Main Anat-Yahu, Some Other Deities, and the Jews of Elephantine
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Numen,Vol.XXXIX,Fasc.1 ANAT-YAHU, SOME OTHER DEITIES, AND THE JEWS OF ELEPHANTINE KAREL VAN DER TOORN Summary This contribution discusses the problem of the origin of the goddess Anat-Yahu and the related issue of the cultural background of the Jewish colony at Elephantine. It is argued that Anat-Yahu has been modeled after Anat-Bethel. Contrary to a current opinion, neither Bethel nor Anat-Bethel can be regarded as Phoenician gods. They are late Aramaean gods whose cult is confined to North Syria. Anat-Yahu must be regarded as an Aramaean creation, elicited by the identification of Yahu with Bethel. The latter identification was one of the results of the Aramaean migration to Samaria, either enforced or voluntary, at the end of the 8th century. The theory here proposed assumes that the Jews and Aramaeans of the colonies at Elephantine and Syene originated predominantly from Northern Israel. The ultimate origins of the Aramaean settlers go back to North Syria. The Jewish character of the Elephantine colony is secondary. It can be accounted for by the Judaean transit of Israelite colonists on their way to Egypt and the secondary influx of actual Judaeans. Yet, despite the common designation of the Elephantine colony as "Jewish", its religion is in fact Israelite. In recent years, the epigraphical discoveries from Kuntillet 'Ajrud and Khirbet el-Qom have significantly influenced the current views on the history of Israelite religion. Not only do they provide evidence for topographically distinct manifestations of Yahweh ("Yahweh of Teman", "Yahweh of Samaria"), but they also refer several times to Yahweh and his Asherah". Many scholars believe this expression demonstrates that, in biblical times, Asherah was worshipped as the female consort of Yahweh. Speculations about the role of the "Hebrew Goddess"-the title of a monograph by R. Patai in 1967-seemed to be confirmed by extra-biblical texts. As a matter of consequence, biblical references and allusions to god; desses, if need be obtained by textual emendation, have again become a subject of great interest. It is not the first time that extra-biblical texts refer to a named goddess as consort of Yahweh. At the beginning of this century, the publication of Aramaic texts from Elephantine elicited considerable interest for similar motives. One of the papyri recorded an oath by Anat-Yahu and theJews of Elephantine 81 Anat-Yahu.' This name is most likely interpreted as a genitival construction, meaning "Anat of Yahu". Despite a few unconvincing attempts to interpret Anat here as a noun instead of a proper name,2 the opinion of the first editor must be regarded as final. In a commentary to the editio princeps, E. Sachau wrote that, since 'ntbyt'l refers to the Anat of the god Bethel, 'ntyhw must refer to "the 'Anat of Jaho, that is: a female deity who was thought of as the rtape6poSof Jaho".3 The evidence is unequivocal: the Jews of Elephantine knew a goddess Anat consort of Yahu. The origins of the goddess Anat-Yahu are the main issue of the present contribution. Before the epigraphical finds of Khirbet elQom and Kuntillet 'Ajrud, the beliefs and practices at Elephantine might have been dismissed as a type of syncretism which could only develop outside Israel or Judah. Now, however, there are cogent reasons to reconsider the origin of Anat-Yahu. Is there evidence that Anat was ever honoured as Yahweh's consort in Israel itself? Since the question about the background of Anat-Yahu-both a number of colhistorical, cultural and topographical-entails lateral issues, various other deities, such as Bethel and Anat-Bethel, will also be dealt with. A suggestion about the genesis of the colonies at Elephantine and Syene will conclude this paper. I Anat in the Bible For a convenient discussion of the data concerning Anat worship in Israel the reader may be referred to the relevant pages in Mark S. Smith, The Early History of God. Yahwehand the OtherDeities in AncientIsrael (1990).4 The available evidence is scant. According to Smith, "except for personal names, Anat does not appear in the Bible" (p. 61). If toponyms are included and the Masoretic text is followed without emendation, this assessment is correct. For the purpose of the present inquiry, however, the occurrences of Anat based on textual emendation cannot be ignored. Three suggestions will be considered. In 1892, Julius Wellhausen proposed a slight change in the Hebrew text of Hos 14,9a [ET 8a] to obtain the following translation: "What has Ephraim still to do with idols? I am his Anat and his Asherah".5 The suggestion met with a mixed, though 82 Karel van der Toorn predominantly critical, reception.6 After the publication of the Kuntillet 'Ajrud inscriptions, Wellhausen's reading won new supporters.7 Though admittedly ingenious, however, the emendation cannot be accepted. The transmitted text as it stands makes sense: criticizing the cult of the local Baals, described elsewhere in the book, the prophecy points to Yahweh as the one who responds to ('nh, cf. Hos 2,17.22.23) and looks after (swr, cf. Hos 13,7) his people.8 The second proposal concerns Ex 32,18. Reading 'anatinstead of 'annot, R. Edelmann maintains that "the voice of Anat" is contrasted with "the sound of victory" and "the sound of defeat".9 A modified version of the emendation has been proposed by M. Delcor, who inserted the word Pltnn to obtain the expression nVMI In3n 5ip; he translates "J'entends le bruit d'un hourrah en l'honneur de 'Anath".10 Though this or a nearly identical interpretation is also defended by others,"1 it hardly carries conviction. Despite the slightly different vocalization of nMYin 32c, the word is likely to have had the same meaning as n1Y in 32a and 32b. The text is apparently incomplete. The Septuagint insertion of yyn (o'Lvou)makes sense in the light of Exod 32,6. According to the context a boisterous party is going on; nothing implies that the goddess Anat was involved in one way or another.12 Perhaps the most fanciful emendation comes from W. F. Albright. By means of a different division of the letters and the insertion of a taw, he read Ps 68,24 as "Why, O Anat, dost thou wash thy feet in blood?", presumably the opening line of a lost poem. The proposal is mentioned merely for the sake of curiosity; Albright himself judged his introduction of Anat "probably more ingenious than convincing". 