The common semitic verb šmr/ III zmr/ḏmr ‘to protect; to watch’ can be used with a religious connotation, as becomes clear from personal names like Zimri-Lim, ‘Lim is my Protection’. At Ugarit, the ancestral gods (Ilib) are probably once depicted as ḏmr ʾṯrh, ‘Protector(s) of his place’. In the OT Yahweh is seen as the ‘protector’ of his people (e.g. Exod. 15.2; Ps. 121). At Nah. 2.3 zĕmōrêhem šiḥētû might be rendered as ‘slaughtered their protectors’.
In the epic of Aqhat a lis…