Re: Hyers' Dinosaur Religion (was: HYAR'S...; Hyers' Article -Cods Wallop)

From: Ted Davis <>
Date: Sun Feb 29 2004 - 17:22:29 EST

I had promised to ask my brother (an expert on archaeology in the ancient
near east) about Dever's comments on God's consort among the Hebrews.
Here's his reply:

The Biblical references are always couched as if Asherah were only an
object representing the goddess. Dever suggests this was to "clean up" the
references. 2 Kings 17:10, 16 gives asherah worship as a reason for the
deportation of Israel. Archeological eveidence from the iIron II Period is
clear. (period of the Divided Monarchy) Kuntillet Ajrud, a Judean fortress
in the Iron Age has an inscription accompanying a depiction of male and
female deities mentions "May X be blessed by Yahweh of Samaria and his
Asherah". A tomb inscription from the 7th c BC at Khirbet el Qom also has
the phrase "Yahweh and his asherah". I think the two cult centers set up
at Dan and Bethel by Jeroboam were dedicated t o Yahweh and asherah, one to
each of them,and that this is the ultimate sin Jeroboam and the northern
kingdom are accused of in Kings. There is no proof of this however but may
be the reference in 2Kings 23:15. The elephantine temple was dedicated
duuring the Persian period to Yaho (Yahweh) and other deities. I cannot
recall if asherah was among them. Dever dug Khirbet el Qom, hence his
interest. This causes apoplexy among the orthodox jews, but it all supports
the Biblical depiction of a people gone astray, "awhoring after false gods"

Dever has a short article on this in the newly published Near Eastern
Archaeology Reader, Eerdmans 2003. I also have an article in it on
Levantine archaeology.

"I" in this final sentence of course, means my brother, Thomas Davis.
Received on Sun Feb 29 17:23:10 2004

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