Chiun (Remphan, Kaiwan)
Dictionary of Bible Names

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Chiun (Remphan, Kaiwan)
Meaning of Name: An image, pillar, lifeless
Strong's Concordance #H3594, #G4481

Chiun (also called Kaiwan in some Bible translations) is found only once in the King James Old Testament. In Amos 5:26 the word means an image or pillar representing a pagan god that the ancient Israelites indulged in worshipping.

The KJV New Testament uses the word Remphan to reference Chiun, the same false deity as Amos 5:26. Its only use is toward the end of Stephen's inspired defense before the Jewish Sanhedrin (see Acts 6 - 7). Stephen's address spans 52 verses and is the longest recorded message in the New Testament.

Worshipping planets

Although there is some debate as to what Chiun (Remphan) is referencing, the consensus among Biblical commentaries is that it refers to the planet Saturn. Worshipping the "host of heaven," meaning the sun, moon, planets and stars (Deuteronomy 4:19, 2Kings 23:5, Jeremiah 8:2), was common in the ancient world.

"Saturn is no less certainly represented by the star Kaiwan, adored by the reprobate Israelites in the desert . . . The same word . . . frequently designates, in the Babylonian inscriptions, the slowest-moving planet . . . The ancient Syrians and Arabs, too, called Saturn Kaiwan . . ." (1913 Catholic Encyclopedia).

Picture of the planet Saturn
2019 Hubble Space
Telescope picture of Saturn

"The passage in Amos refers to the Saturn worship which appears to have been in vogue in the prophet's days" (International Standard Bible Encyclopedia).

The Septuagint translates "Chiun" into Remphan, as Stephen quotes it (Acts 7:42 - 43). The same god often had different names . . . Chiun, the Arabic and Persian name, written also Chevan. In an Arabic lexicon Chiun means "austere"; so astrologers represented Saturn as a planet baleful in his influence (Jamieson, Fausset, Brown Commentary).

Saturn, the sixth planet from the Sun, is also the second largest in our solar system behind Jupiter. A gas giant, its radius is more than nine times that of Earth's with a mass 95 times that of our planet.

According to the Hubble Telescope Site, the age of Saturn's ring system continues to be debated. It is also still unclear what cosmic catastrophe formed the rings.

Important verses

Amos 5:1, 6 - 7, 25 - 27
Hear ye this word which I take up against you, even a lamentation, O house of Israel . . .

Seek the Lord, and ye shall live . . . Ye who turn judgment to wormwood, and leave off righteousness in the earth . . .

Have ye offered unto me sacrifices and offerings in the wilderness forty years, O house of Israel? But ye have borne the tabernacle of your Moloch and Chiun (Kaiwan) your images, the star of your god, which ye made to yourselves.

Therefore will I cause you to go into captivity beyond Damascus, saith the Lord, whose name is The God of hosts.

Act 7:41 - 43
And they made a calf in those days, and offered sacrifice unto the idol, and rejoiced in the works of their own hands. Then God turned, and gave them up to worship the host of heaven . . .

Yea, ye took up the tabernacle of Moloch, and the star of your god Remphan, figures which ye made to worship them: and I will carry you away beyond Babylon.

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Series Notes
Scripture references are based
on the King James translation.

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