Who is Asherah? Is she in the Bible? If so, why isn’t she talked about much? Doesn’t her existence make Christianity like every other religion?

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Who is Asherah? Is she in the Bible? If so, why isn’t she talked about much? Doesn’t her existence make Christianity like every other religion?

Post by Admin on Tue Jan 26, 2016 3:33 am

Who is Asherah? Is she in the Bible? If so, why isn’t she talked about much? Doesn’t her existence make Christianity like every other religion? Does it ever say anywhere that Asherah is the “wife of Yahweh?” If so, where? If that is true, doesn’t that have an incredible impact on how we have always viewed God and Christianity?
Asherah was a goddess in Canaanite mythology. She was the goddess of fertility and, during Biblical times, was understood to be the consort (wife or companion) of the god Baal. She was also known in Scripture as “Ashtoreth.” Fertility gods and goddesses were a staple of the ancient religions of the Middle East. Worship of them often involved sexual excesses, the idea being that this would literally stimulate the gods and goddesses to bring rain, obviously at a premium to the agricultural interests of the time. It was also thought to bring an increased ability for reproduction among flocks, herds and people.
Asherah is certainly in the Bible—but only in the Old Testament. She is mentioned by that name 40 times in the NIV, beginning in Exodus, plus another 9 times by the name “Ashtoreth.” Regardless, this is God’s initial mention of her and/or the practice of her worship: Then the Lord said, “I am making a covenant with you. Before all your people I will do wonders never before done in any nation in all the world. The people you live among will see how awesome is the work that I, the Lord, will do for you. Obey what I command you today. I will drive out before you the Amorites, Canaanites, Hittites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites. Be careful not to make a treaty with those who live in the land where you are going, or they will be snare among you. Break down their altars, smash their sacred stones and cut down their Asherah poles. Do not worship any other god, for the Lord, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God. Be careful not to make a treaty with those who live in the land; for when they prostitute themselves to their gods and sacrifice to them, they will invite you and you will eat their sacrifices. And when you choose some of their daughters as wives for your sons and those daughters prostitute themselves to their gods, they will lead your sons to do the same—God speaking, Exodus 34:10-16. Unfortunately, this is exactly what happened. The children of Israel were enticed into relationships with the surrounding people, eventually completely selling out to the worship of Baal, Asherah and other false gods. At some level, it is easy to understand why: God had given Israel very rigid guidelines in how they were to live out their lives. Baal worship was the polar opposite. If one saw God’s rules as restriction instead of worship, they would go another direction—and they did, passionately. It got so bad that one of Israel’s kings, Ahab, together with his wife Jezebel, led a concentrated effort to make Baal and Asherah the dominant gods of the nation. It was against the priests of Baal that Ahab and Jezebel employed that Elijah held his “god-duel” on Mount Carmel (I Kings 18). Later, the son of godly king Hezekiah, a guy named Manasseh, actually placed a carved Asherah pole in the Jerusalem temple itself; the Bible describes Manasseh like this: He did evil in the eyes of the Lord, following the detestable practices of the nations the Lord had driven out before the Israelites. He rebuilt the high places his father Hezekiah had destroyed; he also erected altars to Baal and made an Asherah pole, as Ahab king of Israel had done. He bowed down to all the starry hosts and worshiped them. He built altars in the temple of the Lord, of which the Lord had said, “In Jerusalem I will put my Name.” In the two courts of the temple of the Lord, he built altars to all the starry hosts. He sacrificed his own son in the fire, practiced sorcery and divination, and consulted mediums and spiritists. He did much evil in the eyes of the Lord, provoking him to anger. He took the carved Asherah pole he had made and put it in the temple, of which the Lord had said to David and to his son Solomon, “In this temple and in Jerusalem, which I have chosen out of all the tribes of Israel, I will put my Name forever. I will not again make the feet of the Israelites wander from the land I gave their forefathers, if only they will be careful to do everything I commanded them and will keep the whole Law that my servant Moses gave them.” But the people did not listen. Manasseh led them astray, so that they did more evil than the nations the Lord had destroyed before the Israelites—II Kings 21:2-9. Incidentally, it was this occurrence of Manasseh’s placing an Asherah pole in the Jerusalem temple that have led some to consider her the “wife” of Yahweh, seeing as how she was worshiped in His temple. That is the only connection to Yahweh and Asherah, and it is a false one. In time their sacred “high places” and “Asherah poles” dotted the landscape. It was this that ultimately led to their being exiled out of their Promised Land—first the Northern Tribes by the Assyrian Empire in 722 BC and finally the southern kingdom of Judah by the Babylonian Empire beginning in 605 BC. God continued to warn Israel through his prophets, beginning with those words we read that He gave through Moses in the mid-15th century BC through to the prophet Micah—a contemporary of Isaiah who ministered to the people of Judah some 700 years before Christ. Through him, God said, prophesying concerning His rule during the millennial kingdom, “In that day,” declares the Lord, “I will destroy your horses from among you and demolish your chariots. I will destroy the cities of your land and tear down all your strongholds. I will destroy your witchcraft and you will no longer cast spells. I will destroy your carved images and your sacred stones from among you; you will no longer bow down to the work of your hands. I will uproot from among you your Asherah poles and demolish your cities. I will take vengeance in anger and wrath on the nations that have not obeyed me”—God speaking, Micah 5:10-15. In other words, one of the ministries of God to His chosen people during His millennial rule will be to purge the nation of Israel of anything and everything that would distract them from worshiping Him. In historical terms, the Babylonian captivity purged Israel of Baal. After that time, that ancient worship practice is no longer found in Israel.

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