Arabic: -šr, -šarā, and Asherah

Platytude

Senior Member
English - AU
Hi,

Some Pre-Islamic Arabian and closely related cultures worshipped a high god dwšr, recorded later as Dhū l-Šarā in classical Arabic (literally, Lord or holder of Šarā). Centuries earlier, some Israelites might have viewed goddess Asherah as a helper or a tool of Yahweh, and calling her or it, his Asherah (as evident in incantations found in Negev area). If this concept was borrowed by North Arabian cultures (either from Jews or other Asherah-revering locals), wouldn't it have been possible to call Yahwah or his Nabatean/Arabian counterpart (e.g. Allah) Dhū Ašerā "Lord/holder of Asherah"?
 
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  • raamez

    Senior Member
    Arabic (Syria)
    The English spelling could lead you to believe that both words are related but it is not the case. We know that Asherah in Ugratic was spelled with a th sound not with sheen and it was perhaps pronounced as athirah, in Arabic this would be أثيرة which means the favorite or beloved one. Therefore I don't think it has anything to do with ذو الشرى. Ash-shara could be either a place of origin or an attribute. For the former, some have suggested جبال الشراة, a mountain range in today's Jordan. For the later, you need to look up the different meanings of ash-shara in Arabic dictionaries and decide for yourself what is the most appropriate meaning might be.
     

    Abaye

    Senior Member
    Hebrew
    Arabic letter "shin" should correspond to Hebrew "sin", right? So the expected Hebrew cognate of "šar" is "sar" שַׂר (feminine form: "sara"). Such word really exists in Hebrew and its sisters since ancient times until today with Akkadian cognate "šarrum" and means "prince, captain, chief, ruler, chieftain, official", which sounds relevant. Compare to proper name Sarah.
     
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    Platytude

    Senior Member
    English - AU
    Frankly I don't understand what this consonant correspondence has to do with my question. I am asking about a borrowing, esp. from Hebrew in which the Semitic word was passed into with a š. But for the mountain range, it was my bad. When I was looking into it, I had read it was in southern Yemen for some reason. That makes sense now. Thanks.
     
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