Asherah, Part I: The lost bride of Yahweh

Asherah

They worshiped Her under every green tree, according to the Hebrew Bible (what Christians call the Old Testament).  The Bible also tells us Her image was to be found for years in the temple of Solomon, where the women wove hangings for Her.  In temple and forest grove, Her image was apparently made of wood, since monotheistic reformers demanded it be chopped down and burned.  It appears to have been a manmade object, but one carved of a tree and perhaps the image was a stylized tree of some kind.

The archaelogical record suggests that Asherah was the Mother Goddess of Israel, the Wife of God, according to William Dever, who has unearthed many clues to her identity. She was worshiped, apparently throughout the time Israel stood as a nation.  In many homes, images like the one above decorated household shrines.

Who was She, this lost Goddess of the Hebrews? And why is She no longer worshiped in the Judeo-Christian religions of today?

The Asherah votive emphasizes Her breasts, suggesting Her role as a fertility goddess, but Her stance represents Her nature as a mother in general.  She no doubt aided in the concerns of mothers, including conception and childbirth, but was probably also the mother of all, a comforter and protector in an uncertain world. Inscriptions from ancient Israel tell us that Yahweh and “his Asherah” were invoked together for personal protection. Her identification with trees suggests that Asherah was, in effect, also Mother Nature — a figure we remember in our language, but unfortunately have lost as a part of our mainstream religions. She was, in other words, everything you would expect from the feminine half of the divine creative duo, a Great Mother.

Asherah’s image was lost to us not by chance, but by deliberate action of fundamentalist monotheists.  First Her images were torn down, then Her stories were rewritten, then Her name was forgotten.  In fact, Her name appears 40 times in modern translations of the Bible, but not at all in the first English translation, the King James Bible.  Since no one knew who Asherah was anymore in the 17th century when the King James Version (KJV) was being created, Her name was translated as groves of trees or trees or images in groves, without understanding that those trees and groves of trees represented a mother goddess.

When archaeologists unearthed a treasure trove of Canaanite stories and other writings in Ugarit, in modern day Syria, they discovered that the mysterious “Asherah” was not an object, but a Goddess: the mother goddess of the Canaanites. When archaeologists discovered Her in Israel as well, a whole new picture of early Hebrew religion began to emerge.  The argument is straightforward: 1. Asherah was a known Canaanite Goddess, the Mother Goddess and wife of the Father God. 2. The name is mentioned repeatedly as having been worshiped by the Israelites, to the dismay of monotheists. 3. Her name is found in inscriptions with Yahweh and 4. A mother goddess image is found frequently in the homes of ancient Israel. 5. She was worshiped, according to the Bible, in the woods with Baal AND in Yahweh’s temple. The common sense interpretation is that Israelites worshiped the mother goddess Asherah. And that She was the wife of whichever male God had the upper hand at the time: El, or Baal, or Yahweh.  Israelite religion was not much different from Canaanite religion. The gods vied for supremacy, but the goddess remained.

Since archaeologists in the Holy Land tended to be religious and to enter the field of biblical archaeology in order to unearth evidence substantiating the Bible’s story, it has taken awhile for the plain truth to become clear.  Gradually, however, more objective archaeologists, such as Dever, are making headway in proving Asherah’s case.  The Bible says Hebrews kept worshiping Asherah; the archaeological record confirms it. What the Bible doesn’t say, and the archaeological record shows, is that Asherah was a mother goddess.

In Ugarit, She was known as Athiratu Yammi, She who Treads on the Sea.  This suggests She was responsible for ending a time of chaos represented by the primordial sea and beginning the process of creation.  The Sea God, or Sea Serpent Yam is the entity upon which She trod.  In a particularly bizarre and suggestive passage in the Bible, 2 Kings 18:4, one monotheistic reformer, pursuing the typical course of smashing sacred stones and cutting down Asherahs records this additional fact: He broke into pieces the bronze snake Moses had made, for up to that time the Israelites had been burning incense to it. (It was called Nehushtan.)

