Vanities הבלים
(568 words)

I. Name

In Deuteronomistic religious polemics and related texts, ‘vanities’ (hebelîm) indicate images of non-Yahwistic deities. It is impossible to establish the identity of the deities involved (Preuss 1971:160–164). Etymologically, hebel is related to words for ‘breath; vapour and nullity’.

II. Identity

Since it is not clear to which deities the term hebelîm refers, their character cannot be described. It is characteristic of the orthodox form of the Yahwistic religion i…

Cite this page
B. Becking, “Vanities הבלים”, in: Dictionary of Deities and Demons in the Bible Online, Edited by: Karel van der Toorn, Bob Becking, Pieter W. van der Horst. Consulted online on 16 January 2019 <>

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