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Biblical database ver. 004 “Deber” is online

The most important changes are as follows.
  • As always, I revised and consolidated the annotations. Everything should be more coherent and consequent.
  • The Deber contains 479 units (versus 474 in Goel) which means that very little new content was added. Most of these new units feature Molech. Although much suggests that the word מלך should be interpreted as a technical term designating a specific type of blood sacrifice which with time was (mis)construed as a voracious deity, I decided to include it in the inventory, just as I did with Azazel/ezazal and Belial/"worthlessness". In doing so I followed the rule of inclusivity and adopted the perspective of the postbiblical works for which these terms had clearly supernatural significance.
  • I have reconsidered several cases of a SE acknowledging the positive moral features of a given human. So far, such units have been annotated with #antagonism/#juridical tags and this might have been somewhat misleading because the #antagonism tag is supposed to mark the instances of hostility towards humans. To make things clearer, I devised a new tag (#cooperation/#affirmation) specifically for this purpose. Right now, there is a clear distinction between those two situations in the biblical inventory. I also plan to introduce this change in the Talmudic database.
  • The Hebrew Bible sporadically speaks about relations between particular SEs and so far, I have ignored this aspect in the annotation. However, this problem is more pronounced in the corpora belonging to the extrabiblical literature, such as 1 Enoch which speaks about the confrontation of archangels with the fallen ones and their hybrid progeny. In the present version, I distinguish between cooperative (#aboutentities/#friendship) and antagonistic (#aboutentities/#enmity) interactions – and this feature will be introduced in the Talmudic inventory as well. Very special thanks go to Maria Frąk who designed these two tags to annotate the Enochian database as a part of her BA dissertation
  • The most massive change to the biblical inventory concerns the formal features. As I already noted earlier, most of the biblical traditions about SEs are provided in the form of anecdotes with the remaining two genres represented only marginally. To make up for this homogeneity I introduced the additional system of annotating the biblical genres. I revised this category, reconceptualized some of the tags, and added several new second-tier tags acknowledging the specific subtypes of a given biblical genre. The second new formal category is that of biblical languages. I distinguish between three styles of Biblical Hebrew (ancient, proper, and late) and Biblical Aramaic. I also devised the tags to acknowledge the mixed forms of Hebrew and the units in which such a decision could not be made with certainty.


Version 004 Deber of the biblical inventory was created as a part of the grant The Construction of the Database of the Supernatural Entities in the Hebrew Bible using the System of the Elyonim veTachtonim Project (Excellence Initiative, [H.1.12.2020] MiniGRANTY POB Heritage) issued by the Jagiellonian University.

For more information about the project click here.