Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Asherah, Wife of Yahweh

Asherah who? Yeah I got the same expression on my face when my mom mention her to me this week. So I decided to do a little research and bring you guys some info of this Goddess.

Before the patriarchal monotheism established by the Judeo-Christian in the Occident which has been formatted in our consciousness to the glorification of the masculine values ​​of conquest, expansion and operation of the nature(leaving aside the feelings, emotions, and intuition), there may have been a religious conception of divinity as a couple, the Mother Goddess and Father God. And there is where Asherah comes up!  

Asherah, the Shekinah, consort and beloved of Yahweh, has been intentionally excluded from the Old Testament Hebrew Scriptures around 400 or 500 B.C. since according to them, moves away from the worship of the one true God. But originally the great Abrahamic religions, which are today the three great monotheisms, also worshiped the powerful fertility goddess Asherah, who was worshiped along with Yahweh or Jehovah (Asherah is sometimes called Ashtaroth, and the same deity worshiped as Ishtar by the Babylonians)

Asherah, like Anat, is a well-documented goddess of the northwest Semitic pantheon. We remember that, according to the Bible itself, in the ninth century BCE Asherah was officially worshipped in Israel; her cult was matronized by Jezebel who, supposedly, imported it from her native Phoenician homeland. Other traces in the Bible either angrily acknowledge her worship as goddess, or else demote her from goddess to a sacred tree or pole set up near an altar. The apparent need for the hostile and widely distributed polemics against her worship constitutes evidence for its continued popularity. Thus both the partially suppressed and distorted biblical evidence and the archaeological evidence combine to suggest one conclusion. The cult of a goddess, considered the spouse of Yhwh, was celebrated throughout the First Temple era in the land, and beyond this period at the Jewish settlement in Elephantine (in Egypt).

Her priestesses & priests, known by the headbands they wore,  worshiped on hill-tops, such as Zion, Mount of Olives, Har Megiddo and countless others. Daughter of Zion, a term found numerous times in the Old Testament, was perhaps a term for a priestess of Asherah. It later came to mean the "City of God," or Jerusalem herself.  As the "official" state worship became increasingly male oriented, and the establishment became hostile toward all forms of Asherah worship, a time of conflict and bloodshed lasting over a hundred years began. Those that still clung to Her worship paid the price with their lives at the hands of King Josiah and other rabid Yahwists. (Story in the 2nd Kings ).

The existence of numerous symbols, in each of which the goddess was believed to be immanent, led to the creation of numerous forms of her person, which were described as Asherim. One of them being the Tree Of Life. Her sacred pillars or poles once stood right beside Yahweh's altar, embracing it. Moses and Aaron both carried one of these Asherah "poles" as a sacred staff of power. The Children of Israel were once dramatically healed simply by gazing at the staff with serpents suspended from it. This symbol, the snakes and the staff, has become the modern universal symbol for doctors and healers.*  Asherah was also widely known in the Middle Eastern ancient world as a Goddess of Healing.

Some say that the named "Asherah" signifies "[she] who walks behind", displaying a prototypic if divine attitude that befits a wife, but is not considered the usual way to translate Asherah. In the Encyclopedia Mythica's Asherah entry states: Etymology: She who walks in the Sea. 

A Hebrew inscription on a broken storage jar, found in Kuntillet 'Ajrud in north-eastern Sinai and dated from the beginning of the eighth century BCE has three primitive figures: a standing male figure in the foreground; a female figure just behind him; and a seated musician in the background. The Hebrew inscription above the drawing reads: 'I bless you by Yhwh of Samaria and his Asherah' (Dever, 1984; King, 1989). Furthermore, a tomb inscription from el-Qom in Judea, dated to the eighth century BCE too, concludes with the words: 'to Yhwh and his Asherah' (Margalit, 1989, 1990 and further references there). 
 "Asherah was not edited completely of the Bible by its males editors, traces of it remain and archaeological evidence, and references in texts of nations on the borders of Israel allow the reconstruction of Her role in the religions of the Levant" ~J. Edward Wright

So this information makes you think, If Asherah was just a pagan Goddess early Israelites used to worshiped before they knew about the one true God, or if in fact she was the feminine side of the one true God, his consort, beloved wife.


Anonymous said...

The Bible does not hide the fact that in Israel many, including kings, worshiped Asherah, Ishtar or Ashera. In most cases it was a carved stick made in the image of her. In many books it is mentioned. It is also known by the biblical narrative and history that they built temples to this deity in Israel.

The Bible also teaches that God has a wife. But the wife is always His people. It is not a deity or individual.

For your Maker is your husband-- the LORD Almighty is his name-- the Holy One of Israel is your Redeemer; he is called the God of all the earth. (Isaiah 54:5)
As a young man marries a maiden, so will your sons marry you; as a bridegroom rejoices over his bride, so will your God rejoice over you. (Isaiah 62:5)
"Return, faithless people," declares the LORD, "for I am your husband. I will choose you--one from a town and two from a clan--and bring you to Zion. (Jeremiah 3:14)

The New Testament extends this concept, saying that followers of Jesus will be "married" to Him in heaven, and He will be our spiritual "husband." In the book of Revelation, a marriage is described in heaven, where the "bride" is composed of all believers in Jesus Christ.

The problem with the claim is that the Bible readily admits that the kings would go astray and worship other gods. The fact that archeology confirms such examples of idol worship in Israel is no surprise. It would be surprising if such evidence were not found. And just to set the record straight, the Bible does say that God has a wife - consisting of none other than His people.

DeciBel said...

The previous comment is true. The "God the mother" followers recently tried to convert me, and this appears to me nothing more than a restatement of worship of Asherah, the fertility goddess. There is nothing new under the sun.

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