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

JimStinehart at aol.com JimStinehart at aol.com
Tue Mar 20 10:54:11 EDT 2012


Uzi Silber:
 
1.  You wrote:  “If Ba'al was widely used in Eretz Yisrael, then it 
wouldn't be surprising if a name such as Asher, a masculinized form of Ashera, 
Baal's consort, might be too.”
 
It’s all a question of dating.  My assertion is that the Patriarchal 
narratives were composed in, and accurately reflect, the troubled times of the 
mid-14th century BCE.  Abdi-Ashirta, whose name honors the pagan goddess 
Asherah, is one of the most high profile princelings in the Amarna Letters.  His 
successor, Aziru, the Amorite ruler of Amurru in northern Lebanon, 
iniquitously sold out the Amorite state of Amurru to the dreaded Hittites in or about 
Year 14.  That was the historical “iniquity of the Amorites”, because 
giving northern Lebanon on a silver platter to the expansionist-minded Hittites 
under their great military leader Suppiluliuma [Biblical “Tidal” at Genesis 
14: 1] potentially threatened the Hebrews’ beloved Canaan.  There’s no way 
that a Hebrew composition in that time period would honor the pagan goddess 
Asherah.
 
By sharp contrast, when you get to the state of Israel in the 1st 
millennium BCE, anything goes in that pluralistic society.  My point is that the 
Patriarchal narratives are truly ancient, and date all the long way back to the 
Amarna Age, to an era when the first Hebrews would never have considered 
using the name of a goddess [Asherah] who was honored by an iniquitous Amorite.
 

2.  You wrote:  “You think Terah Haran and Nahor are indigenous to Canaan? 
I agree they werent from southern Mesopotamia (a later gloss)….”
 
There’s no “later gloss”.  Molodet appears 9 times in the Patriarchal 
narratives and always has the identical meaning:  “one’s father’s descendants”
.  That’s the logical interpretation of Genesis 11: 28, which accurately 
tells us that Haran died in the presence of his father and in the presence of 
his father’s descendants [molodet] in Ur of the Kassite-country-people.
 
3.  You wrote:  “…but more likely from NE Syria, around, well, the Haran 
area.”
 
If that were the case, why are Terah, Haran, Nahor and Abram west Semitic 
names?  Why is Haran portrayed as dying in Ur?  Why does old Terah leave Ur 
and try to make it to Canaan, getting stuck en route in Harran?  The 
nomenclature “Naharim” and “Paddan Aram” is redolent of the 14th century BCE, and 
indicates that the Hebrew author well knew who the primary ethnic group was 
in eastern Syria/northern Mesopotamia during the Patriarchal Age, at the 
time when the Kassites ruled southern Mesopotamia.  The names in the received 
text support my view that there was a single early Hebrew author of the 
Patriarchal narratives, who lived way back in the 14th century BCE, and who knew 
exactly what he was talking about when he reports the first Hebrews as 
living in the troubled times of the mid-14th century BCE.
 
In my opinion, the Hebrews are accurately portrayed in the Patriarchal 
narratives as being indigenous to Canaan, hence all those west Semitic/Canaanite 
names.
 
Jim Stinehart
Evanston, Illinois


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