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Bible Encyclopedias

Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature

Ashurite

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(Heb. Ashuri', אֲשׁוּרִי , prob. originally from אֲשׁוּר, a step; Sept. Ἀσερί, Vulg. Gessuri; Auth. Vers. "Ashurites"), apparently the designation of a tribe in the vicinity of Gilead, one of the trans-Jordanic districts over whom the revolting Abner made Ishbosheth king (2 Samuel 2:9). The Chaldee paraphrast (Targum of Jonathan) supposes the inhabitants of Asher (דְּבֵית אָשֵׁר , "of the house of Asher"), which is supported by several MSS. that read האשרי (Davidson, Hebr. Text, ad loc.). "The Asherites" will then denote the whole of the country west of the Jordan above Jezreel (the district of the plain of Esdraelon), and the enumeration will proceed regularly from north to south, Asher to Benjamin. The form "Asherite" occurs in Judges 1:32. (See ASHER).

By some of the old interpreters- Arabic, Syriac, and Vulgate versions-and in modern times by Ewald (Gesch. Isr. iii, 145), the name is taken as meaning the Geshurites, the members of a small kingdom to the S. or S.E. of Damascus, one of the petty states which were included under the general title of Aram (q.v.). The difficulty in accepting this substitution is that Geshur had a king of its own, Talmai, whose daughter, moreover, was married to David somewhere about this very time (1 Chronicles 3:2, compared with 4), a circumstance not consistent with his being the ally of Ishbosheth, or with the latter being made king over the people of Geshur. Talmai was still king many years after this occurrence (2 Samuel 13:37). In addition, Geshur was surely too remote from Mahanaim and from the rest of Ishbosheth's territory to be intended here. (See GESHUR). Still others understand that the clan referred to are the same with the Asshurites (Heb. Asshurime', אִשּׁוּרִים; Sept. Ἀσσουριείμ, Vulg. Assurism; Auth. Vers. "Asshurim "), an Arab tribe said (with the Letushim and Leummim) to be descended from Dedan (Genesis 25:4), and who appear from these notices to have settled in the south-western part of the Hauran, where they became somewhat incorporated with the Israelites. (See ARABIA).

In Ezekiel 27:6, Ashur (אֲשׁוּר, plur. Ashurim', in the expression, קִדְשֵׁךְ עָשׂוּאּשֵׁן בִּתאּאֲשֻׁרִים, thy benches [or decks] they have made of ivory, the daughter of the ashur-trees, i.e. inlaid or bordered with that wood; Sept. τὰ ἱερά σου ἐποίησαν ἐξ ἐλέφαντος, οἴκους ἀλσώδεις, Vulg. et transtra tuafecerunt tibi ex ebore Indico et prceteriola, Auth. Vers. "the company of the Ashurites have made thy benches of ivory") evidently stands for tedsshur' (תְּאִשּׁוּר ), or box-wood. (See BOX-TREE).

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Bibliography Information
McClintock, John. Strong, James. Entry for 'Ashurite'. Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature. https://www.studylight.org/encyclopedias/eng/tce/a/ashurite.html. Harper & Brothers. New York. 1870.

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