06 November 2006
Who is Asher'ah? Part Three: The Weavings
From Book of 2 Kings 23.7, NRSV, 3rd Ed., 2001 "[King Josiah] broke down the houses of the temple prostitues that were in the House of the Lord, where the women did weaving for Asherah." From the Jewish Publication Society's TANAKH, 1999, a transliteration of the Hebrew masoretic text "where the women wove coverings [Hb. batim] for Asherah." Raphael Patai, 1990, page 299 comments "The Septuagint [the early Hebrew Scripture translation to Greek, 300-100BC] [uses the Greek word]'stolas', that is, 'garments' for batim which may be based on an original badim, ie, 'linens'. The expression badim '(a person) clothed in linens' appears as a standing epithet for a mystical figure in Ezekiel 9 and Daniel 12." -from The Hebrew Goddess, isbn 0814322719
Recall that the general Deuteronomist's usage of an "Asherah" is a "sacred wooden post or pole", not the Goddess. Then the reference to women weaving linens within the precincts of Solomon's Temple for the sacred pole. Sounds a bit like Betsy Ross to me. So, is today's cover illustration of the American edition of "Newsweek", the weekly news magazine, a modern iteration of an ancient ritual? - the symbolic fabric wrapped around the symbolic pole - the ersatz female wrapped around the ersatz male - the image is too perfect. Keep it in mind for future blogs here. Please re-read the two earlier blogs - "Who is Asher'ah?" Part One in June 06 and Part Two in July 06. Newsweek cover illustration credit: photographer,Craig Cutler, 2006.
American voters, please do so tomorrow - for the world's sake.