Name occurring in an obscure passage relating to the death of Moses (Sifre, Deut. 357; Soṭab 13b), which modern scholars consider to be identical with the Greek Σημαλέον (="giving a sign") and about which the ancient commentators disagreed, being uncertain whether it was the name of a man or of an angel. Rashi (on Soṭah l.c.) holds that it is the name of a scholar; but R. Hananeel (quoted in Tos. ad loc.) declares that some think it to be the name of an angel. In the latter case Semalion would be the angel who announced Moses' death (comp. Samuel Edels on Soṭah l.c.), whence his name.

The name is found in the Hebrew MS. No. 770 of the Bibliothèque Nationale, Paris (p. 125b) as that of an angel presiding over the month of Marḥeshwan, and in "Sefer Razi'el" (p. 5a.) as that of the angel who presides over the second solar period ("teḳufah"). This name is supposed by M. Schwab ("Vocabulaire de I'Angélologie," pp. 197-198) to be identical with Σημαλέον. It may be said that the latter name is in Greek mythology an epithet of Zeus. If, however, "Semalion" is the name of a person, it is identical with the "Semellius" (Σεμέλλιος) of I Esd. ii. 16.

  • N. Brüll, Jahrb. iv. 98;
  • Kohut, Aruch Completum, s.v. ;
  • S. Krauss, Lchnwörter, ii. 308;
  • Levy, Neuhebr. Wörterb. s.v. .
J. M. Sel.
Images of pages