Jacob's second son by Zilpah, Leah's handmaid, and the name of one of the twelve tribes of Israel (Gen. 35:26; Josh. 19:24). "And Zilpah Leah's handmaid bare Jacob a second son. And Leah said, Happy am I! for the daughters will call me happy: and she called his name Asher" (Gen. 30:12, 13). In blessing his sons, Jacob said of Asher:"Out of Asher his bread shall be fat, And he shall yield royal dainties"(Gen. 49:20). Moses said, in blessing the tribes of Israel (Deut. 33: 24):"Blessed be Asher with children; (above sons, margin)Let him be acceptable unto his brethren,And let him dip his foot in oil."
Meta. The meaning of the name and the blessings given to Asher point both to understanding and to substance, which are attendant upon uprightness of character. In Proverbs 3:13-18 we are told of the happiness that comes to one who gains wisdom and understanding, and the priceless value of these qualities. "Out of Asher his bread shall be fat, and he shall yield royal dainties," bespeaks the substance of true ideas--true spiritual bread, the word of Truth. Both Jacob and Moses, in blessing Asher, were surely prophesying of the time when man should learn that all his faculties and powers are spiritual, and not carnal and material. "Blessed be Asher above sons," refers to bringing forth spiritual ideas, for this is the fruitfulness that is above physical generation. Wisdom and true understanding, with the oil of Spirit (love), make the various states of consciousness in man harmonize: "Let him be acceptable unto his brethren, And let him dip his foot in oil" means that Spirit should be taken into all one's understanding, even into the consideration of outer conditions (understanding is represented by the foot). It is not true that spiritual understanding is for religion only and is impractical in one's everyday outer affairs and business relations. When man takes spiritual understanding conscientiously into all the affairs of life, he does far better than he ever has done theretofore. The fact that Leah said at the birth of Asher, "the daughters will call me happy," shows that the quality that is signified by Asher is established first in the soul.