3 Both his general interpretation of Ps 68 and his observations on details have indeed generally been received with skepticism. The brief examination of the alleged biblical evidence based on emendation does not lead to a different conclusion than the one formulated by Smith: the lack of either inscriptional or biblical evidence for Anat suggests the absence of a cult devoted to her.14 A survey of the pantheon distribution in first millennium SyroPalestine indicates that such an absence is hardly surprising. Anat occurs frequently in mythological and liturgical texts from Ugarit, Anat-Yahu and theJews of Elephantine 83 but she seems to have had little importance in first millennium Phoenicia.'5 In view of the virtual absence of Anat worship in Palestine and Phoenicia, it is unlikely that the association of Anat with Yahweh (Yahu) has ancient roots in Israel. The presence of Anat-Yahu in Elephantine, then, cannot be used to prove that, in early Israelite religion, Anat was the consort of Yahweh. The obvious conclusion would seem to be that Anat-Yahu is the creation of Egyptian Jews living in a syncretistic milieu. This solution is not attractive, however. Why would aJewish minority group that was otherwise keen to preserve its native religious culture create an entirely new goddess? And if Anat-Yahu is their creation, why would they select the goddess Anat as a prototype, Anat being herself a foreign deity in Egypt? Such questions require that other possibilities be explored before the Jewish origin of Anat-Yahu is accepted. There is in fact another possible explanation of the origins of Anat-Yahu. The goddess has a parallel in Anat-Bethel, a parallel that is so close that the enigmatic origins of the former may be solved by those of the latter. In other words: if the origins of Anat-Bethel can be established, they may shed some light upon the origins of Anat-Yahu. II Anat-Bethel Anat-Yahu is not mentioned outside the Elphantine papyri; Anat-Bethel, on the other hand, occurs twice in Neo-Assyrian treaties. Esarhaddon's Treaty with Baal, King of Tyre, probably concluded after the conquest and destruction of Sidon in 676 B.C.E., mentions dBa-a-a-ti-dingir.mes and dA-na-ti-Ba-a-[a-tidingi]r.mes,16 probably pronounced Bayt-'el and Anat-Bayt-'el.17 The same pair occurs in the list of divine witnesses invoked in the Succession Treaty of Esarhaddon (672 B.C.E.). Though the tablet is damaged, the parallel with the Baal Treaty leaves no room for doubts about the restoration.18 These two references to Anat-Bethel precede the Elephantine documents by more than two centuries. It follows that the cult of Anat-Bethel did not originate in Egypt, but was introduced by West-Semitic immigrants who brought their native gods along. But where did the goddess come from? In a survey of the deities of Israel's neighbours, Mark Smith 84 Karel van der Toorn writes that the treaty of Esarhaddon with Baal II of Tyre "lists in order the deities of Tyre as Bethel, Anat-Bethel, Baal Shamem, Baal-Malaga, Baal-Saphon, Melqart, Eshmun and Astarte. The initial position of Bethel would point to his status as the primary god of the Tyrian pantheon."'9 Here, Smith adopts the position of Michael L. Barre. In an appendix to a study of the treaty between Hannibal and Philip V of Macedonia, Barre tries to demonstrate that, according to Esarhaddon's treaty with Baal, Bethel and AnatBethel were the supreme deities of Tyre.20 It is his contention that in Neo-Assyrian treaties the Sebetti (i.e., the Pleiades) conclude the list of Assyrian gods. Since Bethel and Anat-Bethel immediately follow the Sebetti, they must be regarded as the first pair of foreign gods. To this it may be objected that (1) the phrase "May the great gods of heaven and earth, the gods of Assyria, the gods of Akkad and the gods of Eber-nari curse you with an indissoluble curse" in the god-list of the Baal II treaty obviously serves as a summary of the preceding list, which includes, at the end, Bethel and AnatBethel; (2) Esarhaddon's Succession Treaty, concluded four years before the treaty with Baal of Tyre, also mentions Bethel and AnatBethel; there were no vassal relations with Tyre at that point; (3) the writing dBa-a-a-ti-dingir.mes can be explained only on the basis of Aramaic, which suggests that the god and his consort were at home in Aramaic-speaking territory; (4) Bethel and Anat-Bethel do not occur in texts from Tyre or its vicinity, unlike Baal, Astarte, Melqart and Eshmun. The fact is surprising, if they were indeed the supreme deities of Tyre. If Bethel and Anat-Bethel are not at home in Tyre, where do they belong? Esarhaddon's treaty with Baal of Tyre gives a clue when it summarizes the witnessing gods on the Assyrian side as "the gods of Assyria, the gods of Akkad ( = Babylonia), and the gods of EberNari" (iv 8'-9'). Bethel and Anat-Bethel clearly belong to the third category. Though Aramaean rather than Assyrian, they are listed because they were worshipped on Assyrian territory, perhaps at state expense. Other gods of Eber-Nari (e-bir-id) are Aramish and Kubaba, mentioned in Esarhaddon's succession treaty (?? 54-55, lines 466-71), and possibly the Sebetti.21 Aramish, erroneously read [dGa]r-ga-mis by a previous editor of the text,22 occurs in Ugaritic Anat- Yahu and theJews of Elephantine 85 plenilunium rituals under the form rms (KTU 1.46:13; 109:7).23 The scanty evidence available indicates that his cult was practised in North Syria.24 Kubaba is the well-known goddess of Carchemish. Since Bethel and Anat-Bethel are mentioned just after Aramish and before Kubaba (Esarhaddon's Succession Treaty, line 467), their cult must be located in North Syria as well. A specific topographical location of the cult of Anat-Bethel can only be proposed in connection with the god Bethel. This god makes a relatively late appearance in Syrian religion; he is not mentioned in any second millennium text, and his name does not begin to occur as an element in theophorous names until ca. 600 B.C.E. The oldest attestations of Bethel are in the Esarhaddon treaties, which corroborates the idea that he is an Aramaean god, not a Phoenician deity in Aramaean guise.25 His name presumably derives from the place-name Bethel, "House-of-El": perhaps the Bethel mentioned in the treaty of Barga'ya with Mati'el (Sfire IA 34).26 This town has tentatively been identified with modern Bet Laha, some 30 km west of Aleppo.27 An Aramaic record of debt from 570 B.C.E., in which creditor, debtor and witnesses all have names compounded with Bethel, was found in Sfire, ca. 25 km south-west of Aleppo (KAI 227). It supports the topographical location of Bethel's worship here proposed. So does a Greek inscription from Kafr Nebo near Aleppo, mentioning 2uip4iuXoS (= EshemBethel).28 In the absence of conclusive evidence, however, it would be rash to press for a narrowly defined area of Bethel's worship. A third century C.E. inscription from Dura-Europos calls Zeus Betylos "the ancestral god of those who dwell along the Orontes", which is a late indication