Avraham Hai

Is she or isn’t she? Some scholars believe that Asherah is represented among the trio of figures on fragments from a pithos (large storage jar) excavated at Kuntillet ’Ajrud, in the Sinai desert. The inscription above the figures reads, “I have blessed you by Yahweh of Samaria and his Asherah.” Some have argued that Yahweh is at left, with Asherah either in the middle or at right. But more and more scholars are concluding that both figures on the left are the Egyptian god Bes, shown in his typical arms-akimbo pose and wearing a feathered headdress. The figure at right, these scholars say, is merely a lyre player.

Author Hestrin, bolstered by the numerous similar examples illustrated earlier, argues that the Asherah referred to in the inscription is shown not in this scene, but elsewhere on the same pithos: The tree flanked by the pair of ibexes, she writes, is none other than Asherah.