Um, say what?  This odd passage opens up a whole can of worms for me.  Here are the serpent and the tree being worshiped together. (Garden of Eden anyone?) So, ah.. what exactly were people doing out there in the woods? They were worshiping idols, of course, burning incense, we are told.  This passage from Hosea is instructive: Hosea 4:12,13 condemns those who “inquire of  a thing of wood,” suggesting they were asking questions of an oracle,  and who sacrifice under oak, poplar and terebinth “because their shade is good.” They are accused also of playing the harlot, which could be a reference to sexual activity, or simply an analogy in that the monotheists are claiming the people sold out to the “false” Canaanite gods.  Israel was considered the bride of Yahweh in monotheistic thought, so worshiping other gods was whoring after them.

These passages make sense when you understand that this tree symbolism is closely connected with Asherah.  Now we know She was worshiped in the wood,  with an image made of wood and that people sought knowledge and made sacrifices there.

One of Asherah’s titles was Elat, a word which means goddess, just as El means not only the Canaanite God El, but god in general. Interestingly, the word Elat is translated in the Bible as terebinth, a large shade tree found in Israel. A great deal of the time, God is a translation not of Yahweh, his particular name given to Moses, but of the Hebrew name Elohim, which is plural, gender neutral, meaning “gods.”  This word is also related to the word for oak tree.  What did it really mean to the ancients to worship in a grove of trees? To see the gods as like the oaks? The goddess as a green tree spreading Her leaves over the worshiper, providing shade in a hot country?

Hebrews were not alone in worshiping gods of the forest, of course.  Celtic, Greek, and Germanic peoples also worshiped in groves.  Their gods were gods of nature.  Were the Israelites really so different?

In the Bible, Elohim created a man and woman. Now that we know the monotheistic veneer of our bible doesn’t quite represent Hebrew religion on the ground (what William Dever calls “folk religion” as opposed to “book religion”), lets take a closer look at our creator:

Genesis 1:26:

“Then Elohim said, ‘Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.’

So Elohim created man in his own image, in the image of Elohim he created them; male and female he created them.”

Takes on a whole new meaning, doesn’t it, when you become aware of the Mother Goddess being worshiped next to God in every home and under every green tree in the forest groves?  Who is this “US” doing the creating? Well, evidently, the creator(s) is/are male and female, like the creatures he/She/they created.

Now move on to a later passage, in 1 Kings 18: 19 , which makes it clear that  Asherah was served by 400 prophets. This is no minor religion. Maybe when the prophets complained She was worshiped under every tree, they meant it. Every tree, every home, and also, sometimes, in the temple.

In Exodus, we are told that God warned the people to get rid of Asherah’s emblems when they conquered the land of Canaan; in the periods of the books of the Judges and the Kings, we are told that the “good” prophets, kings and reformers continually had to burn and smash the idols of Asherah; finally, in Jeremiah, we are told that worship of Asherah has resulted in the fanatical monotheistic God’s decision to wipe out Israel and Judah (the southern portion of the formerly united kingdom) via the invasion of outside peoples.  The thing is, we are told most of these things by a single author, or group of authors: the Deuteronomist.  This is a character (or possibly group of characters) writing and rewriting portions of the Bible in later days, around the 7th century BC, either just before or during the exile of the Jews to Babylon. According to the Deuteronomist, the priest Hilkiah claims in 2 Kings, chapter 22, to have “discovered” the ancient laws of Moses during temple renovations.  These writings, “The Book of the Law” were mysteriously mislaid leading Israel to get its religion all wrong, apparently.

The works of the Deuteronomist conveyed a story that the Israelites had a covenant with Yahweh to worship him and only him. He claimed the Israelites had taken Canaan by force through a holy war in which they massacred the original inhabitants, putting to death (by God’s command) men, women and children in Jericho.  (This claim is not supported by the archaelogical record.) And he claimed that God was a jealous God, one who demanded to be worshiped alone and who would punish the unfaithful by bringing other nations to conquer them if they worshiped others.

Was this really the religion of Israel? Apparently not.  The common folk kept right on putting up their Asherahs in the woods and the temple and the little votive Asherahs in their home shrines.  Only after Israel was conquered and the people of Judah returned from exile in Babylon did the fundamentalist fanatics with their violent, patriarchal, monotheistic God win the argument. The Deuteronomist’s work, along with the works of two other primary authors, the Yahwist and the Elohist, were compiled by a fourth source, called the Priestly source, to become the Bible we have today.