of the North Syrian location of Bethel's cult.29 III Aramaean Gods at Elephantineand Syene If Bethel and Anat-Bethel are late Aramaean gods whose cult is confined to North Syria, their presence in Egypt in the 5th century B.C.E. would imply that they were brought there by North Syrian Aramaeans. Since the documents show that the Jewish community at Elephantine recognized other gods as well, the question must be asked whether they, too, are originary from North Syria. Because 86 Karel van der Toorn of the close ties between the Jews of Elephantine and the Aramaeans of Syene, the gods of the latter group will be included in this discussion as well. Of the two other gods connected with Bethel, Ashim-Bethel and Herem-Bethel, only the former can be qualified as a distinct deity; Herem-Bethel is not a compound divine name, but refers to "the sacred property of Bethel".30 In Aramaic anthroponyms from Egypt, the god Ashim occurs as an independent theophorous element.31 He is presumably identical with the god Ashima' mentioned in Aramaic inscriptions from Tema.32 According to 2 Kgs 17,30, Ashima' was the god of the people from Hamath. The reference to Ashim-Bethel in the Kafr Nebo inscription supports the conclusion that Ashima' is indeed a North Syrian deity.33 Alongside Bethel, Anat-Bethel and Ashim-Bethel, the pantheon of the Aramaean community at Syene included the pair Nabu34 and Banit.35 Evidently, these gods have no Syrian origins. Nabu is a Babylonian god and his main temple is in Borsippa; though he was increasingly popular throughout the Mesopotamian area. Banit is still a riddle. Her name is originally an epithet (meaning either "Beautiful One" or "Creatrix"), providing no clue for her identification. It has been suggested that she is the consort of Ninurta, but the connection cannot be satisfactorily proven.36 In view of the Aramaic evidence from Egypt, a connection with Nabu would be more likely. The only hint at their relationship in other texts, however, is the likeness between the decriptions of the ritual marriage of Nabu and his consort Tashmetu (TIM 9 no. 54), on the one hand, and that of Banit with her anonymous male companion (STT 366), on the other.37 Yet whether Banit was originally the consort of Ninurta or Nabu, in either case she is a Babylonian goddess. There is no compelling reason, then, to contest the topographical link between Banit and Babylon made in 2 Kgs 17,30.38 Although both onomastic and inscriptional evidence indicate that Nabu and Banit were known and, to some extent, worshipped in Late Iron Age Syria, they can by no means be regarded as typically Syrian deities. The situation is different for Baal-shamayin and El. Though these gods apparently did not receive a cult in Syene, they occur a number of times in papyrus Amherst 63. Thus, in the Aramaic ver- Anat-Yahu and theJews of Elephantine 87 sion of Psalm 20, both are mentioned.39 Vleeming and Wesselius have cogently argued that the papyrus originated in an Aramaean group which was "basically identical with the Aramaean community of Syene as encountered in the documents from the Jewish comIt munity of Elephantine and the Hermopolis correspondence."40 is likely, therefore, that El and Baal-shamayin were at least known to the colonists of Syene. El is a common Northwest Semitic god to whom the devotion is largely rhethoric in the first millennium B.C.E. Having turned into a deus otiosus, his place was gradually taken by Baal-shamem or Baal-shamayin. Although Baal-shamayin is well attested in Phoenician inscriptions, he occurs as the foremost deity in the Aramaic inscription of Zakkur, king of Lu'ash and Hamath (KAI 202). On balance, it must be concluded that not all the gods worshipped by the Aramaean community in Egypt came directly from North Syria. Nabu and Banit are primarily at home in Babylonia: and so are Bel, Shamash and Nergal, once mentioned in the salutatory formula at the beginning of a letter from Elephantine.41 The fact does not preclude the possibility, of course, that by 750 B.C.E. these gods were accepted and assimilated in certain Syrian quarters. At any rate they were all imported into Egypt; none of them was actually conceived in Egypt. For the sake of expedience, the inquiry into the routes by which these gods reached Egypt must momentarily by postponed. Suffice it to state, without further demonstration, that there is hardly any evidence for the involvement of other groups, besides Aramaeans and Jews, in the introduction of these deities into Egypt. IV Yahwehand the Gods of the Aramaeans Attention must again be given to the question of the origins of Anat-Yahu. As argued before, it is unlikely that she is an Israelite creation. Since all the other gods of the Aramaeans and Jews in Egypt were conceived outside Egypt, however, it is difficult to belief that Anat-Yahu would be the sole exception. A third possibility must therefore be reckoned with, viz. that she was created by the same North Syrian Aramaeans who brought Bethel and Anat-Bethel to Egypt. The solution presupposes, evidently, 88 Karel van der Toorn that there were contacts between North Syrian Aramaeans and Israelites prior to the settlement of the colonies in Egypt. These contacts, moreover, must have been intensive: since they presumably led to Aramaean acceptance of Yahu and the subsequent creation of Anat-Yahu as his appropriate consort. At this point it is necessary, therefore, to ascertain whether there are traces of such contacts. The quest for traces of influence of Israelite religion on Aramaean concepts and practices may conveniently take as its starting-point a recent article by Stephanie Dalley.42 Dalley seeks to demonstrate that Yahweh was a major god in North Syria by the 8th century B.C.E. The hard core of the evidence is onomastic: the Annals of Tiglath-pileser record the annexation, in 738 B.C.E., of the nineteen districts of Hamath which had defected to a king named Azri-Yahu (Iaz-ri-ya-a-ud).43 His home is unknown. It is most likely Hatarikka (biblical Hadrach, Zech 9,1), a small state between Aleppo and Hamath. Other Assyrian records mention Yau-bi'di king of Hamath who, in 720 B.C.E., organised an antiAssyrian revolt of the subjugated cities Arpad, Simirra, Damascus and Samaria.44 A third instance of a North-Syrian "Yahwistic" name is found in the Bible. According to 2 Sam 8,9-10, Toi king of Hamath had a son by the name of Yoram, a contemporary of David. Although three personal names constitute a remarkably small body of evidence, Dalley argues that they indicate that "in the late 8th century both before and after the fall of Samaria, Yahweh was worshipped as a major god in Hamath and its vicinity" (p. 28). She observes that Azri-Yau and Yau-bi'di were probably indigenous rulers rather