International Standard Bible Encyclopedia
a-bed'-ne-go (Hebrew and Aramaic `abhedh neghgo; Daniel 3:29, `abhedh negho'): According to many, the nego is an intentional corruption of Nebo, the name of a Babylonian god, arising from the desire of the Hebrew scribes to avoid the giving of a heathen name to a hero of their faith. The name, according to this view, would mean "servant of Nebo." Inasmuch as `abhedh is a translation of the Babylonian `arad, it seems ore probable that nego also must be a translation of some Babylonian word. The goddess Ishtar is by the Babylonians called "the morning star" and "the perfect light" (nigittu gitmaltu). The morning star is called by the Arameans nogah, "the shining one," a word derived from the root negah, the equivalent of the Babylonian nagu, "to shine." Abed-nego, according to this interpretation, would be the translation of Arad-Ishtar, a not uncommon name among the Assyrians and Babylonians. Canon Johns gives this as the name of more than thirty Assyrians, who are mentioned on the tablets cited by him in Vol. III of his great work entitled Assyrian Deeds and Documents. It means "servant of Ishtar."