R. Simon Ashenburg in Debek Tob reconciles a contradiction in the Bible regarding the name of Issachar's son which is given as Yov (יוב) in Genesis 46:13 and elsewhere as Yashuv (ישוב) in Numbers 26:24 by explaining that his name was really Yov but since that matches the name of an idolatrous deity, an extra ש was added to his name so he was called Yashuv.

My question is whether we know of any ancient mythology which had a god named Yov (or Yob, or Iob or Job) or something similar.

  • I couldn't find anything. Can you give me a specific region you're looking for? Nov 6, 2016 at 22:41
  • @DiashawnBell If it has to be narrowed down, let's say in the Levant area (but I'm not changing the original question because I want to see if we can find anything anywhere along these lines). Nov 7, 2016 at 18:12

2 Answers 2


A friend of mine wrote to me that this is probably a reference to "Jove" which is another name for the Roman god Jupiter.

  • @Gibet - Why would this have to have been introduced around 1200 BC?
    – femtoRgon
    Nov 10, 2016 at 17:00
  • @Gibet - Why wouldn't it be possible for this to be introduced to the text around the time of the Jewish-Roman wars, for instance?
    – femtoRgon
    Nov 13, 2016 at 11:05
  • @Gibet I wouldn't really ask the question the way you do because in the original Hebrew text of the Bible, Job's name is given as איוב (pronounced Iyov) which is similar, but not identical to the name Yov (יוב) that we are discussing. The Anglizication of Iyov as Job might give the impression that we are discussing the same name, but we aren't. Plus, Iyov was said to come from a non-Jewish, so we would not be bothered with his name resembling that of a foreign deity, but a grandson of Jacob we would not expect to be named the same as another god. Nov 13, 2016 at 19:05

According to Wikipedia, there was an Egyptian deity named Iabet, sometimes also known as Iab.

If this is what Rabbi Ashenburg is referring to, then perhaps the story was that prior to arriving in Egypt, the sons of Jacob were only vaguely aware of the more major Egyptian deities and therefore Issachar saw nothing wrong with Yov. Upon arriving in Egypt and discovering the many different Egyptian deities, including this minor goddess, he decided a name-change was in order.

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