than usurpators of Israelite descent; since, in the onomastic tradition of the time, royal names use only a major god as theophorous element, Yahweh must have been a major god in Hatarikka and Hamath. Dalley also adduces biblical evidence in support of her view. The address of Sennacherib's Rabshakeh to the people of Jerusalem refers to the defeat of Hamath and Arpad in order to dissuade them from trusting in Yahweh: "Has any of the gods of the nations ever delivered his land out of the hand of the king of Assyria? Where are the gods of Hamath and Arpad?" (2 Kgs 18,33-4; Isa 36,18-9). This rhetorical question, Dalley Anat-Yahu and theJews of Elephantine 89 urges, implies that Hamath and Arpad depended on Yahweh for their deliverance; and that he had failed them. These are conclusions that go well beyond what the evidence can sustain. It is difficult to believe that Yahweh became all of a sudden a major god in Hamath around 720 B.C.E.; if he was a major god then, he must have been one of the more important deities before. Yet the only gods mentioned in the native inscriptions are the chief goddess Ba'alat, and the gods Baalshamayin, Elwer, Shamash and Shahar.45 Yahweh (or Yahu) goes unmentioned. The argument which is based on the address by Sennacherib's Rabshakeh is flawed by tendentious citation and a failure to grasp the point of comparison. The passage in which the Rabshakeh asks his audience "Where are the gods of Hamath and Arpad?" continues: "Where are the gods of Sepharvaim, Hena and Ivvah?" (2 Kgs 18,34; cf. Isa 36,19).46 According to the logic of Dalley's demonstration, this would imply that Yahweh was also their main god, which is obviously false since one chapter earlier in the Second Book of the Kings, Nibhaz and Tartak are mentioned as the gods of Ivvah, and Adrammelech and Anammelech as the gods of Sepharvaim (2 Kgs 17,31). In fact, the editor of the Rabshakeh's demoralizing speech believed that the chief deity of Hamath was Ashima (2 Kgs 17,30). The Rabshakeh is not concerned with the identity of the gods of the nations; he merely observes that, if the gods of other nations were unable to deliver their people from the menace of Assur, the national god of Judah would do no better. If Dalley's usage of the biblical material is questionable, her handling of the cuneiform data is anything but cautious. Yahwistic names are rarely found outside Israel; before positing one, therefore, all other possibilities of interpretation must be exhausted. Dalley rather lightly dismisses Lipinski's interpretation of the name Yau-bi'di as 'Iluyahu-bi-'Idl, "God-will-appear-as-my-witness" .47 Yet Lipiniski draws attention to an important difficulty of the "Yahwistic" interpretation. The name Yau-bi'di, as it is conventionally referred to, occurs in six different spellings: (1) Iya-u-bi-'di; (2) dya-i-bi-'-di; (3) Iya-bi-'-di; (4) dya-bi-'-di; (5) ii-lu-u-bi-'-di; and (6) Idingir-bi-'-di.48 Dalley concludes from this evidence that the Assyrians give El-bi'di as a variant of Yau-bi'di, because they "thought of Yahweh as El" (p. 31). However, the reading El-bi'di 90 Karel van der Toorn is unlikely, in view of the spelling Ii-lu-u-bi-'-di. The latter suggests that the name was pronounced Ilu-bi'di or Iluyu-bi'di. Since the sign -ya- can also be read as -yu-, it is possible that the name was never pronounced Yau-bi'di but Iluyu-bi'di or, in its shortened form, Yu-bi'di.49 Though it would be unwise to exclude the possibility that Yau-bi'di is in fact a Hebrew theophoric name, the evidence is surely not unequivocal. In view of such uncertainties, Yau-bi'di cannot be used as evidence for Yahweh-worship in North Syria. Also to be excluded from the evidence is the name Yoram, mentioned as the son of Toi, king of Hamath, in 2 Sam 8,10. The Yahwistic element of Yoram is replaced by "Hado" in 1 Chr 18,10, which agrees with LXX Ie8oupav in 2 Sam 8,10. Though both the Chronicler and the LXX tradition could be suspected of cleaning up their source, it is difficult to see why they would emendate a Yahwistic name into a non-Yahwistic one, unless the latter is historically correct. Like Yau-bi'di, Yoram is a very dubious instance of a North Syrian Yahwistic name. All things considered, then, the only remaining piece left of hard evidence is the name Azri-Yau. Though there can be little doubt that this is indeed a Yahwistic name, its significance for the relations between Israel and North Syria is not clear. Cogan and Tadmor urge that the name is Israelite; because the Aramaic form would be Idri-Yau.50 Dalley's dismissal notwithstanding (p. 28), they have a sound argument. All that the evidence allows by way of conclusion, therefore, is that the state of Hatarikka probably had a ruler of Israelite descent around 740 B.C.E. Neither the onomastic nor the biblical evidence indicates that the Aramaeans in North Syria had more than occasional contacts with Israel. The matter takes on a different aspect, however, when the possibility of Aramaean influences on Israelite beliefs and customs is explored. According to Jer 48,13, "the house of Israel" put its trust in Bethel, as Moab did in Chemosh. The parallelism with Chemosh makes it plausible that Bethel refers here to the god of that name. The fact is surprising because Bethel is a North Syrian deity, otherwise unconnected with Israel. Yet it must be assumed date of the prophecy that some time before 600 B.C.E.(?)-the being the terminusante quem-the cult of Bethel was introduced into Anat- Yahu and theJews of Elephantine 91 Israel. Another North Syrian god who is perhaps mentioned as being worshipped in Israel is Ashim. In the Book of Amos there is a reference, probably not by the prophet himself, to "the guilt of Samaria" ('asmat Somron, Am 8,14). The expression has all appearances of a theological correction of a divine name, similar to siqqus mesomem,"the abomination which makes desolate", for Baalshamem (Dan 11,31; 12,11).51 What deity is referred to? The RSV translates "Ashimah of Samaria": apparently a reference to the Ashim known from onomastics and the compound Ashim-Bethel. It is also possible, however, that the original text referred to the Asherah of Samaria (cf. HALAT 93a); though the correction of Asherah into 'asima,"guilt", would be unique in the Hebrew Bible. The most striking evidence so far of Aramaean influence on Israelite religion has come to light in Papyrus Amherst 63 xii 11-19, the Aramaic version of Psalm 20. In a recent study of this text, Ingo Kottsieper concludes that the Hebrew poem is an adaptation of an Aramaic text closely resembling Papyrus Amherst 63 xii 11-19, if not identical with it.52 Since the religious universe of the papyrus is very similar to that of the Aramaean community in Syene, it may be assumed that