Asherah, tree goddess, mother of life, was lost.  Truly, we were cast out of the Garden of Eden by Yahweh, or at least, his supporters.  Separated from the Tree of Life, our mother, we flounder like orphans.  America’s religiosity is more comparable to Iran’s than to that of Western Europe, where Yahweh’s religion is in decline.  Is it coincidence that we, the worshipers of a male warrior, spend our money on war while children are allowed to live in poverty without health care? Worshipers of a sky god, we are so alienated from our earthly mother that we endanger all of human life by our activities. And the hard edge of the fundamentalist who claims to have found the one true law and believes those who think otherwise are worthy of death (or eternal damnation)  is still with us today.

The Wife of God has disappeared -- or, has She? Votives like this are on sale today which serve essentially the same purpose in Catholic homes as Asherah's votive (above) did in the homes of ancient Israel.

Still, I think it has only ever been a relatively small percentage of people who hold to the hardest edge of monotheism.  We are surrounded by Mother Nature and she seeps into our traditions.  The Shekinah,  Mary, the Mother of God, the Christmas Tree and the Easter Egg, the bumper sticker imploring us to Honor Thy Mother with an image of the earth as seen from above, the fairies and elves and lost brides of our children’s tales are all ways in which the Mother Goddess seeps back into our lopsided psyche.  The Goddess is lost, officially, but remembered deep within. Archaeology’s gift of restoring Asherah to our consciousness reminds us of what we already know: God does indeed have a wife. He must.  For if we are his children, then we must have a mother.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

See also: Asherah, Part II.

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85 Responses to Asherah, Part I: The lost bride of Yahweh

  1. Pingback: Asherah, Part II: The serpent’s bride « Queen of Heaven

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  5. bc says:

    Just a few tidbits to contribute:
    In Christian doctrine, “us” in Genesis refers to the trinity. It is entirely true that Israel did “adopt” some deities from neighboring country, but that simply means that the deities were adopted… Not that they had included them in their religion since the beginning. And of course, we all know that they destroyed the extra statues and whatnot later because this was against their monotheistic religion. Fairly simple. I feel like this article tries to distort that into a matter of polytheistic doctrine and monotheistic extremists rather than acknowledging that the Israelites were just monotheists that had a strong habit of picking up neighboring gods, and those that stayed true to Judaism tried to correct them all the time.
    On another note, creating them male and female in God’s likeness doesn’t refer to physical likeness, so there is no missing ‘female God counterpart’ in that verse. God is neither male or female. The “likeness” was the spark of life, the intelligence, and the inherent goodness in humans.
    Peace out

    • Carisa says:

      I think you have done a good job of summarizing the version of Christian interpretation of Genesis which I was taught as a child as well. If you are happy with your religion and willing to tolerate other points of view, then peace be with you as well. We can agree to disagree. I am always hesitant to be the one to offer the fruit of what scholars believe is truth to one who is genuinely happy in the garden. I have personally experienced the crisis of faith which comes from learning too much of the history of God and sometimes it isn’t pretty. However, if you genuinely want to find out why scholars disagree with your interpretation, you could begin by learning some Sumerian-Babylonian mythology, which is much older than anything written in the Bible and from which many of the early chapters of Genesis were copied, some history of the Canaanites generally and in particular the information unearthed in Ugarit, a city which predated Israel to the north. Then you could turn to objective Biblical scholars who have interpreted the texts themselves and find out why they think different authors wrote — and changed — the books which eventually became the Bible. Start by looking into the Documentary Hypothesis. An online friend of mine recommends Who Wrote the Bible? by Richard Friedman as a good introduction to this subject, which I personally learned by a more circuitous route. He recently ran a clip of an interview with Friedman here. (It’s at the bottom of the post.) As for God being male, this was the teaching of the Christian churches until very recently in history, as was the doctrine of Original Sin, which said humans were inherently bad rather than inherently good. However, I, like you, was taught the more positive, gender-neutral version of a God who created inherently good humans. You can learn more about Asherah from William Dever’s book Did God Have a Wife? and more about the Sumerians from Samuel Noah Kramer’s book The Sumerians: Their History, Culture and Character. Quite a bit of the writings of Ugarit can be found online. Best wishes in your spiritual path, wherever it ultimately leads you.

