Smith's Bible DictionaryMercury
(Acts 14:12) the translation of the above in the Revised Version.
ATS Bible DictionaryMercury
A fabulous god of the ancient heathen, the messenger of the celestials, and the deity that presided over learning, eloquence, and traffic. The Greeks named him Hermes, interpreter, because they considered him as the interpreter of the will of the gods. Probably it was for this reason that he people of Lystra, having heard Paul preach, and having seen him heal a lame man, would have offered sacrifice to him as to their god Mercury; and to Barnabas as Jupiter, because of his venerable aspect, Acts 14:11-12.
International Standard Bible EncyclopediaMERCURY; MERCURIUS
mur'-ku-ri, mer-ku'ri-us: The translation of Hermes, in Acts 14:12: "They called Barnabas, Jupiter; and Paul, Mercury, because he was the chief speaker." Hermes was the god of eloquence (and also of theft), the attendant, messenger and spokesman of the gods. The more commanding presence of Barnabas (compare 2 Corinthians 10:10) probably caused him to be identified with Zeus (the Roman Jupiter), while his gift of eloquence suggested the identification of Paul with Hermes (the Roman Mercury). The temple of Jupiter was before Lystra, and to him the Lycaonians paid their chief worship. Compare the legend of Baucis and Philemon (Ovid, Metam. viii.611).
See HERMES; JUPITER; GREECE, RELIGION IN ANCIENT.
M. O. Evans
JUPITER AND MERCURY
See ASTROLOGY, sec. III, 1; MERCURY; JUPITER.
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
) A Latin god of commerce and gain; -- treated by the poets as identical with the Greek Hermes, messenger of the gods, conductor of souls to the lower world, and god of eloquence.
2. (n.) A metallic element mostly obtained by reduction from cinnabar, one of its ores. It is a heavy, opaque, glistening liquid (commonly called quicksilver), and is used in barometers, thermometers, etc. Specific gravity 13.6. Symbol Hg (Hydrargyrum). Atomic weight 199.8. Mercury has a molecule which consists of only one atom. It was named by the alchemists after the god Mercury, and designated by his symbol, /.
3. (n.) One of the planets of the solar system, being the one nearest the sun, from which its mean distance is about 36,000,000 miles. Its period is 88 days, and its diameter 3,000 miles.
4. (n.) A carrier of tidings; a newsboy; a messenger; hence, also, a newspaper.
5. (n.) Sprightly or mercurial quality; spirit; mutability; fickleness.
6. (n.) A plant (Mercurialis annua), of the Spurge family, the leaves of which are sometimes used for spinach, in Europe.
7. (v. t.) To wash with a preparation of mercury.