—Biblical Data:

A nation descended from Abraham and Keturah (Gen. xxv. 3). In prophetic literature the nation is mentioned as being engaged in making benches of ivory for Tyre (Ezek. xxvii. 6). The Asshurites in II Sam. ii. 9can not refer to the same people as Gen. xxv. 3, or to the Assyrians. Either we have here a text corruption for Geshurites (Ewald, Wellhausen), or the name is to be explained according to Targum Jonathan as the Asherites.

J. Jr. G. B. L.—In Rabbinical Literature:

The Palestinian exegetes consider Asshurim, and also Letushim and Leummim in the passage Gen. xxv. 3, to be appellatives of the nations recorded as the children of Dedan; and explain Asshurim as "merchants," or more exactly as "those who travel with their wares from place to place" ("ashur" = footstep). Similarly, Letushim are those who sharpen weapons, from "laṭash," to whet; Leummim are the chiefs of peoples ("leüm" = people), or island-inhabitants (Targumim on the passage Gen. R. lxi. 5). In the Onkelos passage, according to Jerome, ad loc., (for ) should be read (see Ginzberg, "Haggada bei den Kirchenvätern," p. 117).

J. Sr. L. G.
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