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The Hebrew Goddess

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  • The Hebrew Goddess

    Virtually all ancient religions honored both God and Goddess, including Judaism.

    Studied and interpreted allegorically, the Goddess can be found in the Old Testament. Perhaps it is time that she be resurrected.

    Moses climbed the mountain in the Wilderness of Sin called Mount Sin-ai where he encountered the Burning Bush.

    Sin-ai (Sinai) is the feminine of Sin; Sin was a God in ancient Mesopotamia associated with the Moon.

    The Moon Goddess was called Shayba (Sheba), from the same root word as Sabbath or Seven.

    The most popular of the ancient Goddesses:

    Sheba (Shayba; Shebat; Sabbath; Seven); Astarte (Asherah, Asher, Ishtar)
    “The Great Goddess who dwelt in the sacred black aniconic stone was given the title Shayba by the Arabic-Aramaen people. Shayba represented the Moon in its threefold aspect - waxing, (maiden), full (pregnant mother), and waning (old wise woman or crone). But the primary Sabaean Moon god was Ilmukah or Ilumguh, identified with the god Sin of Assyro-Babylonian mythology. Sin was portrayed as an old man with an azure beard, the color of lapis lazuli, and a turbaned head. Wearing a crown shaped like a full moon, Sin rode a crescent moon-boat from which he navigated the night sky. Also called He-Whose-Deep-Heart-No-God-Can-Penetrate, he dispersed evil and darkness, and inspired his believers with dreams and prophecies."

    The Lost Goddess of Israel
    by Sandra Scham

    And [the king] set a graven image of Asherah, that he had made, in the house of which the Lord said to David and Solomon his son, "In this House, and in Jerusalem, which I have chosen out of all tribes of Israel, will I put my name for ever."
    II Kings 21:7

    Asherah is arguably the most important goddess in the Canaanite pantheon. The prototypical mother of gods and humans and consort of the chief god, El, she is also the mistress of the sea and the land, and protector of all living things. We have long known Asherah from the immense library of thirteenth-century cuneiform tablets found in Syria at the site of Ugarit. But there are also more than 40 references to Asherah in the Old Testament. What could she have meant to the people of monotheistic ancient Israel?

    A bit too much, apparently, at least according to the authors of the biblical texts, who attack her relentlessly. They praise Asa, king of Judah (911-870 B.C.), for removing his mother Ma'acah from official duties after "she had an abominable image made for Asherah" (I Kings 15.13, II Chronicles 15.6). They condemn the long-reigning Manas'seh of Judah (698-642) for doing "what was evil in the sight of the Lord" in "making an Asherah" (II Kings 21.7). And they trumpet the achievements of Josiah (639-609), including the destruction of offerings made to Asherah at the temple in Jerusalem, the abolition of "the Asherah from the house of the Lord," and demolition of a shrine there in which women "did weaving for Asherah" (II Kings 23). These passages reflect both the worship of Asherah and efforts to stamp out her cult during in the Iron Age. But it was only in the succeeding Persian period, after the fall of Judah in 586 B.C. and the exile in Babylon, that Asherah virtually disappeared.

    Ultimately, the campaign to eliminate the goddess has failed. "Asherah was buried long ago by the Establishment," declares respected biblical scholar William H. Dever. "Now, archaeology has excavated her." The Asherah of ancient Israel and of the biblical texts is: "She is the wife or consort of EL".

    Sandra Scham, the editor of Near Eastern Archaeology and a contributing editor to ARCHAEOLOGY, teaches biblical archaeology at the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C.

    • William H. Dever, Did God Have a Wife?: Archaeology and Folk Religion in Ancient Israel, Eerdmans Press, 2005
    • Susan Ackerman, Under Every Green Tree, Scholars Press, 1992
    • Carol Meyers, Households and Holiness: the Religious Culture of Isrealite Women, Fortress Press, 2005
    • Diana Edelman, The Triumph of Elohim: From Yahwisms to Judaisms, Eerdmans Press, 1996
    • Mark Smith, The Early History of God: Yahweh and the Other Deities in Ancient Israel, Eerdmans Press, 2002”

  • #2
    Re: The Hebrew Goddess

    Vir my is dit nie eers 'n kwessie nie... dis logika!

    Waar Vader Ad-am gegaan het, was Moeder Ev-am altoos teenwoordig, hoe dan anders.