Have you ever before read the Old Testament and wondered what the referrals to “Asherah poles” meant? Why were they for this reason popular? to answer these questions, we have the IVP bible Background Commentary. Let’s see what it has to say around Asherah and also her poles.

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The short Answer

Asherah poles were a depiction of a Asherah, a Canaanite fertility goddess and consort the the gods.

Who is Asherah?

The goddess Asherah and Asherah poles are in the holy bible from Exodus to Micah, which reflects that this type of idolatry to be a constant thorn in Israel’s side.

Break down their altars, smash their spiritual stones and cut down their Asherah poles.

Exodus 34:13

The goddess shows up to it is in the magnificent consort of the principal male deity in a number of Mesopotamian and also Syro-Palestinian pantheons: the Babylonian storm god Amurru; the Ugartic god El; and also perhaps also the Canaanite god Baal. Asherah was plainly a well-known goddess (2 emperors 18:19). Her prominent appearance in the biblical narrative likewise indicates her cult to be a significant rival to Yahweh worship (Ex 34:13; Deut 16:21). Together a result, this describes the number of examples in which Asherah poles are erected and venerated, the solid condemnations the this practice and also the depictions of these poles being cut down and burned (Judg 6:25-30; 2 kings 23:4-7).

She was frequently represented in the scriptures by spiritual poles set up near an altar. Her popularity among Israelites tho tainted by a multi-purpose worldview may be suggested by the inscription uncovered in the northwest part of Sinai, “Yahweh and his Asherah”. Asherah can either it is in the name of the fertility goddess or the name of a cult object. The goddess was well-known in pagan deviations in Israel and was additionally sometimes considered a mediator that Yahweh’s blessings.

Asherah worship

One common feature of Canaanite worship and also of syncretized Israelite prayer on “high places” and also in city shrines is the erection of Asherah poles (Judg 3:7; 1 emperors 14:15; 15:13; 2 majesties 13:6). However, we have tiny information ~ above the duty of these poles in routine practice.

The writer of emperors points come the veneration of Asherah poles as among the several factors for Assyria’s occupation of Israel. The revolutionary of Hezekiah and Josiah both attempted to outlaw these pictures sacred come the Canaanite goddess. Therefore, the bespeak to reduced down this cultic poles signified the must purify the country of international influence and return to complete loyalty of Yahweh.

What did Asherah Poles watch like?

Scholars are not completely sure around whether these were simply wooden poles that symbolized trees, possibly containing the sculpted image of the fertility goddess, or component of a spiritual grove. Pictures on seals excavated in Palestine, for instance, display Asherah together a stylized tree in the stole Age. The referral in 2 monarchs 17:10, which describes Asherah poles beside “every dispersing tree” appears to show that these were because that cultic objectives rather 보다 planted trees.

Apparently the ladies wove species of coverings or vestments to adorn the Asherah statue. Fashioning woven and embroidered garments for the statues of gods in Mesopotamia to be a popular practice.

What does this average for us today?

The Israelite’s Asherah poles were among the many ways lock violated God’s command to have actually no other gods or prayer a developed image (Ex 20:3-6). Throughout humanity’s history, God has been calling us back to Him. Worshipping noþeles else just doesn’t do sense when we might be offering glory come the Creator the the universe.

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A pair conclusions i made from of the above information:

Sometimes, that takes a while to discover your lesson. Even if you store sinning against God, all He desires is because that you come turn ago to Him.The Israelites regularly fell back into idolatry due to the influences of the neighboring/invading cultures. Collection your mental on Him and also do not let yourself be attracted away indigenous God by today’s culture.Asherah to be sometimes erected right alongside the altar the Yahweh. Don’t let you yourself be tricked right into believing that you can prioritize other things as lot as God. As Jesus said, “No one deserve to serve 2 masters” (Matt 6:24).

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With the IVP bible Background Commentary, a staple of many religious educational institutions, you deserve to learn social information to enrich and also contextualize your research of the Bible. Because the bible comes from a different social perspective, this crucial tool brings understanding about actions, dialogue, literary devices, and cultural references. Therefore if this historic viewpoint understand you, include the IVP bible Background Commentary to your library today!