Malik (title)

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MLK is a Semitic language root . Various god names as well as royal titles are derived from the forms Malki , Malik , Melek and Melik .


The original meaning and connotation of the Semitic root mlk (also: milk and mlq ) has already been blurred by ancient translators of literature due to difficulties in understanding it. Since then, this has been interpreted by various researchers, including as a [god] king .

In modern times it is sometimes difficult to distinguish between the different roots of MLK and ML'K when it comes to names of oriental origin:

language MLK (king) ML'K (angel)
Arabic مَلِك ( malik ) مَلَك ( malā'ik ) / ملاك ( malak )
Persian ملک ( malak ) ملک ( malek )
Turkish malik melek
Hebrew מֶלֶךְ ( mélekh ) מַלְאָךְ ( mal'akh )

God names

Melek or Malik (Phoenician: ???) was a Canaanite deity. The Phoenician deity Melkart ( Milk-Qart , 'lord of the city') comes from the same root of the name; she was also venerated in Carthage . The worship of Adramelech ( Adar-malik = 'glorious king') is also known from early ancient Syria ; the ammonite equivalent was Milkom .

These cults were considered idolatry in Jewish literature. It is controversial whether the child sacrifices ascribed to them by some extra-biblical sources actually took place. It is often assumed that the root of the name was deliberately disparagingly alienated to Moloch or Molech by the Masoretes .

King title

The "priest king" Melchizedek of Salem is known from the Bible , for whom there is no extra-biblical evidence and whose area of ​​rule remains unclear. The royal title Melek has been handed down for Carthage ; Roman sources also named a local king Malchus , although it was probably not the proper name. Melek (מֶלֶךְ) is also a royal title in Hebrew , from which the “royal” limestone variety Meleke is derived .

Malik is also a royal title in the Arab cultural area (in Saudi Arabia , but also in Ethiopia , for example ) and has kept this meaning today mainly in the first name Malik .

Individual evidence

  1. J. Lust: Molec and Archon . In: Phenicia and the Bible: Proceedings of the Conference held at the University of Leuven on the 15th and 16th of March 1990 . Editor: Edward Lipiński. Peeters Publishers, 1991. ISBN 978-90-6831-3772 . Digitized . Pp. 193-208
  2. James E. Hoch: Semitic Words in Egyptian Texts of the New Kingdom and Third Intermediate Period . Princeton University Press, 2014. ISBN 978-1-40-086-3884 . Digitized . P. 105.