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? – Diashawn Bell Nov 6 '16 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). – Reb Chaim HaQoton Nov 7 '16 at 18:12

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

  • 1
    Zeus is at best someone dating from 1200BC, Jupiter is way younger. Genesis had been so written way before Jupiter or Zeus was there, tradition putting the genesis between 1500BC and 1200 BC; Not to mention Hebraic people did not have any contacts with "Italians". – Gibet Nov 7 '16 at 20:03
  • @Gibet - Why would this have to have been introduced around 1200 BC? – femtoRgon Nov 10 '16 at 17:00
  • @femtoRgon Not so sure what you mean XD – Gibet Nov 13 '16 at 8:32
  • @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 '16 at 11:05
  • @femtoRgon This is in fact the whole question here. Some jewish author makes an assumption without proofs. I would (truly) consider those points intensively IF there was some kind of proof (as the god referred to). Now let's assume this is late addition (which is quite possible); Isaschaar sons are Tola, Puah, Job and Shimron. now see how those names feels Hebraic. Take a look at Job. The book of Job. In the Bible you find Jobab, Joab, Jedidah, etc. That definitly feels Hebraic. Why rename the obscure son of jacob and not The Job. Not to forget the Numbers are roughly from 1400 BC. – Gibet Nov 13 '16 at 11:44

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.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.