the Aramaic psalm has North Syrian origins (N.B. the reference to the god Bethel in line 18). Kottsieper argues that the Israelite adaptation took place in the Hasmonaean Era; because of its references to the king and the sacrificial cult. Though such references might fit in pre-exilic times, the strict avoidance of heathen divine names would require, so Kottsieper maintains, a post-exilic date (p. 244). This return to the dating of Duhm is not self-evident, however. It could be that the adaptation occurred in two (or more than two) phases: the one involving, amongst other things, a reference to the king; the other a correction of certain divine names. Even the hypothesis of a single adaption would not necessarily lead to a post-exilic date, since the Deuteronomic theology with its mono-Yahwistic emphasis is also pre-exilic. The reference to Bethel as the confidence of Israel (Jer 48,13), on the one hand, and Psalm 20, on the other, are two examples of North Syrian influence on Israelite religion. The period of such influence cannot be firmly established on the basis of these two biblical texts. On the hypothesis that this period falls before the establishment of the Aramaean colonies in Egypt (ca. 600 B.C.E) 92 Karel van der Toorn and after the defeat of North Syria by the Assyrian kings (ca. 730700 B.C.E.), it must be situated, grosso modo, in the 7th century B.C.E. The principal argument in support of this solution is provided by the Bible. According to 2 Kgs 17,24, the Assyrian authorities settled people from Avva, Hamath and Sepharvaim in the cities of Samaria. This report on the population of Northern Israel in the 7th century deserves to be examined in some detail. V NorthernIsrael in the 7th CenturyB.C.E. Judging by the account in 2 Kgs 17,24-41, the deportees who came to live in Israel came originally from two regions: viz. Northern Babylonia and North Syria. Babylon and Cuthah (Tell Ibrahim)53 lie at the heart of the former Babylonian kingdom. Avvah (or Ivvah), Hamath, and Sepharvaim are likely to be situated in North Syria. Although it has been proposed to identify Hamath with a town called Ama in Babylonia,54 the traditional identification with Hamath on the Orontes is more plausible. A variant list of North Syrian cities, in 2 Kgs 18,34 (cf. 2 Kgs 19,13; Isa 37,13), refers to Hamath, Arpad, Sepharvaim, Hena, and Ivvah. Since Arpad is doubtlessly to be identified with the capital of the Aramaean kingdom of Arpad (modern Tell Rif'at), Hamath can hardly be any other city than Hamath on the Orontes. Avvah (Ivvah) and Hena cannot be firmly located as yet; whilst Sepharvaim is frequently identified with Sibraim, which Ezek 47,16 locates on the border between Damascus and Hamath. The broad topographical identification of the origins of the deportees here proposed is corroborated by the biblical details about the gods which they worshipped. Saccuth-Benoth is most plausibly interpreted as "an image of Banit" (cf. LXX BatvtO),55 Banit being an epithet used as the proper name of a Babylonian goddess, perhaps Tashmetu. Nergal had indeed his centre of worship in Cuthah, the city 25 km north of Kish. If Ashimah is identical with Ashim and Ashim-Bethel, his North Syrian origins agree with the available data on Bethel and Anat-Bethel. Nibhaz and Tartak, gods of the Avvites, are not documented elsewhere. Their names are presumably corruptions. Anat-Yahu and theJews of Elephantine 93 Adrammelech and Anammelech, the gods of the Sepharvites, have been connected with Hadad and Anat on the assumption that the former is a corruption of Adadmelech and the latter a contraction of Anatmelech. John Day now rejects the reading Adadmelech and maintains that Adrammelech may well be correct. It could be the name of a Phoenician god of child sacrifice, though the evidence for this deity is scarce.56 The interpretation of Anammelech as a form of Anat is a distinct possibility. Alternatively, it might be suggested that 1"5L3 should be read 71513, to be vocalized as Ogmelech. Og, the Rephaite king "who dwelt at Ashtaroth and at Edrei" (Josh 12,4), occurs as a chthonic deity in a sarcophagus inscription form Byblos.57 He is to be identified with the Ugaritic god Milku, also called Rapi'u, who "dwells in Ashtartu and reigns in Hidra'yu" (KTU 1.100:41; 1.108:3; cf. also the name Milkashtart). The new inhabitants of Israel maintained the religious traditions of their homeland: yet they also adopted Yahweh into their pantheon, since he was the god of the land. This partial religious acculturation may indeed have been stimulated by the Assyrian authorities, as the biblical record suggests.58 The Deuteronomic historiographer characterizes the ensuing syncretism by saying that "they feared Yahweh but also served their own gods" (2 Kgs 17,33). It is not unreasonable to suppose that the introduction of Bethel into Israel occurred precisely in this time of religious crossfertilization. Evidently, the implication is that the reference to Israel's trust in Bethel inJer 48,13 is an anachronism, since the text sees in this confidence a cause of Israel's defeat, presumably in 722. It is not unusual in prophetic historiography, however, that lacunae in the knowledge of the past are filled out with data from the contemporary situation. The cultural melting-pot which Israel became in the 7th century B.C.E. included in fact a fourth population group, besides Babylonians, North Syrians and Israelites. Although not mentioned in the biblical records, the Annals of Sargon II report that the Assyrian king deported groups of Arabs to Samaria. In his monograph on The Ancient Arabs, Israel Eph'al doubts whether these Arabs were forced to dwell in Samaria. It is possible that they went there willingly, and that their migration was merely condoned by the 94 Karel van der Toorn Assyrian authorities.59 Something similar may be true, incidentally, of the North Syrian settlers in Israel. Although the biblical records present their migration as a deportation, the possibility cannot be excluded that many of them came as refugees, more or less of their own accord. The Assyrian annals refer to the deportation of Babylonians and Cuthaeans, but no measures of deportation are mentioned for the population of Hamath after its defeat. Hamath and Israel were allies at the end of the 8th century B.C.E.; it would hardly be a sign of political wisdom to bring former conspirators together. It is conceivable, however, that as the circumstances at home deteriorated, Aramaeans from Hamath and vicinity looked upon Israel as a haven and fled to the south. Irrespective of the causes of the ethnic and cultural mixture in Israel, it must have produced a very variegated religious life. The gods mentioned in 2 Kgs 17 can hardly have been the only