The priestly asherah

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It is proposed that the priestly story of Aaron's flowering staff (Num 17:16-26) is an etiology for the asherah in Solomon's temple (2 Kgs 21:3, 7; 23:4, 6, 7). The staff as described is closely similar both in form and in function to the asherah. This proposition accounts for the absence of hostility towards asherim in the priestly literature, and it generates a solution to the age-old problem of why Moses and Aaron were denied entry into the promised land (Num 20:1-13, 24; 27:14; Deut 32:51).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)33-45
Number of pages13
JournalVetus Testamentum
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2019


  • Aaron
  • Asherah
  • Kuntillet 'Ajrud
  • Priestly
  • Staff
  • Tree

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Language and Linguistics
  • History
  • Religious studies
  • Linguistics and Language
  • Literature and Literary Theory


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