      • Alan : ) says:

        Carisa: Thank You for your well-written and reasonable response… I have been reading other responses of poorly-informed extremists on several sites, and your approach is a breath of fresh air that inspires additional inquiry. Cheers… : )

    • TA says:

      I believe Mother Goddess worship predated male god only worship throughout prehistory before Mother Goddess was deliberately edited out of the Bible to support the male god only worship. Sadly most of believe in the deception of later worship

    • Simone Middleton says:

      Thank you for responding the way you did. I enjoyed it!

  6. Richard Katz says:

    You should expand and expound a bit on that reference to the First Book of Kings chap 18. That reference to the Prophets of the Ashera(h) was where I first got wind of the idea that maybe this monotheism that we practice so widely was made up, as you say, pretty much from whole cloth — because at the end of the day, as recounted in chap 18 of 1 Kings, Elijah has 450 Prophets of Baal put to death but no mention is made of anything happening to the Prophets of the Asherah who were also there and were just as idolatrous!
    So I pretty much agree — ie it sounds right to me — that a monotheist mafia took over sometime around then, like 650 BC or so. But I do like the way you sort of personalize that with “the Deuteronomist”. Sounds like it ought to be a pretty neat comic book.

    • Carisa says:

      Very good point Richard. Thanks. Yes, I find it very suspicious that there’s a contest between Yahweh and Baal while Asherah apparently just sits by watching the guys duke it out (over her?) I would love to see the comic book.

      • richard katz says:

        This was all a while ago — 2011! Since then I have encountered a half a shelf of books at the GTU Library in Berkeley (Graduate Theological Union) all about Asherah. Most of this stuff is art history professors and historians and theologians repeating the stuff that other Scholars have handed down, but hey, what about the pictures of the steles in the British Museum depicting Ashera and her two men? Ashera herself is standing on … get this … a LION! that is SERIOUS. One of the guys is what the Coen Brothers refer to as “a managerial type” and the other guy is depicted as something I had never encountered in “Western” art, an erect male. She is wearing the customary female ruler’s headdress; and these guys are plainly working for HER. Hey, let me put in a URL here, see what you think, of my various ruminations on the matter; or skip my ruminations, embedded in the first page of the essay is a link to some graphics, particularly of large trees that I have fashioned to embody this concept of The Grove, including one very large eucalyptus that bears the inscription (in Hebrew) Nivieh HaAshera (= Prophets of the Ashera). I love to watch passersby examine that — the Hebrew inscription is bounded by a triangle / wedge that replicates the PHoenician symbol for woman, an upside down Phoenician first-letter-of-the-alphabet (it got legs and became the Roman “A”.)

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  11. Brenda Howell says:

    This information certainly makes sense out of that which made no sense at all. It is refreshing to be told the facts, without being told what to believe. Thank you.

  12. N'Ghandi Hede' says:

    Excellent information but there remains facts of Truth not stated here as in the groves being “destroyed” because of their “worshipping” HER as Divine Mother Goddess there in the groves…Some other “erasures” noted as well…

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  14. Many things make sense to me after reading this. To list, the “Shabbat Bride”, how God could have maybe procreated a son without a female counterpart, why so many peoples around the globe worshiped a Goddess along side their God (including Native Americans such as the Aztec and Maya), a possible explanation of why Catholicism allows the worship of Mary, even why we place Christmas trees in our homes during the holidays (as a subtle remembrance to Asherah, who was worshiped under every green tree). Very informative!

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  16. Hector Pietri says:

    Trinity doctrine is recent ; when the bible was written the hebrews refer to the original hebrew gods ; Yahweh and Ashera ; the trinity doctrine came around later around the council of Nicea. But religious fanatics in general are uneducated in the fields of archeology; anthropology; ancient history ; biblical languages ; etc the word elohim originally meant the original politheistic hebrew religion ; people should not pay attention to fanatics; is a proven fact that always when there is a religious agenda lies and fraud prevails ; religious fanatics suffer from mental disorders documented in the books of psychiatry like; sectarian indoctrinating syndrome; coe r sitive peasuation(brain washing) mental control Stockholm syndrome besides suffering from a fanatic irrational blindness sickness ; I rest my case

  17. Ciara says:

    This is brilliant!

