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

JimStinehart at aol.com JimStinehart at aol.com
Tue Mar 20 10:03:25 EDT 2012


Uzi Silber:
 
1.  You wrote:  “So are you of the opinion that any linguistic connection 
between Asher and Ashera is entirely coincidental?”
 
(a)  There is no linguistic connection whatsoever between Asher at Genesis 
30: 13 and Ashera.
 
(b)  If Nir Cohen wants to talk about the Hebrew common word “asher” that 
means “which”, he’s free to do so, but that does not establish any 
linguistic connection between Asher at Genesis 30: 13 and Ashera.
 
2.  You wrote:  “That there's no way that Asher is the masculine form of 
Ashera?”
 
Asher at Genesis 30: 13, as the name of one of Jacob’s sons who is 
portrayed as being born way out east in Naharim in eastern Syria, has no connection 
whatsoever to the pagan goddess Ashera, and is definitely not “the masculine 
form of Ashera”.
 
3.  You wrote:  “Yet if it's so strange for Israelites to sport Canaanite 
names….”
 
What kind of a bizarre assertion is that?  Terah, Haran, Nahor and Abram 
are all Canaanite names.  The Hebrews are indigenous to Canaan, and are 
accurately portrayed in the Patriarchal narratives as being indigenous to Canaan.  
So naturally the early Hebrews have Canaanite names.  The early Hebrews don’
t have Akkadian names, because the Hebrews are not indigenous to southern 
Mesopotamia, nor are they portrayed as such in the Patriarchal narratives.
 
4.  You wrote:  “…what should we make of Yeruba'al, Ish'ba'al and 
Mefiba'al who lived centuries later, in a Canaan far less Canaanite than it was 
during Asher's time?”
 
Ba’al was a very popular pagan god in 1st millennium BCE Israel, and was 
also known, though to a lesser extent, in Judah.  For better or worse, Israel 
(as opposed to Judah) was a pluralistic society.  In that context, it’s not 
surprising that the names of many people in Israel, and of some people in 
Judah, honored the pagan god Ba’al.
 
What’s any of that have to do with the truly ancient Patriarchal narratives?
 
5.  You wrote:  “Not to mention of course all those that had Egyptian names 
-- Pinkhas comes to mind.”
 
I believe that Panhesy may be virtually the only Egyptian name that became 
the name of a Hebrew.  [By the way, Panhesy at Amarna may be the historical 
model for the “Baker” in chapter 40 of Genesis.]  The name “Moses” may 
also be Egyptian.  Hebrews having Egyptian names is an extremely isolated 
phenomenon.  That may suggest that the Book of Exodus is allegorical, rather than 
reporting an historical 400 years of bondage of the Hebrews in Egypt.  Note 
that Biblical Hebrew is a virgin pure west Semitic language, showing little 
influence of either Egyptian or Akkadian.  That supports the view that, 
consistent with the Patriarchal narratives, the Hebrews were indigenous to 
Canaan.
 
None of that is inconsistent with my view of the Patriarchal narratives, 
nor does it undercut my insistence that there is no linguistic connection 
whatsoever between Asher at Genesis 30: 13 and Ashera.
 
Jim Stinehart
Evanston, Illinois


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