[b-hebrew] asherah (purim???)

jimstinehart at aol.com jimstinehart at aol.com
Mon Mar 19 22:10:09 EDT 2012

Nir Cohen:

You quoted the Jewish Encyclopedia as follows:  “Asherah was also the name of a Syrian goddess. In the El-Amarna tablets of the fifteenth century B.C. her name appears with the determinative for deity as a part of the name Arad-Ashirta (or 'Ebed-Asherah).”

The early Hebrew author of the Patriarchal narratives hated Abdi-Ashirta, because his successor, Aziru [Biblical “Amraphel” at Genesis 14: 1] of Amurru, iniquitously sold out the Amorite state of Amurru [northern Lebanon] to the dreaded Hittites in Year 14.  That’s “the iniquity of the Amorites” at Genesis 15: 16.

Accordingly, there’s zero chance that Jacob’s son Asher at Genesis 30: 13 is named after Asherah, the namesake of the predecessor of the iniquitous Amorite Aziru!

Jacob’s son Asher at Genesis 30: 13 has absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with the goddess Asherah.

I don’t believe the Hebrew dalliance with that pagan goddess is documented prior to the mid-1st millennium BCE, about 700 years or so after Jacob’s son Asher was named.

It’s O.K. to talk about the pagan goddess Asherah in a mid-1st millennium BCE context regarding the Hebrews, but that goddess played no role whatsoever in the genesis of the truly ancient Patriarchal narratives.

Yes, the early Hebrew author of the Patriarchal narratives liked trees, and he was prone to thinking of them as being sacred.  But he had no time whatsoever for the pagan goddess Asherah.  Not.

Jim Stinehart
Evanston, Illinois 

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