  18. thematrixq says:

    Reblogged this on ?verything!.

  19. GodzEyez says:

    Interesting reading… As a xtian i hav been wondering about d twist in the Godhead family…it shows a male chauvinistic agenda…God the FATHER, God the SON…God the Holy Mother (Spirit)…wow

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  22. Wytchfawn says:

    Loving this. Why did I not find it sooner?

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  25. Eugenia Fernández says:

    There is a story behind every word. Though Yahweh says; In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him. Without him was not anything made that has been made. (‭John‬ ‭1‬:‭1-3‬ WEB). So, each word is a story and if you want you can write a story of a word and it’s meaning . Tradition, time and curruption builds beliefs and critical is what comes behind every fortold manipulated story.

  26. Shadow says:

    Reblogged this on Digital Quill and commented:
    Ah another goddess silenced for years…until a few years ago…seems like this has happened a time or two before.

  27. WolfThorn says:

    The inner-most tent in the tabernacle in the dessert wanderings, the one that actually housed the arc of the covenant, was also called “The veil of Asherah.” I have always thought of this reference as appropriate for the womb-like character of the holy of hollies.

    • Alan : ) says:

      WolfThorn: thanks for the comment, where do You get your information that the inner-most tent was called the veil of Asherah? thanks…

    • Bacab says:

      Where do you even get this? Not only does it not appear in the Bible, I doubt that any actual scholar has ever argued or said this.

  28. La Mestena says:

    Her other name is ‘Lilith’ and she was the original feminist. Making it plainly known that she wanted to be an equal to the Adamu. Her partner cried to El (Yahweh) that he wanted a more ‘submissive’ partner. So, the great El supposedly made Eve directly from the Adamu, Lilith possessed the pure genetic material of a goddess, and the ‘attitude’ that goes along with such powerful genes, so he assured the Adamu that Eve would be “cleaved unto him”. since she was ‘made’ from him.

    She was indeed deliberately written out of the post Council of Nicea’s composed doctrines. In addition, she was to be seen as a harlot; the personification of a disobedient, prideful woman.

    There has been so much tampering: misinterpretation, omission and re-composition of Judeo-Christian-Muslim doctrines, that it takes a diligent and relentless search starting from the ‘beginning’. One’s search should not be limited solely to the written religious AND esoteric documentation. The thousands of years old practice of Vocal Historical Transmission can be found all over the world, from the Celtic peoples to the N. and S. Americas, and should be taken into account when gathering information regarding ancient history. Many accounts that are relegated to the category of myth is being challenged by archaeological discoveries, like the uncovering of Troy several years ago. The implications are: if Troy exists then Achilles may, in fact, be a real person. And from there, a myriad of possibilities are opened up! Happy hunting, Beloveds.

    • Alan : ) says:

      La Mestena: Thanks for your breath of fresh air… : )

      • La Mestena says:

        Since my last comment there has been increased buzz about the remnants of a very large and amazing megalithic city, 70-ft under water, off the shore of present day Dwarka which is is considered as one of the four Dhamas (sacred place for pilgrimage) of the Hindu religion. Many alternative and ‘forbidden/hidden’ history archaeologists believe the sunken ruins to be ancient Dwarka of the Hindu ‘Mahabharata’. We may need to revisit the existence of Lord Krishna and King Salva – as well as their epic battle in the skies.

    • WykydWytch says:

      I thought that Lilith was Adam’s first wife. She did refuse to submit to being “lesser” and that’s why she was cast out. I’m a firm believer that Lucifer being cast out is because he agreed with Lilith. (Ok. So that’s my personal belief but I have no actual proof.)
      I see Asherah as God’s wife/mate/equal – Mother Goddess to Father God. So completely different than Lilith. I agree with you that Lilith and Adam were Children of the Gods because of the Breath of Life. So demigods? Eve was made a a replacement and created in such a way to be subservient to Adam. I don’t remember where I read it but Lilith was the Snake, not Satan/Lucifer. Because Eve recognized her and knew her as being “like” her.
      I do wonder if this is why so many hate when we say we are made of Stardust.
      I probably don’t make sense. After 9 years as a pagan (after 20 years as a fundy), I am finally doing more in-depth reading. I honor the celtic and norse pantheons in my own practice, but being from the evangelical background my ears perk up when I see things that pertain to the christian faith/pantheon.

