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Tartak תרתק

(600 words)

Author(s): M. Cogan
I. Name Tartak is one of two gods (the other Nibhaz) worshipped by the Avvites whom the Assyrians settled in Samaria, some time after the city’s fall ( 2 Kgs. 17.24, 2 Kgs. 31). A god by this name is unknown in extra-biblical sources. In addition, the location of Avva is uncertain. II. Identity Two identifications of Tartak, both problematic, have been suggested. The first associates the Avvites with Elam. Avva is taken to be identical with the town Ama on the Uqnu River on the Babylonian-Elamite border, occupied by Aramean tribes (Zadok 1976:120, Becking 1992:98). The transfer of Avvite…


(503 words)

Author(s): M. Cogan
I. Name “The Shulammite” in Cant. 7.1 is held by some scholars to be a reference to Shulmanitu, an Assyrian war goddess with underworld associations (Albright 1963:5–6; 1969:134, 150, 187). II. Identity The name of the goddess is known from Middle Assyrian texts from the reign of Tukulti-Ninurta I (ca. 1243–1207 bce), written ddi(silim) -ni-tu (cf. RIMA 1.259–263). The name also appears in the Tākultu ritual text ( KAR 214, ii, 47) and the god list An = Anum (CT 24, 33, Obv. 16 dŠul-ma-ni-tu = Ištar-uru-silim-ma). Albright explained the form of the name as being adjectival, i.…

Ashima אשׁימא

(565 words)

Author(s): M. Cogan
I. Name Ashima was the god worshipped by the people of Hamath, who after their deportation to Samaria by the Assyrian king, continued to serve him in their new home ( 2 Kgs. 17.30). II. Identity The name of the god, in its Biblical form, has been recovered only from the context of Arab tribes at Teima; in a dedicatory inscription from Teima, ʾšymʾ is invoked, along with the gods ṣlm and šnglʾ (See Livingstone 1983; Beyer & Livingstone 1987). This attestation is somewhat surprising if the primary association of Ashima is with the north Syrian Hamath (but cf. Becking 1992:99, 102–104); trade…


(442 words)

Author(s): M. Cogan
I. Name A deity Shulman is known as a theophoric element in Mesopotamian personal names. The god’s name has often been connnected with the noun šulmu, “welfare”, suggesting that the god functioned as a divine healer (Albright 1931–1932:167). Shulman occurs as a theophoric element in the name of the Assyrian king šalmanʾeser, ‘Shalmaneser’ ( 2 Kgs. 17.3// 2 Kgs. 18.9) and has been recovered in the personal names Solomon (B. Meissner, Babylonien und Assyrien II [Heidelberg 1925] 33, 40, 48; see however HALAT 1425) and Shalman ( Hos. 10.4). II. Identity The deity Shulman is attested on…

Sukkoth-Benoth סכות־בנות

(805 words)

Author(s): M. Cogan
I. Name Sukkoth-Benoth is a god said to have been worshipped by the Babylonians who were resettled in Samaria by an Assyrian king ( 2 Kgs. 17.30). These new “Samarians” may have been transferred to the territory of the former Israelite state either by Sennacherib ( ARAB 2.234, 339–341) or Ashurbanipal ( ARAB 2.791–798), both of whom fought in southern Mesopotamia; cf. too, Ezra 4.9–10 (see Becking 1992:95–97). Neither the double-name of the god nor its individual components is known from cuneiform sources. II. Identity Traditionally Benoth has been associated with the goddess Za…