Ashes The ashes of a red heifer burned entire (Num 19:5) when sprinkled on the unclean made them ceremonially clean (Heb 9:13). To cover the head with ashes was a token of self-abhorrence and humiliation (Sa2 13:19; Est 4:3; Jer 6:26, etc.). To feed on ashes (Isa 44:20), means to seek that which will prove to be vain and unsatisfactory, and hence it denotes the unsatisfactory nature of idol-worship. (Compare Hos 12:1).
Ashkelon =Askelon = Ascalon was one of the five cities of the Philistines (Jos 13:3; Sa1 6:17). It stood on the shore of the Mediterranean, 12 miles north of Gaza. It is mentioned on an inscription at Karnak in Egypt as having been taken by king Rameses II., the oppressor of the Hebrews. In the time of the judges (Jdg 1:18) it fell into the possession of the tribe of Judah; but it was soon after retaken by the Philistines (Sa2 1:20), who were not finally dispossessed till the time of Alexander the Great. Samson went down to this place from Timnath, and slew thirty men and took their spoil. The prophets foretold its destruction (Jer 25:20; Jer 47:5, Jer 47:7). It became a noted place in the Middle Ages, having been the scene of many a bloody battle between the Saracens and the Crusaders. It was besieged and taken by Richard the Lion-hearted, and "within its walls and towers now standing he held his court." Among the Tell Amarna tablets (see EGYPT) are found letters or official dispatches from Yadaya, "captain of horse and dust of the king's feet," to the "great king" of Egypt, dated from Ascalon. It is now called 'Askalan'.
Ashkenaz One of the three sons of Gomer (Gen 10:3), and founder of one of the tribes of the Japhetic race. They are mentioned in connection with Minni and Ararat, and hence their original seat must have been in Armenia (Jer 51:27), probably near the Black Sea, which, from their founder, was first called Axenus, and afterwards the Euxine.
Ashpenaz The master of the eunuchs of Nebuchadnezzar (Dan 1:3), the "Rabsaris" of the court. His position was similar to that of the Kislar-aga of the modern Turkish sultans.
Ashtaroth A city of Bashan, in the kingdom of Og (Deu 1:4; Jos 12:4; Jos 13:12; Jos 9:10). It was in the half-tribe of Manasseh (Jos 13:12), and as a Levitical city was given to the Gershonites (Ch1 6:71). Uzzia, one of David's valiant men (Ch1 11:44), is named as of this city. It is identified with Tell Ashterah, in the Hauran, and is noticed on monuments 1700-1500 B.C.. The name Beesh-terah (Jos 21:27) is a contraction for Beth-eshterah, i.e., "the house of Ashtaroth."
Ashteroth Karnaim Ashteroth of the two horns, the abode of the Rephaim (Gen 14:5). It may be identified with Ashtaroth preceding; called "Karnaim", i.e., the "two-horned" (the crescent moon). The Samaritan version renders the word by "Sunamein," the present es-Sunamein, 28 miles south of Damascus.
Ashtoreth The moon goddess of the Phoenicians, representing the passive principle in nature, their principal female deity; frequently associated with the name of Baal, the sun-god, their chief male deity (Jdg 10:6; Sa1 7:4; Sa1 12:10). These names often occur in the plural (Ashtaroth, Baalim), probably as indicating either different statues or different modifications of the deities. This deity is spoken of as Ashtoreth of the Zidonians. She was the Ishtar of the Accadians and the Astarte of the Greeks (Jer 44:17; Kg1 11:5, Kg1 11:33; Kg2 23:13). There was a temple of this goddess among the Philistines in the time of Saul (Sa1 31:10). Under the name of Ishtar, she was one of the great deities of the Assyrians. The Phoenicians called her Astarte. Solomon introduced the worship of this idol (Kg1 11:33). Jezebel's 400 priests were probably employed in its service (Kg1 18:19). It was called the "queen of heaven" (Jer 44:25).
Ashurites Mentioned among those over whom Ish-bosheth was made king (Sa2 2:9).
Asia Is used to denote Proconsular Asia, a Roman province which embraced the western parts of Asia Minor, and of which Ephesus was the capital, in Act 2:9; Act 6:9; Act 16:6; Act 19:10, Act 19:22; Act 20:4, Act 20:16, Act 20:18, etc., and probably Asia Minor in Act 19:26, Act 19:27; Act 21:27; Act 24:18; Act 27:2. See map, Proconsular Asia and the Seven Churches Proconsular Asia contained the seven churches of the Apocalypse (Rev 1:11). The "chiefs of Asia" (Act 19:31) were certain wealthy citizens who were annually elected to preside over the games and religious festivals of the several cities to which they belonged. Some of these "Asiarchs" were Paul's friends.
Asnapper Probably the same as Assurbani-pal (Sardanapalos of the Greeks), styled the "great and noble" (Ezr 4:10), was the son and successor (668 B.C.) of Esar-haddon (q.v.). He was "luxurious, ambitious, and cruel, but a magnificent patron of literature." He formed at Nineveh a library of clay tablets, numbering about 10,000. These are now mostly in the British Museum. They throw much light on the history and antiquities of Assyria. Assur-bani-pal was a munificent patron of literature, and the conqueror of Elam. Towards the middle of his reign his empire was shaken by a great rebellion headed by his brother in Babylon. The rebellion was finally put down, but Egypt was lost, and the military power of Assyria was so exhausted that it could with difficulty resist the hordes of Kimmerians who poured over Western Asia. (See NINEVEH.)