  29. bryntc says:

    Reblogged this on asherahsdaughter and commented:
    Such a rich, deep posting on the mysterious goddess that is my matrona. Thanks deeply to the authoress!

  30. bryntc says:

    This points to a whole new look at the Garden of Eden’s story of the serpent and the tree, I think!

  31. Aj / Melia says:

    Reblogged this on 4 of Wands and commented:
    Found this fascinating…some of it I knew, some of it I did not…

  32. This was beautifully written and was a soft, healing touch to my heart. Thank you.

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  34. Bhagavatī says:

    Excellent! Thank you so much for your work!

  35. Bhagavatī says:

    Reblogged this on कमेश्वरि ह्र्दयेश्वरि and commented:
    Jai Mata Di! Ja Ma Amma! ❤

  36. sajjad ali says:

    good work God is a Goddess 110% Spiritual answer

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  42. Eliezer symonds says:

    You’re a pretty good theologian…you had me wanting to sit in the shade of that leafy tree

  43. Enjoyed your article. Since I share your view, I would like to point a phrase you wrote:
    “Asherah’s image was lost to us not by chance, but by deliberate action of fundamentalist monotheists”
    I can’t agree with that part, the Jews were not true monotheists and neither are the Christians. The word I would have used is “patriarchalist” (OK I made up the word since it doesn’t exist but he should, imposing patriarchal views to the world is like imposing marx’s view and the power that be calls that marxism).

    • Bacab says:

      You know that Asherah was subordinated to other male gods before the Yahwistic reforms, right? Fact is, the cult of Asherah was no less “patriarchalist”, as you say, as the later cult of Yahweh, since her worshipers recognized her to be inferior to male gods like El and Baal. Heck, the Yahwistic reforms may have helped because Judeo-Christian theologians throughout history have consistently said that God is genderless and is no more male than female. We Christians don’t worship a male deity, and people should stop saying we do.

  44. Betty Cloer Wallace says:

    ‘Tis all good. Really. ❤

  45. Curt Brsier says:

    Nicely done conventional spin on the Goddess Ashera. However, there are a few areas which need to be explored.
    The current Judeo-Christian God in named JHWH (YAHWEY). The J represents JEHOVA, The first H represents the son of the Father and Mother, the W represents the Goddess Ashera and the second H represents the daughter. What the YHWH revolutionaries did was to combine the four Gods and Goddesses into one male God who could be supported by the soldiers who didn’t wish to answer to a Goddess and two children.
    If one looks at the star of David, the triangle pyramid) pointing up represents Ashera, The Triangle pointing down represents Jehova with the two in a sexual embrace intended to create the nation of Israel. When the first Temple was looted the Arc Of The covenant was described as having a very life like God and Goddess in this very embrace. It is important to remember that the old Gods were worshipped until the end of King David’s reign.
    My favorite surprise in this history is the meaning of AMEN! It translates into english as ‘Hail Amun!’ Of course, Amun was the Egyptian God of the Royal, The Priests, the Wealthy and the Civil Servants.
    So the head count for the Gods of Israel went from 3 (Jehova, Ashera and Amun) to 5 (with the son and daughter), then down to 4 (minus Jhova) and then down to 2 (JHWH and Amun).
    As a footnote: When the second temple was looted, the religious beliefs in Jerusalem were that Jehova left the earth to wander the stars and not return until the temple was restored. This left only the Goddess, the two Children and Amun in the pantheon of Israeli Gods. This brightly illuminates the dissatisfaction of the Israeli army to march into battle asking a Goddess and children for their blessings. The result was JHWH. The JHWH supporters had there JHWH and Ashera sects for some time, which is why we find documents speaking of the two. Eventually there was a JHWH revolution and villages where the Ashera poles stood were burned to the ground and men, women, children and livestock were all killed and burned!
    Please, I do hope that everyone understands that when you say ‘God’ in the Judeo-Christian perspective today you are speaking of JHWH and AMUN! Their just is no ‘One’ God in this scenario!
    Blessed Be! )O(

  46. andywhite1234 says:

    great research, you might like this…. http://andywhiteblog.com/2015/06/17/the-whore-of-bab…erudite-scholars/ ……Ashera cast in the role of the whore of babylon…enjoy…Andy

  47. Linda Burdick says:

    “Us” is the Trinity. God is spirit – neither male, nor female.

