Zaphon צפון
(1,485 words)

I. Name

In the Northwest-Semitic languages, Zaphon is first attested in Ugaritic texts as a designation for Jebel al-Aqraʿ to the north of Ugarit. In the OT, Zaphon occurs in a general sense meaning ‘north (-wind)’ and in a special sense designating a divine mountain. In this latter sense Zaphon is used as a synonym for mount Zion (Ps. 48.3). Etymologically, Zaphon can be derived from ṣāpâ ‘to spy’ (Eissfeldt 1932; Bonnet 1987). Less likely are derivations from ṣāpan ‘to hide’ (De Savignac) or from ṣu…

Cite this page
H. Niehr, “Zaphon צפון”, 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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