Ish-bosheth was originally called Ish-baal, a name that later scribes changed to Ish-bosheth, perhaps out of fear that the name Ish-baal would encourage the worship of the Canaanite and Phoenician deity Baal.


Interestingly enough, David refers to himself with this very title during one of his confrontations with the vindictive King Saul. See 1 Samuel 24:15 (English 24:14).


See the letters numbered 2, 5 and 6 in Dennis Pardee et al., Handbook of Ancient Hebrew Letters, SBL Sources for Biblical Study 15 (Chico, CA: Scholars Press, 1982), pp. 67–114. Letters 12 and 17 may also contain this or similar formulae.


See EA 60 and EA 61 in William Moran, The Amarna Letters (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins Univ. Press, 1992), pp. 133–134.


Patrick F. Houlihan, “Canines,” in The Oxford Encyclopedia of Ancient Egypt, vol. 1, ed. Donald B. Redford (Oxford: Oxford Univ. Press, 2001), p. 230. See also Henry G. Fischer, “Hunde,” Lexikon der Ägyptologie, Band III, ed. by Wolfgang Helck and Wolfhart Westendorf (Wiesbaden: Otto Harrassowitz, 1980), pp. 77–81.


Billie Jean Collins, “The Puppy in Hittite Ritual,” Journal of Cuneiform Studies 42 (Autumn 1990), pp. 211–226.


Baruch Halpern, “The Canine Conundrum of Ashkelon: A Classical Connection?” The Archaeology of Jordan and Beyond: Essays in Honor of James A. Sauer, ed. by Lawrence E. Stager, Joseph A. Greene and Michael D. Coogan (Winona Lake, IN: Eisenbrauns, 2000), pp. 133–144.


Othniel Margolith, “Keleb: Homonym or Metaphor?” Vetus Testamentum 33:4 (1983), p. 492.


J.J. Stamm, Die Akkadische Namengebung, in Mitteilungen der Vorderasiatisch-Aegyptischen Gesellschaft, vol. 44 (Leipzig: J.C. Hinrichs Verlag, 1939), p. 12 n. 2.


Frank L. Benz, Personal Names in the Phoenician and Punic Inscriptions: A Catalog, Grammatical Study, and Glossary of Elements, Studia Pohl 8 (Rome: Biblical Institute Press, 1972), pp. 131–132, 331.


See Gordon J. Wenham, Genesis 16-50, Word Biblical Commentary, vol. 2 (Dallas: Word Books, 1994), pp. 176–177; and Stanley D. Walters, “Jacob Narrative,” Anchor Bible Dictionary, vol. 3, ed. David Noel Freedman (New York: Doubleday, 1992), p. 599.


This definition is confirmed by the one biblical occurrence that is not applied to Caleb. In 1 Kings 11:6, Solomon and David are contrasted, and it is pointed out that Solomon sinned (in taking many wives) but David “filled after YHWH.”


Meir Malul, “Adoption of Foundlings in the Bible and Mesopotamian Documents: A Study of Legal Metaphors in Ezekiel 16:1–7,” Journal for the Study of the Old Testament 46 (1990), pp. 97–126.


Malul, “Adoption of Foundlings,” pp. 104–105. The text itself is from J.N. Strassmaier, Inschriften von Nabuchonosor König von Babylon (601–561 v. Chr.) (Leipzig, 1889), no. 439, p. 261. I translate the pertinent passage as “These are the witnesses, in front of them [the lady, …]ra, cast her son, […]tum, to the dog’s mouth, and Nur-Šamaš has raised him from the dog’s mouth.” Further evidence of this practice comes from several attested personal names like ša pi kalbi (He of the Dog’s Mouth) and ina pi kalbi irih (He Has Been Left Over from the Dog’s Mouth). See Malul, “Adoption of Foundlings,” p. 105 and n. 67.