  48. ganglerisgrove says:

    Reblogged this on Gangleri's Grove and commented:
    Very interesting article. I wonder what the appeal of monotheism was for the early Israelites. Madness. all of it.

  49. ravenamber87 says:

    Reblogged this on Raven's Online Moot and commented:
    I thought this was amazing and really wanted to share it with you all 😄

  50. katzrool says:

    Human sacrifice was common in Canaan. Monotheism was an attempt to wipe out that vile practice. Not all graven images were made of wood. Some idols were made of bronze and iron and were heated. Children were burned alive. Drums were beaten to drown the screams. The books of Isaiah and Jeremiah talk about child sacrifice.

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  53. I love what you are doing here, and it dovetails quite nicely into some of my work on the Gnostic schools of thought around the time of Christ. I went to check the references you provided (thank you for documenting your work!), and ran into a question.

    2 Kings 18:4 states “And the king said to them: What seemeth good to you, that I will do. And the king stood by the gate: and all the people went forth by their troops, by hundreds and by thousands.”

    1 Kings 18:19 states “And it came to pass at the time when Merod the daughter of Saul should have been given to David, that she was given to Hadriel the Molathite to wife.”

    What were you using as the source of Biblical information? There are nice correlations to what you quote in the Gnostic Gospel of Seth, aka the Book of the Egyptians, and I’d like to chase that rabbit down it’s hole.

  54. Bacab says:

    Oh for the love of Christ, no one has covered up the Asherah cult, including archeologists, and the Bible states it quite clearly, alongside the worship of other goddesses, and this includes such versions like the Latin Vulgate, the Septuagint and the King James translation. Also, stop idealizing the cults of goddesses. They could be extremely violent, must as much as their male counterparts. Just read the Baal Cycle where the goddess Anat appears not just bathing in the blood of thousands of her slained enemies, but even *enjoys* it. Asherah was syncretized with Anat, as well as with Astarte, another war goddess in the same vein as Inanna, Bastet and Athena. And this is not reserved solely in the realm of myth. Asherah was invoked in battle and soldiers killed in her name.

    Finally, Asherah never disappeared. Just look at the figure of Wisdom (or Sophia in Greek, as in the Hagia Sophia cathedral) in the Book of Proverbs, identified with the Holy Spirit and/or the Logos (God the Son) by Christians, and the Shekinah of Rabbinical Judaism. There was only a change of name, but the goddess never went away and is still worshiped to this day by Jews and Christians.

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  56. Pingback: Asherah: Mother Goddess – Blue Loves Eclectic

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  59. adeleulnais says:

    Reblogged this on firefly465 and commented:
    At last, She is being recognised. Why oh why did they want to smash her statues and write her out of history? Who was their influence? Why did a hatred of women produce most of our major mainstream religions today?

    • You have to understand that before Moses (Akenaton Gilgamesh etc…) most societies were matriarchal and men were most likely in the same position women are today (I’m not justifying patriarchal societies just commenting on a situation that brought chaos to the world and perhaps it is time to change from gender societies to egalitarian societies)

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  63. Harrison Saunders says:

    Hi Carisa, and thank you for this lovely article. I’m currently reading “The Bible Unearthed” by Finkelstein and Silberman. While they don’t focus on Asherah, their archeological research cannot help but mention her and her influence. And they do corroborate your thesis that pre-Deuteronomist Jewish religion was much more tolerant and actively involved with deities beyond just YHWH. It was only during the late 7th Century that the one-god-only movement took firm control and codified monotheism as “the Jewish Theology.” And it was under King Josiah (639-609 BCE) that the campaign to destroy the shrines of the other gods (including Asherah) was embarked on in ernest.

  64. Reblogged this on Ex Umbris Ad Lucem and commented:
    Great blog entry on the lion godess

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