ones to have received worship. It is unlikely that people from Babylon and Cuthah should not have continued to worship Bel, Nabu, and Shamash: three major Babylonian deities. Nor can it be expected that North Syrian Aramaeans would have abandoned the cult of Bethel and Anat-Bethel. The Arab population would have brought their gods: such as the heaven-goddess Allat. The adoption of Yahweh, in this syncretistic climate, may well have resulted in his being identified with other major gods. An administrative text from Elephantine recording money contributions for the temple of Yahu indicates that, having been collected, the money was allotted to Yahu, Ashim-Bethel and Anat-Bethel.60 The occurrence of the latter two deities is surprising in the context. In a Yahwistic temple the expected goddess-if any there waswould be Anat-Yahu. The most plausible solution to the problem, it seems, consists in supposing that Yahu and Bethel were practically identified at Elephantine.61 Which means, incidentally, that the population made no clear distinction between Anat-Yahu and Anat-Bethel either. If Yahu and Bethel were identified at Elephantine, might not the same have occurred in Israel? Continuing this train of thought, it is conceivable that Anat-Yahu was created by the Aramaean deportees in Israel on the model of Anat-Bethel. In fact, it is easier to suppose that worship of Anat-Yahu originated among Aramaeans who recently adopted Yahu into their cult, Anat-Yahu and theJews of Elephantine 95 rather than to assume that the goddess was created by Elephantine Jews. The solution implies that the concept of Anat-Yahu came into existence on Israelite soil: yet that it was primarily at home in the Aramaean community there. VI TheJews of Elephantine In more than one respect, the situation in 7th century Israel contains the seeds of the religious pluralism to which the Aramaic documents from Elephantine bear witness. The population of Northern Israel was diversified; consisting primarily of Israelites and Aramaeans, it also included Babylonian and Arab elements. Aramaic was their common language. Worship was directed to a whole host of deities: including Bethel, Anat-Bethel, Ashim-Bethel, Banit, Nabu, Yahweh or Yahu, and-presumably-Anat-Yahu. Other deities, such as Bel, Nergal and Shamash, were certainly not unknown. To what precise extent the different population groups mingled and intermarried is, however, largely a matter of speculation. They would have lived neither in splendid isolation from each other nor in perfect familiarity. Though each group may have maintained many of its native traditions, few will have been impervious to influences from their near surroundings. The situation just described for Northern Israel after 700 B.C.E. contains many elements which recur at 5th century B.C.E. Elephantine and Syene. The colonies are populated by Jews and Aramaeans who use Aramaic for their written communications: worship is directed to precisely those gods which were worshipped in Israel two centuries before. Dupont-Sommer judiciously observes that it is unlikely that it is in Egypt that the Elephantine colonists began to include Anat and Bethel, Bel and Nabu in their religious universe; it is probably from Palestine that they brought these gods.62 In his study of the Elephantine archives, B. Porten writes that "the Arameans of Syene and Memphis ... may have been descendants ... of deportees from Arpad, Hamath, and other cities who were settled in Samaria and at some other time migrated to Egypt."63 The two suggestions are complementary; they provide an attractive explanation of the many points of contact between the colonies at Elephantine and Syene. Though their respective popula- 96 Karel van der Toorn tion was ethnically distinct, the one consisting of Jews and the other of Aramaeans, they share a common cultural heritage. The parallels between the Egyptian Jews and Aramaeans are such, that it is questionable whether the two groups can be as clearly distinguished as is often done. On the basis of an onomastic study, Michael Silverman concludes that there were "racial Arameans" not only at Syene, but also at Elephantine.64 Although it cannot be denied that Hebrew names predominate at Elephantine, and Aramaic ones at Syene, a rigorous division runs into difficulties. At least three people are called "Aramaeans of Syene" in some places, and "Jews of Elephantine" in other places.65 It is possible to explain this phenomenon by taking "Aramaean" as a military designation and "Jewish" as an ethnic designation; the fact still confirms the close ties between the two communities. Bel, Nabu, Shamash and Nergal are mentioned in a letter written by one Jew addressing another66; the religious "syncretism" is certainly not a strictly Aramaean phenomenon. The history of the Jewish migration into Egypt is likely to have been complex; any modern reconstruction can hardly be more than an informed guess. The obscurity of the historical evidence, however, should not be a reason to refrain from general hypotheses. Both the background of Anat-Yahu and the entire picture of the religious life at Elephantine and Syene strongly suggest that the historical core of the communities came from Northern Israel. The immigrants thus came from a religious culture they largely had in common. For two or three generations the population groups had lived in symbiosis, which led to a cultural pluralism which will have affected both Aramaeans and Israelites. The fact that the religious practices in the Elephantine colony have a Northern Israelite background means that the Jewish segment of the population is chronologically secondary. The Jewish character of the Elephantine colony is probably based on an important influx of Judahites who joined the Israelite settlers. It must be kept in mind, moreover, that the emigrants from Northern Israel would have entered Egypt by way of Judah. It may be surmised that many of them had not intended to prolong their wandering all the way into Egypt. At any event, some of them stayed in Judah for a significant length of time. One reason to suppose that this is Anat-Yahu and theJews of Elephantine 97 so is the presence in Judah, around 600 B.C.E., of the cult of the Queen of Heaven (Jer 7,18; 44,15-30). The Queen of Heaven is none other than Anat, who is called the Lady-of-Heaven (b 'It smm) in Ugaritic texts.67 At Syene, the names Anat-Bethel and Queen-ofHeaven are used as variant designations of the same deity. Since Anat was not traditionally worshipped inJudah, her cult must have come from elsewhere. Isaiah does not know her yet. The most probable suggestion would be that Israelites-or Israelite Aramaeans the cult of the goddess originally from North Syria-introduced when they had found