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For other uses, see Ashur (disambiguation).

Ashur (אַשּוּר; often also transliterated as Asshur to reflect the pointing of Hebrew letter 'ש' (Shin) in the Masoretic text, which doubles the 'ש'), was the son of Shem, the son of Noah.

The Hebrew text of Genesis 10:11 is somewhat ambiguous as to whether it was Asshur himself (as the 1611 Authorized Version says), or Nimrod (as in some other English translations) who, according to Biblical tradition, built the Assyrian cities of Nineveh, Resen, Rehoboth-Ir and Calah, since the name Asshur can refer to both the person and the country.(Genesis 10:8-12 AV, Genesis 10:8-12 ESV)[1] Sir Walter Raleigh devoted several pages in his History of the World (c. 1616) to reciting past scholarship regarding the question of whether it had been Nimrod or Ashur who built the cities in Assyria.[2]

The 1st century Judaeo-Roman historian Flavius Josephus further gives the following statement: "Ashur lived at the city of Nineveh; and named his subjects Assyrians, who became the most fortunate nation, beyond others” (Antiquities, i, vi, 4).

Ashur the son of Shem is sometimes compared with the figure of the deity Ashur, for whom a temple was dedicated in the early capital city of Aššur — traditionally by an early Assyrian king named Ushpia in ca. the 21st century BC. It is highly likely that the city and indeed the Assyrian nation and people, were named in honour of this deity.[3]

Ashur, father of Tekoa[edit]

Ashur the father of Tekoa is mentioned in 1 Chronicles 4.[4]


Helah was the first wife of Ashur and Naarah was his second wife. The name "na'arah" means "girl" or "maiden" in Hebrew. Naarah was of the tribe of Judah and gave birth to Ahuzam, Hepher, Temeni, and Haahashtari (1 Chr. 4:5, 6).


  1. ^ Samuel Shuckford; James Talboys Wheeler (1858), The sacred and profane history of the world connected, Vol.1, pp. 106–107 
  2. ^ Walter Raleigh, History of the World p. 358-365
  3. ^ Georges Roux - Ancient Iraq
  4. ^ Wikisource-logo.svg "Assur (2)". Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company. 1913. 

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