“Mammon: An Aramaic word used in the New Testament of personify riches and worldliness; also, the god of avarice or cupidity. The word occurs in Matthew 6:24 and Luke 16:13 to represent the opposite of a God-fearing life: ‘No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate one and love the other; or he will hold to one and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.’ Both Spenser, with his cave of Mammon in The Faerie Queene, and Milton, by identifying him with Vulcan in Paradise Lost, make Mammon the epitome of the evils of wealth.”

Excerpted from: Murphy, Bruce, ed. Benet’s Reader’s Encyclopedia, Fourth Edition. New York: Harper Collins, 1996.

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