What is the word used for "devil" in Mel Gibson's movie "The Passion of the Christ" during the scene where Christ is interrogated by the Sanhedrin? The word "devil" appears in the English subtitles three times in this scene as a couple of characters give testimony against Christ. It sounds to me like they're saying "sha-dai-ah."

When I search for what I'm hearing I find El Shaddai, which is the Hebrew word for "God Almighty," not "devil."

I know that the dialog of this film is in Aramaic, Hebrew, and Latin. I can distinguish the Latin dialog from the rest, but I can't distinguish between the Aramaic and Hebrew. I think that Hebrew is used during the Sanhedrin scene.


The words are spoken at approximately 31:30 as the Sanhedrin hears the testimony from witnesses.

One word is Hebrew, שֵׁדִים (shedim), which is translated as “demons” in most English translations. (This is spoken by the second witness, who also speaks the Aramaic cognate.)

Heinrich Friedrich Wilhelm Gesenius wrote,1

Gesenius, p. 805, shed

The other word is its Aramaic cognate, שֵׁדַיָּא (shedayya), likewise meaning “demons.” (This is spoken once by each of the first two witnesses.)

Marcus Jastrow wrote,2

Jastrow, Dictionary of Targumim, Talmud and Midrashic Literature, p. 1523, shed (Chaldee)

Both are declined in the plural number.


Gesenius, Heinrich Friedrich Wilhelm. Gesenius’s Hebrew and Chaldee Lexicon to the Old Testament Scriptures. Trans. Tregelles, Samuel Prideaux. London: Bagster, 1860.

Jastrow, Marcus. A Dictionary of the Targumim, the Talmud Babli and Yerushalmi, and the Midrashic Literature. Vol. 2. London: Luzac; New York: Putnam, 1903.


1 p. 805
2 p. 1523


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