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By Redford, Donald B. & Collins, John J. & Dever, William G. & McCarter Jr., P. Kyle

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At that time, sculptors and lector-priests were trying to understand the king’s directives, and so tangential interpretations might be expected. The references to Hathor and “the gods” are found in depictions prepared for the jubilee, which Akhenaten celebrated in his third year and which classically centered upon a conclave of all the gods of Egypt. That the references are exceptional can be shown by the fact that Akhenaten did his best to expunge the gods everywhere in the ritual: The numerous shrines, once filled by the numina from Upper and Lower Egypt, were filled by the Sun-disc alone; the hymn to Hathor was bowdlerized to remove all hateful symbolism of the gods.

Akhenaten makes an offering to his sole, universal god, Aten, symbolized by the Sun-disc, in this detail from the relief found in Amarna. The rays from the Sun-disc, showering the pharaoh, end in human hands, which may be presenting an ankh (the symbol of life) to the royal figure. Erich Lessing Given the extremely fragmentary nature of the text, however, several problems remain. We would love to know what exactly is implied by the verb 3bw (translated above as “ceased”) when it is applied to the gods and their statuary.

Hershel Shanks Not far to the east of Beersheba is Arad, a small Judahite hilltop fortress and sanctuary also excavated by Aharoni. E. phases remain controversial because of faulty excavation methods and the lack of final reports. Yet for our purposes, the main points are clear. E. walled citadel is occupied by a three-room temple, very similar in plan to the partly contemporaneous Temple in Jerusalem. ” A small bronze lion, often associated with the Canaanite goddess Asherah, was found near the altar of the temple to Yahweh at Arad.

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