Study the Torah with Academic Scholarship

By using this site you agree to our Terms of Use

Baal

Sheger, Ashtoret and Ashtor – The Patron Gods of Transjordanian Shepherds

Deuteronomy uses unusual parallel terms “the shegar of your herd and the ashtorot of your flock” to describe the offspring of livestock. These are names of the ancient West Semitic fertility goddess known as Ashtoret or by her less familiar bi-name Sheger. Her consort is (sometimes) the god Ashtor. What do we know about these deities and what do they have to do with livestock?

Prof.

Aaron Demsky

,

,

Was Elijah Permitted to Make an Offering on Mount Carmel?

In a contest with the prophets of Baal, Elijah rebuilds an altar to YHWH that was on Mount Carmel and makes an offering. Later, he bemoans the destruction of other YHWH altars (1 Kgs 18–19). But doesn’t the Book of Kings clearly state that only the altar in Jerusalem was legitimate once Solomon built the Temple?

Dr.

David Glatt-Gilad

,

,

Hosea: Loving God Erotically

A biblical metaphor for God’s relationship with Israel first found in the prophet Hosea

Prof.

Carl S. Ehrlich

,

,

Shema Yisrael: In What Way Is "YHWH One"?

The Shema has many interpretations, philosophical, eschatological, national, etc. A historical-critical way to understand the Shema is to read it (and Deuteronomy more broadly) against the backdrop of Assyrian domination, when Assyria touted their god Ashur as the supreme master of the world.

Rabbi

Daniel M. Zucker

,

,

Enthroning God in the Temple with the Song of the Sea

The Song of the Sea begins with defeat of the Egyptians and ends with YHWH’s enthronement in His temple. Comparison with the Epic of Baal and Enuma Elish clarify the genre and purpose of such hymns, and a striking parallel with Solomon’s prayer in 1 Kings 8 offers a clue to the original context of this ancient song.

Rabbi

Daniel M. Zucker

,

,