Edom’s God Qos is the Hebrew God Yhwh
H. Abdul Al-Dahir
Biblical readers must consider why Saul, the first king of Israel, is named as a son of Qysh or Qwsh, the Edomite god. According to Strong’s Hebrew and Greek Dictionary: Qiysh from ‘qowsh’ (6983); a bow; Kish, the name of five Israelites:–Kish.
In Arabic, the word is Qws and means bow.
The following Wikipedia article is very important to the biblical scholar’s understanding of the evolution of Yhwh as a god of copper and his association with the Edomite god Qos spelled both as Qysh and Qowsh in the Bible.
According to the Wikipedia article entitled Qos (deity):
Qos …, also Q?s, Qaus, Koze) was the national god of the Edomites. He was the Idumean rival of Yahweh, and structurally parallel to him. Thus ‘son of Q?s’ parallels the Hebrew ‘Beniyahu’ (son of Yahweh). The name occurs only once in the Old Testament (if we exclude a possible allusion in an otherwise corrupted text in the Book of Proverbs) in the Book of Ezra as an element in a personal name, Barqos (‘Q?s gleamed forth’), referring to the ‘father’ of a family or clan of Edomite n?tînîm or temple helpers returning from the Babylonian exile. The noun frequently appears combined with names on documents recovered from excavations in Elephantine, where a mixed population of Arabs, Jews and Idumeans lived under the protection of a Persian-Mesopotamian garrison.
Author’s note: In 1 Chronicles 15:17 there is a character named Qoshyhw (Kishiah in English) which means Qos is Yhw!
Origins, meaning and cult
Q?s may mean bow. It is speculated that this god may have been interchangeable with Yahweh, Baal, Haddu/Hadad and Dushara, these five names being epithets for a common deity. Unlike the chief god of the Ammonites (Milkom) and the Moabites (Chemosh), the Tanakh refrains from explicitly nominating the Edomite Q?s and Yahweh hailed from Se’ir in the region of Edom. The omission may be explained, according to some scholars, by the close similarity of Yahweh with Q?s, making rejection of the latter difficult. Both Q?s and Yahweh are probably words of Arabic origin, and Knauf and others argue that YHWH is a northern Arabic word, from the Semitic root hwy, meaning “he blows”. Knauf concludes that the two are typologically similar, being:
‘…forms of the Syrian-Arabian weather-god, among whose attributes the bow is as much a part of as the storm.’
Author’s note: The Hebrew god is not spelled Yhwy. It is spelled Yhwh which means Yh the living and/or Yh the snake. Hyh is the Arabic word for snake. The Arabic ‘y’ often becomes a ‘w’ in Hebrew. The word ‘hwy’ means to coil in Arabic so Yhwy means Yh the coiling one.
Recently the view has been advanced that Yahweh was originally an Edomite/Kenite god of metallurgy. According to this approach Q?s might possibly have been a title for Yahweh, rather than a name. A further point connecting Yahweh with Q?s, aside from their common origin in that territory, is that the Edomite cult of the latter shared characteristics of the former. Thus we find that D?’ê? the Edomite has no problem in worshipping Yahweh, he is shown to be at home in Jewish sanctuaries, circumcision was practiced in Edom. Q?s became identified with Quzah, “the archer” in the north Arabian pantheon, worshipped both as a mountain and a weather god. The similarity of the name would have permitted an assimilation of Q?s to the Arabian god of the rainbow, qaws quza?.
Author’s note: Yhwh as a god of metallurgy explains why both Moses and Aaron were metal smiths. Moses was a copper smith who forged the nehushtan and Aaron was a gold smith who forged the golden calf and other idols. As forgers of idols, this pair possessed magical powers which were demonstrated in Exodus.
The worship of Q?s appears to originally have been located in the Hisma area of southern Jordan and north Arabia, where a mountain, Jabal al-Qaus, still bears that name.He entered the Edomite pantheon as early as the 8th century b.c. M. Rose speculates that, prior to Q?s’s advent, Edom worshipped Yahweh—a connection going back the early Egyptian references to YWH in the land of the Shasu—and the former then overlaid the latter and assumed supremacy there when the Idumeans lost their autonomy under Persian rule, perhaps compensating for the destruction of national independence, a mechanism similar to that of the strengthening of Yahweh worship after the fall of the Jewish kingdom. Q?s is described as a ‘King’, is associated with light, and defined as ‘mighty’. His works are described as ones where he ‘adorns, avenges, blesses, chooses (?) gives.’
Author’s note: Southern Jordan would explain why Saul the first king of Israel came from the tribe of Benjamin. The tribal name Benjamin means ‘son of the south’.
Costobarus I, whose name meant “Q?s is mighty” was a native Idumean descended from a priestly family attached to this cult. After Herod, had placed him in command over Idumea, Costobarus, supported by Cleopatra, eventually tried to apprise the kingdom from Herod’s Judea. In order to garner local support for his defection, he revived the old cult of Q?s, perhaps to get Idumea’s rural population, still attached to its traditional gods, to back him. The name recurs in the Nabataean language in an inscription at Khirbat al-Tannur.where he is represented flanked by bulls, seated on a throne while wielding in his left hand a multi-pronged thunderbolt, suggestive of a function as a weather god. He is also on an altar in Idumean Mamre.
The deity’s name was used as the theophoric element in many Idumean names, including the names of the Edomite kings Q?s-malaku, a tributary of Tiglath-Pileser III and Q?s-gabar, a tributary of Esarhaddon.
end of Wikipedia article
This is one fascinating and informative article which explains so much about the evolution of the cult of Yhwh from the copper mines in Edom. For further information on this subject, go to the aritcles ‘Cain (Qyn) and the Kenite (Qynite) Origin of Judah’ and ‘Esau, Hathor, the Red Heifer & the Conflict in Palestine’.