Asa Physician, son of Abijah and grandson of Rehoboam, was the third king of Judah. He was zealous in maintaining the true worship of God, and in rooting all idolatry, with its accompanying immoralities, out of the land (1 Kings 15; 8-14). The Lord gave him and his land rest and prosperity. It is recorded of him, however, that in his old age, when afflicted, he "sought not to the Lord, but to the physicians" (compare Jer 17:5). He died in the forty-first year of his reign, greatly honored by his people (Ch2 16:1), and was succeeded by his son Jehoshaphat.
Asahel Made by God, the youngest son of Zeruiah, David's sister. He was celebrated for his swiftness of foot. When fighting against Ish-bosheth at Gibeon, in the army of his brother Joab, he was put to death by Abner, whom he pursued from the field of battle (Sa2 2:18, Sa2 2:19). He is mentioned among David's thirty mighty men (Sa2 23:24; Ch1 11:26). Others of the same name are mentioned (Ch2 17:8; Ch2 31:13; Ezr 10:15).
Asaph Convener, or collector. (1.) A Levite; one of the leaders of David's choir (Ch1 6:39). Psalm 50 and Psalms 73-83 inclusive are attributed to him. He is mentioned along with David as skilled in music, and a "seer" (Ch2 29:30). The "sons of Asaph," mentioned in Ch1 25:1, Ch2 20:14, and Ezr 2:41, were his descendants, or more probably a class of poets or singers who recognized him as their master. (2.) The "recorder" in the time of Hezekiah (Kg2 18:18, Kg2 18:37). (3.) The "keeper of the king's forest," to whom Nehemiah requested from Artaxerxes a "letter" that he might give him timber for the temple at Jerusalem (Neh 2:8).
Ascension See CHRIST.
Asenath An Egyptian name, meaning "gift of the sun-god", daughter of Potipherah, priest of On or Heliopolis, wife of Joseph (Gen 41:45). She was the mother of Manasseh and Ephraim (Gen 41:50; Gen 46:20).
Ash (Heb. o'ren , "tremulous"), mentioned only Isa 44:14 (R.V., "fir tree"). It is rendered "pine tree" both in the LXX. and Vulgate versions. There is a tree called by the Arabs aran, found still in the valleys of Arabia Petraea, whose leaf resembles that of the mountain ash. This may be the tree meant. Our ash tree is not known in Syria.
Ashdod Stronghold, a Philistine city (Jos 15:47), about midway between Gaza and Joppa, and 3 miles from the Mediterranean. It was one of the chief seats of the worship of Dagon (Sa1 5:5). It belonged to the tribe of Judah (Jos 15:47), but it never came into their actual possession. It was an important city, as it stood on the highroad from Egypt to Palestine, and hence was strongly fortified (Ch2 26:6; Isa 20:1). Uzziah took it, but fifty years after his death it was taken by the Assyrians (758 B.C.). According to Sargon's record, it was captured by him in 711 B.C.. The only reference to it in the New Testament, where it is called Azotus, is in the account of Philip's return from Gaza (Act 8:40). It is now called Eshdud.
Ashdoth-pisgah (Deu 3:17; Jos 12:3; Jos 13:20) in Authorized Version, but in Revised Version translated "slopes of Pisgah." In Deu 4:49 it is translated in the Authorized Version "springs of Pisgah." The name Ashdoth is translated "springs" in the Authorized Version, but "slopes" in the Revised Version, of Jos 10:40; Jos 12:8. It has been identified with the springs under Mount Nebo, now called 'Ayun Musa .
Asher Happy, Jacob's eighth son; his mother was Zilpah, Leah's handmaid (Gen 30:13). Of the tribe founded by him nothing is recorded beyond its holding a place in the list of the tribes (Gen 35:26; Gen 46:17; Exo 1:4, etc.) It increased in numbers twenty-nine percent. during the thirty-eight years' wanderings. The place of this tribe during the march through the desert was between Dan and Naphtali (Num 2:27). See map, Showing the Territory of Asher The boundaries of the inheritance given to it, which contained some of the richest soil in Palestine, and the names of its towns, are recorded in Jos 19:24; Jdg 1:31, Jdg 1:32. Asher and Simeon were the only tribes west of the Jordan which furnished no hero or judge for the nation. Anna the prophetess was of this tribe (Luk 2:36).
Asherah Plural Asherim in Revised Version, instead of "grove" and "groves" of the Authorized Version. This was the name of a sensual Canaanitish goddess Astarte, the feminine of the Assyrian Ishtar. Its symbol was the stem of a tree deprived of its boughs, and rudely shaped into an image, and planted in the ground. Such religious symbols ("groves") are frequently alluded to in Scripture (Exo 34:13; Jdg 6:25; Kg2 23:6; Kg1 16:33, etc.). These images were also sometimes made of silver or of carved stone (Kg2 21:7; "the graven image of Asherah," R.V.). (See GROVE .).