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Athbash
Excerpt from the Lexham Bible Dictionary, the most advanced Bible dictionary.
Refers to a type of cryptogram based on exchanging letters from the front of the Hebrew alphabet with corresponding letters from the end of the alphabet.The Hebrew alphabet has 22 consonants. The athbash folds the alphabet back on itself between the 11th letter, kaph, and the 12th letter, lamedh. The name “athbash” reflects this pattern in the Hebrew alphabet; the first letter, aleph, is replaced by the last tav, the second letter, bet, is replaced by the penultimate letter shin, and so on. There are three examples of this cryptic writing in the Hebrew Bible, all in the book of Jeremiah. In Jeremiah 25:26, the name Babylon is encoded by Sheshach; the Hebrew consonants בבל‎ (bbl) correspond to שׁשׁך‎ (shshk), following the athbash pattern. The same cryptogram is used in Jer 51:41.Another example is in Jer 51:1, where the Hebrew phrase יקמ לב‎ (yqm lb) encodes another name for Babylon—“Chaldea,” or Hebrew כַּשְׂדִּים‎ (kasdim). None of the examples attempt to conceal that Babylon is the object. In Jeremiah 51:41, Sheshach and Babylon are mentioned in parallel. The purpose of the cryptogram appears to have been related to word play. For example, the literal meaning of the phrase יקמ לב‎ (yqm lb) in Jer 51:1 emphasizes Babylon’s pride, “the heart of one who rises up against me.”Douglas Mangum
Dictionaries
The Lexham Bible Dictionary
Athbash
Athbash Refers to a type of cryptogram based on exchanging letters from the front of the Hebrew alphabet with corresponding letters from the end of the alphabet.The Hebrew alphabet has 22 consonants. The athbash folds the alphabet back on itself between the 11th letter, kaph, and the 12th letter, lamedh.
Baker Encyclopedia of the Bible
Athbash
Athbash. Hebrew cryptograph in which the first letter of the Hebrew alphabet is substituted for the last, the second for the next-to-last, etc., to produce a code. Such a code or cipher was used for the word “Chaldea” in Jeremiah 51:1 (kjv interprets the cipher as meaning “them that rise up against me”).
The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia, Revised
Athbash
Athbash athʹbash. An artificially contrived term designating a Semitic cipher. In this word (for Heb. ˊtbš) the first alphabetic consonant is followed by the last, and the second by the next to the last. To form a cipher, the consonants from the beginning of the alphabet are substituted for those at
Tyndale Bible Dictionary
Athbash
ATHBASH* Hebrew cryptograph in which the first letter of the Hebrew alphabet is substituted for the last, the second for the next-to-last, etc., to produce a code. Such a code or cipher was used for the word “Chaldea” in Jeremiah 51:1 (kjv interprets the cipher as meaning “them that rise up against me”).
Eerdmans Dictionary of the Bible
Athbash
AthbashA cryptographic system whereby letters equidistant from the middle of the alphabet represent each other. Thus the first letter of the consonantal Hebrew alphabet (aleph) is exchanged for the last (tau), the second letter (beth) for the second to last (shin), and so on. The Hebrew system’s name
Eerdmans Bible Dictionary
Athbash
Athbash [ăthˊbăsh]. A Hebrew cryptographic scheme in which the first letter of the Hebrew alphabet is exchanged for the last letter, the second for the second to the last (aleph for tau, beth for shin), and so forth. The name is constructed from the first two pairs of substitutes (˒ṯbš).The book
The New Interpreter’s Dictionary of the Bible, Volumes 1–5
ATHBASH
ATHBASH ath´bash [אַתְבַּשׁʾathbash]. A cryptographic code system known as a substitution cipher used three times in the book of Jeremiah. The principle is that of substituting the initial letter of the Hebrew ALPHABET א‎; ALEF) with that of the last letter (ת‎; TAV), and vice versa. The second letter