[b-hebrew] Asher again

Arnaud Fournet fournet.arnaud at wanadoo.fr
Wed Jul 14 13:05:04 EDT 2010

Yigal Levin wrote:

While anything is possible, the olive tree that I assume you're referring to
as Asher's symbol is a rabbinic reconstruction, based on Asher's blessing by
both Jacob and Moses, both of which mention "oil", presumably olive oil. I
don't know that the asherah-tree had anything to do with olive-oil in


For what it's worth, it can be noted that Hurrian has the following words:
1. a verb HaS-  "to oil, anoint"
2. a noun HaSari  "oil" 
To be precise it's probable that HaaSari had a long -aa-.
Nothing makes that word a loanword in Hurrian. On the contrary the derivation is very natural. 

This word is conspicuously a close homophone of another HaSari which means "excrement". It's unclear what kind of phonetic feature distinguished one word from the other, as it seems quite probable that people could hardly tolerate to have exactly the same pronunciation for both. I suspect HaSaari was the other word. 

Is Asher written with sin or shin?



More information about the b-hebrew mailing list