(Reshef, -ph, Rashap) Reshep is a Levantine God adopted into the Egyptian pantheon during the New Kingdom. He is depicted as a bearded man, often with the thick, pointed ‘Asiatic’ beard, wearing a headdress with the horns or head of a gazelle at its front and a long streamer or a cord with a tassel on the end at the back, or in more Egyptianizing fashion as a youg man with the typical ceremonial beard worn by the Gods and wearing the White Crown of Upper Egypt adorned with a uraeus serpent. He may wear a Syrian-style kilt with tassels on the hem. Reshep generally bears a spear, mace or ax and a shield and sometimes a quiver of arrows, alluding both to the martial nature which earned him royal patronage and to his prowess as a demon fighter which was responsible for his popularity among commoners, especially Levantine immigrants, but not limited to that community. Occasionally Reshep carries a lute. Reshep forms a triad with Min and the Levantine Goddess Qadesh on numerous stelae, but the relationship between these deities cannot be determined. Reshep’s consort is Itum, about whom little else is known, but they are invoked together in a spell (no. 23 in Borghouts) against certain demons of disease. The invocation, which accompanies the application of a salve made of ground cucumber seed heated with wine, refers to “the poisons of Reshep and Itum, his wife,” which are directed against the demons. Reshep and Astarte are patrons of horsemanship in a text about the youthful Amenhotep II, and another text speaks of the same king, fighting in Syria, as having “crossed the Orontes on dangerous waters, like Reshep,” (ANET p. 245).

Borghouts, J. F. 1978. Ancient Egyptian Magical Texts. Leiden: E. J. Brill.
Pritchard, James B. 1969. Ancient Near Eastern Texts Relating to the Old Testament. 3d edn. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press. [ANET]

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