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Watson's Biblical & Theological Dictionary

Ashtaroth

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or ASTARTE, a goddess of the Zidonians. The word Ashtaroth properly signifies flocks of sheep, or goats; and sometimes the grove, or woods, because she was goddess of woods, and groves were her temples. In groves consecrated to her, such lasciviousness was committed as rendered her worship infamous. She was also called the queen of heaven; and sometimes her worship is said to be that of "the host of heaven." She was certainly represented in the same manner as Isis, with cows' horns on her head, to denote the increase and decrease of the moon. Cicero calls her the fourth Venus of the Syrians. She is almost always joined with Baal, and is called a god, the Scriptures having no particular word to express a goddess. It is believed that the moon was adored in this idol. Her temples generally accompanied those of the sun; and while bloody sacrifices of human victims were offered to Baal, bread, liquors, and perfumes were presented to Astarte. For her, tables were prepared upon the flat terrace roofs of houses, near gates, in porches, and at cross- ways, on the first day of every month; and this was called by the Greeks, Hecate's supper.

Solomon, seduced by his foreign wives, introduced the worship of Ashtaroth into Israel; but Jezebel, daughter of the king of Tyre, and wife to Ahab, principally established her worship. She caused altars to be erected to this idol in every part of Israel; and at one time four hundred priests attended the worship of Ashtaroth, 1 Kings 18:7 .


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Bibliography Information
Watson, Richard. Entry for 'Ashtaroth'. Richard Watson's Biblical & Theological Dictionary. https://www.studylight.org/dictionaries/wtd/a/ashtaroth.html. 1831-2.

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