(Heb. Nibchaz'. נַבחִז v. r. נבחָז , and even נַבחִן, of uncertain meaning; Sept. Νιβχάζ or Ναιβάς v.r Α᾿βααζέρ or Ναβααζέρ or Ε᾿βλαζέρ, the last syllable evidently being the Assyrian termination assar, or the Babylonian ezzar]; Vulg. Nebchaz), a deity of the Avites, introduced by them into Samaria in the time of Shalmaneser (2Ki 17:31). There is no certain information as to the character of the deity, or the form of the idol so named. The rabbins derived the name from a Hebrew root nabach' (נָבִח), "to bark," and hence assigned to it the figure of a dog, or a dog-headed man (Jerus. Talm. Aboda Sara, 3:423; Bab. Talm. Sanhedr. 63, 2). There is no aprioi improbability in this; the Egyptians worshipped the dog (Plutarch, De Isaiah 44), and according to the opinion current among the Greeks and Romans they represented Anubis as a dog-headed man, though Wilkinson (Anc. Egypt. 1:440, second series) asserts that this was a mistake, the head being in reality that of a jackal. SEE ANUBIS. Some indications of the worship of the dog have been found in Syria, a colossal figure of a dog having formerly existed between Berytus and Tripolis (Marmarel, in Bohn's Eiarly Travels in Palest. p. 412). A singular trace of this is found in a basaltic gem in the collection of viscount Strangford. It is still more to the point to observe that on one of the slabs found at Khorsabad and represented by Botta (pl. 141), we have the front of a temple depicted with an animal near the entrance, which can be nothing else than a bitch suckling a puppy, the head of the animal having, however, disappeared. The worship of idols representing the human body surmounted by the head of an animal (as in the well-known case of Nisroch) was common among the Assyrians (see also Rawlinson, Anc. Monarchies, 1:294; Thevenot, Itin. 1:305; La Roque, p. 227; Paul Lucas, Itin. in Asia Min. etc., p. 252). In the Sabian books the corresponding name is that of an evil daemon, who sits on a throne upon the earth, while his feet rest on the bottom of Tartarus; but it is doubtful whether this should be identified with the Avite Nibhaz (Gesen. Thesaur. p. 842; Iken, Dissert. de Idola Nibchaz, in his Dissertations, 1:156 sq.; Norberg, Onomast. Cod. Nasar. p. 99; Beyer, Add. to Selden's Dii Syr. p. 321).
⇒Bible concordance for NIBHAZ.