Did Yahweh Have a Consort-Wife?
From Sarai: Is She the Goddess of Ancient Israel?
by D’vora Lederman-Daniely
“…critical study of the ancient Israelite religion [Judaism] has shown that despite the monotheistic presentation in the Bible and the interpretations of sages, commentators and translators, the ancient religion of Israel did include a Goddess. This Goddess was Asherah, and She is mentioned (throughout) the Bible:
“From 2 Kings 23:7: "He tore down the cubicles of the male prostitutes in the House of the Lord, at the place where the women wove coverings for Asherah.”
Scholars have deliberated whether this biblical Asherah is a ritual object such as a living tree, wooden figure or forested place of worship—on whether indeed Asherah is the name of a Goddess.
One educator, Ahituv believes Asherah was a ritual object or tree used for worship. He bases this theory on the term "asherim,” which were sacred ritual objects, the biblical prohibition to plant an asherah, and the commandment to cut off the asherah (for example in Exodus 34:13).”
[My note: In one translation this passage reads “But ye shall destroy their altars, break their images, and cut down their groves…”.
In another: “But you shall demolish their altars, shatter their monuments, and cut down their sacred trees.”]
“In contrast, Biblical scholars Olyan, Gilula and Ackerman are among those who maintain that Asherah is definitely a divine entity, and if in some places She (capital ‘S’ mine) appears as a ritual object, the object represents the Goddess.”
I have a question: If people were commanded to cut down an Asherah or not plant one in the first place, isn’t that proof enough of Her divine nature and power? Do we need to keep looking for academic “proofs” that this Goddess and those of many names before Her have been worshiped for millennia?
True, it’s nice to see material archaeological evidence come to light, but just sayin’:::
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D'VORAH J. GRENN, Ph.D.
THE LILITH INSTITUTE