refuge in Judah sometime after 700 B.C.E. Little is known of the history of Israel after the fall of Samaria in 722 B.C.E. There is at least some evidence, however, for continued relations with Judah. Thus the Book of Jeremiah has a reference to a pilgrimage by eighty men from Shechem, Shiloh and Samaria to bring offerings to Jerusalem (Jer 41,5). If the Deuteronomic School does indeed have Northern Israelite origins, as many scholars believe, it could be taken as evidence for the transfer of Israelite theology to Judaean soil. Here, the Book of Hosea might be quoted as another instance. In both cases, the transfer of ideas and writings will have involved a transfer of people as well. Though only obliquely attested, such movements may have affected more than a few inhabitants of Northern Israel. In short, the theory here proposed assumes that the Jews and Aramaeans of the colonies at Elephantine and Syene originated predominantly from Northern Israel. The ultimate origins of the Aramaean settlers go back to North Syria. The Jewish character of the Elephantine colony is secondary. It can be accounted for by the Judaean transit of Israelite colonists on their way to Egypt and the secondary influx of actual Judaeans. Yet, despite the common designation of the Elephantine colony as "Jewish", its religion is in fact Israelite. Also, the ethnic differences between the colonies of Elephantine and Syene do not necessarily imply that there were great cultural differences.68 The concept of Anat-Yahu is an illustration of the cultural symbiosis which has marked the Israelites and the Aramaeans living in Egypt. The goddess must be regarded as an Aramaean creation, elicited by the identification of Yahu with Bethel. The latter identification was one of the results of the Aramaean migration to Karel van der Toorn 98 Samaria, either enforced or voluntary, at the end of the 8th century. Though it is therefore correct, after all, to call Anat-Yahu an Israelite goddess, it must be remembered that her origins do not go beyond ca. 700 B.C.E.: and that her theological paternity is ultimately Aramaean.69 Rijksuniversiteit Leiden Faculteit der Godgeleerdheid Matthias de Vrieshof 1 NL-2300 RA Leiden KAREL VAN DER TOORN A. E. Cowley, Aramaic Papyri of the Fifth CenturyB.C., 1923, no. 44:3. Thus, e.g., W. F. Albright, The Evolution of the West-Semitic Divinity 'An'Anat-'Atta, AJSL 42 (1924-25), 94-96; J. T. Milik, Les papyrus arameens d'Hermoupolis et les cultes syro-pheniciens en Egypte perse, Bib 48 (1967), 567; B. Porten, Archivesfrom Elephantine, 1968, 170-71; Saul M. Olyan, Some Observations Concerning the Identity of the Queen of Heaven, UF 19 (1987), 170. 3 E. Sachau, Aramiische Papyrus und Ostraka aus einerjiidischen Militar-Kolonie zu Elephantine, 1911, xxv. 4 Smith, The Early History of God, 61-64. 5 J. Wellhausen, Die Kleinen Propheten, Skizzen und Vorarbeiten5, 1892, 21.131. 6 It is accepted by such scholars as E. Jacob, Osee, Commentairede l'Ancien Testament XI/a, 1965,95; 0. Eissfeldt, Review of Hosea commentary by Van Leeuwen, BiOr 27 (1970), 243. Others either reject or ignore the emendation, e.g., K. Marti, Das Dodekapropheton,HAT 13, 1904, 108 ("gesucht"); W. R. Harper, Amos and Hosea, ICC, 1905, 415 ("a freak of the imagination"); W. Nowack, Die kleinenPropheten, GHAT III/4, 1922, 81; H. W. Wolff, Dodekapropheton1: Hosea, BK XIV/1, 2 1965 2. Auflage, 302 ("allzu kuhn"); W. Rudolph, Hosea, KAT XIII/1, 1966, 249 ("schwer denkbar"); J. L. Mays, Hosea, 1969, 184; F. I. Andersen and D. N. Freedman, Hosea, AB 24, 1980, 642; J. Jeremias, Der Prophet Hosea, ATD 24/1, 1983, 173. 7 M. Weinfeld, Kuntillet 'Ajrud Inscriptions and their Significance, SEL 1 (1984), 122-23; Silvia Schroer, In Israel gab es Bilder, OBO 74, 1987, 44; 0. Loretz, 'Anat-Aschera (Hos 14,9) und die Inschriften von Kuntillet 'Ajrud, SEL 6 (1989), 57-65; J.-G. Heintz, Une tradition occultee? La deesse cananeene 'Anat et son 'aserdhdans le livre du prophete Osee (chap. 14, v. 9b), Ktema 11 (1986 ), 3-13. 8 See A. S. van der Woude, Bemerkungen zu einigen umstrittenen Stellen im Zwolfprophetenbuch, Melanges bibliqueset orientauxen l'honneurde M. Henri Cazelles, AOAT 212, 1981, 483-485. 9 R. Edelmann, Exodus 3218: n n.s. 1 (1950), 56; Id., To wtmrm5Yp,JThSt rm: in Exodus XXXII 18, VT 16 (1966), 355. See also R. N. Whybray, n1, in Exodus XXXII 18, VT 17 (1967), 122; A. Graeme Auld, AJudean Sanctuary of 'Anat (Josh. 15:59)?, Tel Aviv 4 (1977), 85-86. 10 M. Delcor, Une allusion a 'Anath, deesse guerriere en Ex. 32:18?, JJS 33 (1982), 145-160. Anat- Yahu and theJews of Elephantine 99 " Thus, e.g., J.-G. Heintz, Une tradition occultee?, 11-12. A. Deem suggests to translate 'annot as "orgy" (The Goddess Anath and Some Biblical Hebrew Cruces, JSS 23 , 29). It is difficult to defend this rendering without positing a missing complement of the verb. 13 W. F. Albright, A Catalogue of Early Hebrew Lyric Poems (Ps LXVIII), HUCA 23/1 (1950-51), 28-9. 14 Smith, The Early History of God, 6. 15 See, e.g., A. W. Eaton, The Goddess Anat. The History of Her Cult, Her Mythology and Her Iconography, 1964, 120-21. The occurrence of Anat in a fourthcentury B.C.E. bilingual inscription from Cyprus (KAI 42) may be deceptive, since her name might have suggested itself as the nearly homophonic equivalent of Athena. 16 R. Borger, Die InschriftenAsarhaddonsKonigs von Assyrien, AfO Beiheft 9, 1956, 109 ? 69 iv 6. The text can also conveniently be consulted in S. Parpola and K. Watanabe, Neo-Assyrian Treaties and Loyalty Oaths, SAA 2, 1988, no. 5. 17 For the pronunciation see M. D. Coogan, West Semitic Personal Names in the Murasu2Documents, HSM 7, 1976, 46-7; M. L. Barre, The God-List in the Treaty Between Hannibal and Philip V of Macedonia. A Study in the Light of the Ancient Near Eastern Treaty Tradition, 1983, 46-7. Succession Treaty, line 467. For a recent edition with full 18 Esarhaddon's display of the textual witnesses see K. Watanabe, Die ade-Vereidigunganlasslich der Asarhaddons, BagM Beih. 3, 1987. The text is also to be found as Thronfolgeregelung no. 6 in S. Parpola and K. Watanabe, Neo-Assyrian Treatiesand Loyalty Oaths, 1988. 19 Smith, The Early History of God, 25. 20 Barre, The God-List, 43-4. 128-38. 21 Note that the Pleiades received a cult in Emar, see Armaud, Emar VI.3, no. 12 378:7 (cf. 373:72'. 126'). 22 See R. Borger, Zu den Asarhaddon-Vertragen aus Nimrud, ZA 54 (1961), 190. The correct reading has been established by Watanabe, Die ade-Vereidigung, 195-6. 23 See P. Xella, I testi rituali di Ugarit, 1981, 53. The name of the god is unrelated to the deified Old Akkadian king Rimus, nor has it anything to do with Hebrew remes, "creeping animals", pace J. C. de Moor, Studies in the New Alphabetic Texts from Ras Shamra, II, UF 2 (1970), 325. 