centers of the Hadad cult were Damascus and Baalbek, where he was identified with the sun god. There were temples of Hadad in Gozan-Sikanu, Sefire, Aleppo, Sam'al, and elsewhere. He was depicted on Syrian reliefs as a bearded man standing astride a bullock, holding shafts of lightning in his hands. In a later period he was depicted as a tall man wrapped in a tight garment decorated with emblems of the heavenly bodies, holding a threshing board in one hand and ears of grain in the other; next to him stand two bullocks. The Baal-Hadad cult was denounced by Elijah the prophet (I Kings 18) and by hosea . In Palestine Hadad was known by the epithet Rimmon (properly, Ramman, "thunderer"), and was worshiped   in the Valley of Megiddo (cf. "…as the mourning of Hadadrimmon in the plain of Megiddon," Zech. 12:11). In the Aramaic Tel Dan Inscription (COS II, 162–63) the victorious Aramean king credits Hadad with preceding him and giving him victory over Israel. In the Hellenistic period an altar was erected to Hadad near Acre. He and Atarʿata were also the chief gods of Hierapolis in Syria, but during the Hellenistic-Roman period the cult of the goddess gained in importance. When the Syrian cult spread west to the Greek and Roman cities, Hadad played only a secondary role. Hadad appears in the Bible as the name of Edomite kings (Gen. 36:35; I Kings 11:14–25; I Chron. 1:46, 50) and is also a component of the names of Aramean kings Bar-Hadad, i.e., "Son of Hadad," hebraized as ben-hadad (I Kgs. 20:1) and Hadadezer (II Sam. 8:3). -BIBLIOGRAPHY: A. Deimel, Pantheon Babylonicum (1914), 43ff.; G. Dossin, in: Syria, 20 (1939), 171–2; Albright, Stone, 160, 176, 187–8, 332; S. Moscati (ed.), Le Antiche Divinitá Semitiche (1958). ADD. BIBLIOGRAPHY: J. Greenfield, in: DDD, 377–82; J. Roberts, The Bibleand the Ancient Near East (2002), 159–60, 166–68. (Michael Avi-Yonah / S. David Sperling (2nd ed.)

Encyclopedia Judaica. 1971.

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  • Hadad — ▪ ancient god also spelled  Had,  Hadda , or  Haddu   the Old Testament Rimmon, West Semitic god of storms, thunder, and rain, the consort of the goddess Atargatis. His attributes were identical with those of Adad of the Assyro Babylonian… …   Universalium

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