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Appendix 2 Basic

Appendix 2 Basic Glossary Ammonites They were the descendants of Ben Ammi, Lot's second son and Moab's brother (Gen 19:37-38); after defeating the Zamzummìm on the east versant of the Dead Sea, they settled in the region between the Arnon and Yabbòq rivers, from there they were wiped out by Amorites that pushed them to the eastern borders of the desert. They were excluded from the Jewish community because they worshiped Balaam. Amorites This is a generic term used to indicate the people that occupied Palestine before the Jews arrived. The name was therefore also synonymous with Canaanites. Astarte She was a goddess worshiped in the Semitic North-West (the Babylonian Ishtar), and represented the Phoenician and Canaanite Great Mother; this cult was linked to fertility, fecundity and war. The main centres of worship were Sidon, Tyre and Byblos, but she was also known and worshipped in Malta, Tharros in Sardinia and Erice in Sicily. She also entered the Egyptian pantheon, where she was identified as Isis. In the Hellenistic period she was likened to the Greek goddess Aphrodite and to the Roman Venus. The name Astarte often appears in the Old Testament, even in the plural form (Ashtarot, cf. Jdg 10:6): in those cases it probably indicates the female deities equivalent to the male ones Baalìm. Biblia Hebraica Stuttgartensia 208

The Biblia Hebraica Stuttgartensia, or BHS, is an edition of the Hebrew Bible published by Deutsche Bibelgesellschaft (German Bible Society) of Stuttgart. The text is an exact copy of the Masoretic text as contained in the Codex Leningradensis (L) and represents the official reference version of the Journal of Biblical Hebrew-Aramaic text for both Jews and Christians. This text also corresponds to the Bible published by “The British and Foreign Bible Society” of London: Letteris Bible. Edin / Eden (cf. Gen 2:10) Probably there were two: one in Africa (Enkite gods) and one in Sumer (Enlilite gods) where Adam and Eve were taken. The four biblical rivers starting from Eden are Gihon (the current Aras, once called Gaihun), Pison (now Uhizun) Hiddekel (Tigris) and Perath (Euphrates). Their springs are in the territory immediately west of the Caspian Sea, near the lakes Urmia and Van (Armenia-Kurdistan). The exact location seems to be the area where there is the current Tabriz (Iran): the Adji Chay valley, called Meidan by the Persians (namely, “place enclosed by walls”). The lands of Cush (Azerbaijan) and Avila (province of Anguran, Iran) bathed by Gihon and Pison, are in the current Azerbaijan and on the nearby mountains of northern Iran. The river crossing the Eden sinks in the vicinity of Urmia Lake then emerging to form the headwaters of the four mentioned rivers, two of which flow into the Caspian Sea (Gihon and Pison) while and the other two in the Persian Gulf (the Tigris and Euphrates). Archaeologists believe that Sumerians arrived in the territory which will later become their land (Sumer in Southern Mesopotamia) following a migration whose origin may actually prove to be in a mountainous region bordering the Caspian Sea. Their most important God was identified as a “mountain” and their stepped temples (ziggurat) recall precisely this natural formation. The word Eden has been translated in Greek with paradeisos, “paradise”, and comes from the pairidaeza of Zoroastrian religion (sited right in the Eden area): The word Avestan means “enclosed place”. The Hebrew word for “garden”, gan, comes from the root ganan, meaning “to fence”. Gan Eden, therefore, means “fenced garden of Eden” that, as where the Bible says, is 209

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