Photo courtesy of Dr. Ze’ev Meshel and Avraham Hai/Tel Aviv University Institute of Archaeology
GODDESS OR TREE? Several inscriptions from Kuntillet ‘Ajrud refer to Yahweh “and his asherah.” Is asherah the Canaanite goddess Asherah, suggesting Yahweh had a consort, or is it simply a sacred tree or post sometimes mentioned—and condemned—in the Bible? The editors of the Kuntillet ‘Ajrud volume conclude that it is the latter. Indeed, on the other side of the inscription mentioning “Yahweh and his asherah” on Pithos A is a drawing of a sacred tree flanked by two horned ibexes on top of a striding lion—a common ancient Near Eastern motif.