[Heb., ʽAsh or ʽAʹyish; meaning, perhaps, lion, lioness].
These Hebrew words occur at Job 9:9 and 38:32. The fact that these and other terms are used in association with sun, stars and heaven in both cases indicates that they refer to some celestial constellation. (See Job 9:7, 8; 38:33.) It is impossible at present to specify which constellation they refer to and hence it is safer to transliterate the name (as in our heading) rather than to translate the Hebrew with specific names such as “Arcturus” (Gr., Ar·ktouʹros, literally meaning “guardian of the bear”) (AV), or “Bear” (RS).
The fact that Job 38:32 refers to Ash “alongside its sons” strengthens the basis for believing that a constellation is involved. Ursa Major (the Great Bear) is the constellation most often suggested, having seven main stars in it that could be “its sons.” Koehler and Baumgartner’s Hebrew and Aramaic Lexicon (Lexicon in Veteris Testamenti Libros, p. 702), however, sees a connection with the constellation Leo (Lion), based on Arabic associations. The important point in the text is not the precise identification of the constellation, but the question there raised: “Can you conduct them?” Jehovah God thus impresses upon Job the wisdom and power of the Creator, inasmuch as it is utterly impossible for man to govern the movements of these immense stellar bodies.