1. A son of Shem, named second at Genesis 10:22 and 1 Chronicles 1:17. He was the forefather of the Assyrians, and the same Hebrew word is rendered “Asshur” as well as “Assyria(n).” Either their nation or one of its main cities, Asshur (modern Qalʽat Sherqat), is meant at Ezekiel 27:23.
2. The foremost divinity of the Assyrians, their god of military prowess, to whom this warlike people prayed for aid. Asshur was a sort of “deified patriarch,” and in venerating him, the Assyrians may actually have worshiped their ancestor, Asshur, the son of Shem. The name Asshur is incorporated in many Assyrian names, such as those of Esar-haddon and Ashurbanipal.
The false god Asshur was believed to be the chief protector of the Assyrians, being represented in their art by the winged sun disk. It was in their god Asshur’s name and with his approval (indicated by favorable omens) that Assyrian troops entered battle, carrying his sacred symbol into the fray. Their kings ascribed victories “to the help of Asshur.”—See PICTURE, Vol. 2, p. 529; ASSYRIA.