Chiun in the Bible

Hebrew: כִּיּוּן —transliteration: Kiyyun, Chiun, Kēwān, Kewan, Kaiwan, Kiyuwn, Kijun

These are various pronunciations of the Old Persian word Kayvân, meaning the planet Saturn.

“Chiun” occurs only a single time in Scripture in the book of Amos (King James Version translation)…

But ye have borne the tabernacle of your Moloch and Chiun your images, the star of your god, which ye made to yourselves. —Amos 5:26 KJV

Spelled “Kiyyun” in Amos 5:26 NASB and Amos 5:26 ESV

The New International Version leaves out the word and simply says “the star of your god” (Amos 5:26 NIV).

Remphan

Greek: Ῥεμφάν

also known as: Rhemphan, Rephan, Rompha

Based on Stephen’s quotation of Amos in Acts 7:43 NKJV (also “Remphan” in Acts 7:43 KJV), the New King James Version substitutes the Greek word “Remphan” for “Chiun”…

You also took up the tabernacle of Moloch,
And the star of your god Remphan,
Images which you made to worship;
And I will carry you away beyond Babylon.’ —Amos 5:26 NKJV

…the star of your god Remphan… —Acts 7:43 NKJV excerpt

The spellings differ in the New American Standard Bible and the English Standard Bible.

“Rephan” — Acts 7:43 ESV

“Rompha” — Acts 7:43 NASB

The ancient Greek word used in Acts is Ῥεμφάν —transliteration: Rhemphan.

It has been suggested that the Greek word in its various forms may be based on a transliteration of the Hebrew כִּיּוּן, that is “k” (qoppa) having replaced “r” (resh), “ph” having been substituted for y (yod), and “u” (vowel waw) having been replaced by “a” (alpha). See: Hebrew language

It is probable that the planet Saturn is meant by these names. Ancient astrologers represented this planet as full of hurtful and pernicious influence, and so the Phoenicians offered human sacrifices to it, especially children. The later Romans constructed a deity, mythology and festival (Saturnalia) around this planet, the pagan god Saturn, who was conflated with the Greek Titan Cronus.

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Article Version: June 30, 2021