24 Except for the mention in the Succession Treaty, there is only onomastic evidence in Akkadian. Two names compounded with Aramish are mentioned on a tablet allegedly found at Rasm et-Tanjara, an obscure mound situated in the valley of the middle Orontes River. A third name with Aramish as theophorous element belongs to a merchant from Carchemish. See J.-M. Aynard and J. Nougayrol, Une tablette neo-assyrienne de Syrie (?) et le dieu Aramis, RA 65 (1971), 85-87. On Rasm et-Tanjara see H. Athanassiou, Rasm et-Tanjara: A RecentlyDiscoveredSyrian Tell in the Ghab, Part I: Inventoryof the Chance Finds, 1977. 25 Pace Barre, The God-List, 47-8. 26 The god Bethel is unrelated to the biblical town Bethel, pace 0. Eissfeldt, Der Gott Bethel, ARW 28 (1930), 1-30 = KS, 1, 1962, 206-33. 27 M.-C. Astour, Continuite et changement dans la toponymie antique de la Syrie du Nord, in: La toponymieantique. Actes du colloquede Strasbourg12-14juin 1975, 1977, 139. 28 M. Lidzbarski, Ephemerisfur semitischeEpigraphik, Vol. 2, 1908, 323-4. 29 H. Seyrig, Altar dedicated to Zeus Betylos, Excavations at Dura-Europos, 100 Karel van der Toorn Preliminary Report of Fourth Season, eds. P. V. C. Baur, M. I. Rostovtzeff and A. R. Bellinger, 1933, 68-71 (= no. 168). 30 See K. van der Toorn, Herem-Bethel and Elephantine Oath Procedure, ZAW 98 (1986), 282-285. 31 See P. Grelot, Documents arameensd'Egypte, LAPO 5, 1972, 464. K. Beyer and A. Livingstone, Die neuesten aramiischen Inschriften aus Taima, ZDMG 137/2 (1987), 285-296, esp. 287-288. 33 See also N. Aime-Giron, Textes arameens d'Egypte, 1931, 113-117. 34 See Aime-Giron, Textes arameens d'Egypte, no. 99:1; A. Dupont-Sommer, "Bel et Nabu, Samas et Nergal" sur un ostracon arameen inedit d'Elephantine, RHR 128 (1944), 28-39; E. Bresciani and M. Kamil, Le letterearamaichedi Hermopoli, 1966, no. 1:1. See also J. B. Segal, Aramaic Textsfrom North Saqqdra, 1983, nos. 30:7 ([...] 'bd nbw 'lh' [...]); 182:1 (?); XVI 1. 35 Bresciani and Kamil, Le letterearamaiche, nos. 1:7; 2:1.12; 3:1. 36 K. Deller, STT 366: Deutungsversuch 1982, Assur 3/4 (1983), 139-153, esp. 142. 37 K. Deller, STT 366: Deutungsversuch 1982, 142. 38 Following a suggestion by E. Lipiniski (SKN et SGN dans le semitique occidental du nord, UF 5 , 202-203), Succoth-Benoth must probably be interpreted as "an image of Banit". 39 See the edition by I. Kottsieper, Anmerkungen zu Pap. Amherst 63, ZAW 100 (1988), 217-244. 40 S. P. Vleeming and J. W. Wesselius, Studies in Papyrus Amherst 63, 1985, 7. 41 A. Dupont-Sommer, "Bel et Nabu, Samas et Nergal" sur un ostracon arameen inedit d'Elephantine, RHR 128 (1944), 28-39 [= Collection ClermontGanneau, no. 277]. For a reference to "Bel his god" in an Aramaic letter from Saqqara, see J. B. Segal, Aramaic Textsfrom North Saqqara, 1983, no. 23 r. 5. 42 S. Dalley, Yahweh in Hamath in the 8th Century BC: Cuneiform Material and Historical Deductions, VT 40 (1990), 21-32. See for a largely sympathetic response Z. Zevit, Yahweh Worship and Worshippers in 8th-Century Syria, VT 41 (1991), 363-366 [in some of the Aramaean kingdoms Yahweh worship was accepted as the cult of a minority group]. 43 See J. D. Hawkins, Izrijau, RLA 5 (1976-80), 227. 44 See J. D. Hawkins, Jau-bi'di, RLA 5 (1976-80), 272-73. 45 For a survey of the inscriptional evidence see J. D. Hawkins, Hamath, RLA 4 (1972-75), 67-70. 46 The authenticity of the Lucianian addition ("and where are the gods of the land of Samaria?") is debated; see for a discussion with references to relevant literature M. Anbar, xaLtrou ELtv oL OoItTi x. pacgSarxapeoiag"et ofu sont les dieux du pays de Samarie?", BN 51 (1990), 7-8. 47 E. Lipiniski, An Israelite King of Hamat?, VT 21 (1971), 371-373. Dalley judges that this analysis "has no factual basis" (p. 27 note 18). 48 See for the spellings J. D. Hawkins, Jau-bi'di, RLA 5 (1976-80), 272-73. 49 Cf. the largely similar analysis by M. Weippert, apud B. Becking, De ondergang van Samaria, 1985, 58 (reference courtesy B. Becking, University of Utrecht). Cf. also the Ugaritic name IBi-di-i-lu in Ugaritica 5 (1968), 121 no. 39:7. 50 M. Cogan and H. Tadmor, II Kings, AB 11, 1988, 166. 51 See M. Fishbane, Biblical Interpretationin Ancient Israel, 1985, 71-72. 52 Kottsieper, Anmerkungen zu Pap. Amherst 63, ZAW 100 (1988), 243. 53 See D. O. Edzard and M. Gallery, Kutha, RLA 6 (1980-83), 384-387. 32 Anat- Yahu and theJews of Elephantine 54 101 Thus Becking, De ondergangvan Samaria, 113-114 (with references to further lit.). 55 See E. Lipiniski, SKN et SGN dans le semitique occidental du nord, UF 5 (1973), 202-203. 56 57 J. Day, Molech. A God of Human Sacrifice in the Old Testament, 1989, 44-46. W. R6llig, Eine neue phoenizische Inschrift aus Byblos, NESE 2 (1974), 1-15. 58 S. M. Paul, Sargon's Administrative Diction in II Kings 1727,JBL 88 (1969), 73-74. I. Eph'al, The Ancient Arabs, 1984, 105-111. A. Cowley, Aramaic Papyri of the Fifth CenturyB.C., 1923, no. 22 vii 122-124. 61 Cf. P. Grelot, Documents arameensd'E,gypte, LAPO 5, 1972, 365. 62 A. Dupont-Sommer, "Bel et Nabu, Samas et Nergal" sur un ostracon arameen inedit d'Elephantine, RHR 128 (1944), 38. 63 B. Porten, Archivesfrom Elephantine, 1968, 18. 64 M. H. Silverman, Aramean Name-Types in the Elephantine Documents, 59 60 JAOS 89 (1969), 691-709. 65 Silverman, Aramean Name-Types, 692 and n. 3. A. Dupont-Sommer, "Bel et Nabu, Samas et Nergal" sur un ostracon arameen inedit d'Elephantine, RHR 128 (1944), 28-39. 67 D. Pardee, Les textes para-mythologiques de la 24e campage (1961), Ras Shamra-OugaritIV, 1988, 103. The identification has recently been contested by 66 Saul M. Olyan, Some Observations Concerning the Identity of the Queen of Heaven, UF 19 (1987), 161-174. The Aramaic texts from Egypt do not really allow of a different identification, however. It is hardly conceivable that Ishtar would be the West Semitic Queen of Heaven. Asherah and Astarte are unlikely candidates too, because it cannot really be explained why Jeremiah would call one of them "Queen of Heaven" whereas they are systematically referred to by their proper name elsewhere in the Bible. 68 Some 35 years ago, Cyrus H. Gordon suggested that the Jews of Elephantine came from an "offshoot of Judah planted in Aram during the united monarchy" (The Origin of the Jews in Elephantine, JNES 14 , 56-58, quotation from now p. 56). The hypothesis leaned heavily on the equation Yaudi=Judah, definitely proven erroneous. Gordon was right, however, when he observed that the religion of the Jews in Elephantine was quite unlike Jewish religion. 69 I wish to record a debt of gratitude to Peggy Day (Winnipeg) and Jonas C. Greenfield (Jerusalem) who commented on an earlier draft of this paper. Responsibility for the views here expressed lies entirely with the author.