It is thought that Hebat may have had a Southern Mesopotamian origin, being the deification of Kubaba, the founder and first ruler of the Third Dynasty of Kish. The name may be transliterated in different versions - Khepat with the feminine ending -t is primarily the Syrian and Ugaritic version.
In the Hurrian language Ḫepa is the most likely pronunciation of the name of the goddess. In modern literature the sound /h/ in cuneiform sometimes is transliterated as kh.
The Hittite sun goddess Arinniti was later assimilated with Hebat. A prayer of Queen Puduhepa makes this explicit: "To the Sun-goddess of Arinna, my lady, the mistress of the Hatti lands, the queen of Heaven and Earth. Sun-goddess of Arinna, thou art Queen of all countries! In the Hatti country thou bearest the name of the Sun-goddess of Arinna; but in the land which thou madest the cedar land thou bearest the name Hebat."
Ḫepat was venerated all over the ancient Near East. Her name appears in many theophoric personal names. A king of Jerusalem mentioned in the Amarna letters was named Abdi-Heba, possibly meaning "Servant of Ḫepat".
- Beckman, G.: Pantheon A. II. Bei den Hethitern. In: Edzard, D. O. et al. (Hrsg.): Reallexikon der Assyriologie und Vorderasiatischen Archäologie. Munich, 2010.
- Bach, Alice Women in the Hebrew Bible Routledge; 1 edition (3 Nov 1998) ISBN 978-0-415-91561-8 p.171
- Donald B. Redford, Egypt, Canaan, and Israel in Ancient Times, Princeton University Press, 1992 p.270.