ASHES (Ish'ez), (Heb. ay'fer; Gr. owoUs, sfiod-os' ; also deh'shen, literally, fatness).
The ashes of the altar of burnt offering on the days of the great festivals were suffered to accu mulate, and then taken away the next day by a priest chosen by lot to this work. There was a sort of lye made of the ashes of the heifer sacri ficed on the great day of expiation, which was used for ceremonial purification (Num. xix:17,18).
(See SACRIFICE.) FiguratiVe. 1. Ashes in the symbolical of Scripture denote human frailty (Gen. xvin: 27), deep humiliation (Esth. iv: 1; Jonah iii.6; Matt. xi: 21; Luke x:13; Job xlii: 6; Dan. ix: 3).
2. To sit in ashes was a token of grief and mourn ing (Job ii: 8; Lam. iii: 16; Ezek. xxvii: 3o), as was also strewing them upon the head (2 Sam. xiii: to; Is. xli: 3). (See MouRtiniG.) 3. Feeding on ashes, in Ps. cii:9, appears to ex press grief, as of one with whose food the ashes with which he is covered mingle. But in Is. xliv:2o 'feeding on ashes' which afford no nourishment, is judged to denote ineffectual means, labor to no purpose. (Compare Hos. xii: I.) ASHIMA (5'shi-n3a or a-shi'rna), (Heb. `K ash-i-maw', perhaps heaven, 2 Kings xvii: 3o), is , only once mentioned in the Old Testament as the God of the people of Hamath. The Babylonian
Talmud, in the treatise 'Sanhedrin' (cited in Carp zov's Afifiaratus, p. 516), and the majority ofJew ish writers, assert that Ashima was worshiped un der the form of a goat without wool; the Talmud of Jerusalem says, under that of a Iamb. Elias Levita, a learned Rabbi of the sixteenth century, assigns the word the sense of afie ; in which he was, in all probability, deceived by the resemblance in sound to the latin simia. Jurieu and Calmet have proposed other fanciful conjectures. The opinion, however, that this idol had the form of a goat, ap pears to be the one best supported by arguments as well as by authorities. It is worthy of mention that the name of this idol furnished Aben Ezra with an opportunity of displaying the inveterate hatred of the Jews against the Samaritans. In his preface to the book of Esther, he asserts that the Samari tan text of Gen. i: 1, begins with the words 'In the beginning Ashima created.' It need hardly be said there is no trace of this reading either in the Samaritan text or version.