[b-hebrew] re: their altars

Uri Hurwitz uhurwitz at yahoo.com
Sat Mar 5 23:28:46 EST 2005

 The problem is that the very same formulation , "to Yahweh and his asherah" -- WLASHRTH -- was also found in Judea proper, in Khirbet El-Qom. Read the literature.
 The argument can be made, and I support it, that because of the pronominal suffix the asherah in both cases refers to sacred wooden pole or some similar ritualistic accessory rather than to the famous godess. This is based on the known fact that no proper noun can be declined in BH. Others hold that regardless, the reference is to a female consort, which must have been prevalent in folk religion, based on the many denounciations of the Asherot in the biblical literatue, and now on the finding of two surviving extra-bilical examples of it.
 As against the above, one must weigh the evidence of the many occurrences of Yahweh alone in extra-bilical evidence from Mesha onwards, and in  many personal names where again it appears as a single theophoric compmonent; not to mention the official attitude of the biblical authors and editors.

Peter Kirk <peterkirk at qaya.org> wrote, in part, quoting again in npart:
 Yitzhak Sapir

>So if we strike out the part about the establishment, what we get is: "some folk
>in some parts of Israel thought that Yahweh had a consort". That's
>not much, but
>it's perhaps all we can say.

No, we can't say this much, because Kuntillet Ajrud was not in the land 
of Israel, or at best on its borders, and there is no evidence that the 
worshippers there were Israelites. They could well have been Edomites or 
similar who had grafted the Israelite divine name on to their own 
polytheistic beliefs.

Peter Kirk
peter at qaya.org (personal)
peterkirk at qaya.org (work)

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