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In 14th century BC vassals sent from Egypt to Canaan were described as Rabisu or senior Rabisu meaning commissioner or high commissioner respectively.
In Akkadian mythology Rabisu ("the vagabond") or possibly Rabasa is an evil vampiric spirit or demon that is always menacing the entrance to the houses and hiding in dark corners, lurking to attack people. It is said that pure sea salt can ban them as the salt represents incorruptible life (salt preserves, and life was first born from the sea). In Hell, they live in the Desert of Anguish, attacking newly arrived souls as they travel down the Road of Bone to the City of the Dead.
The book The Religion of Babylonia and Assyria by Theophilus G. Pinches describes the Rabisu as being "the seizer" which is "regarded as a spirit which lay in wait to pounce upon his prey". Chapter 4 of Genesis lines 6 and 7 reads:
|“||So the LORD said to Cain: "Why are you so resentful and crestfallen? If you do well, you can hold up your head; but if not, sin is a demon lurking at the door: his urge is toward you, yet you can be his master."||”|
or in Genesis 4:7:
|“||If thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door.||”|
The New American Bible among others believes that "Demon lurking" which in Hebrew means "the croucher" is similar to the word Rabisu. Therefore, it is possible that this displays a continued tradition in the emerging culture of the Hebrews.
Rabisu is listed in the rituals of Shurpu which are to do with burning such as the symbolic burning of witches. The Shurpu ritual allows us to banish Rabisu described as "a demon that springs unawares on its victims".
In the book Simon Necronomicon which contains a blend of myths including Sumerian, Rabisu are described as ancient demons. It talks about the god Marduk who battled Tiamat, Kingu, and Azag-Thoth. Among the Fifty Names of Marduk one finds the name Nariluggaldimmerankia, which is the sixth. Nariluggaldimmerankia is said to be the sub-commander of wind demons, described as the foe of Rabisu and all maskim who haunt humans. Marduk's seventh name, Asaruludu, is said to have the power using his sacred word Banmaskim to banish all Maskim and Rabisu.
- ‘What’s in a name?’ - Lorna Lloyd
- International Bible Standard Encyclopedia
- The Fifty Names of Marduk
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