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Bible Encyclopedias

Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature


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(Heb. Ashtaroth', עִשְׁתָּרוֹת, plur. of Ashtoreth, Joshua 9:10; Joshua 12:4; Joshua 13:12; Joshua 13:31; Sept. Ἀσταρώθ ; but Auth. Vers. "Astaroth," in Deuteronomy 1:4; Sept, in 1 Chronicles 6:71, v; r. Ἀσηρώθ and ῾Ραμώθ ), a city on the east of Jordan, in Bashan, in the kingdom of Og, doubtless so called from being a seat of the worship of the goddess of the same name. (See ASHTORETH). It is generally mentioned as a description or definition of Og, who "dwelt in Astaroth in Edrei" (Deuteronomy 1:4), "at Ashtaroth and at Edrei" (Joshua 12:4; Joshua 13:12), or "who was at Ashtaroth" (Joshua 9:10). It fell into possession of the half tribe of Manasseh (Joshua 13:31), and was given with its suburbs or surrounding pasture- lands (מִגְרָשׁ ) to the Gershonites (1 Chronicles 6:71 [56]), the other Levitical city in this tribe being Golan. In the list in Joshua 21:27, the name is given as BEESHTERAH ("house of Ashtoreth;" Reland, p. 621). Nothing more is heard of Ashtaroth, except that Uzziah, an Ashterathite, is named in 1 Chronicles 11:44. It is not named in any of the lists, such as those in Chronicles, or of Jeremiah, in which so many of the trans-Jordanic places are enumerated; and hence it has usually been considered the same with the place elsewhere called (See ASHTEROTH-KARNAIM) (q.v.). Eusebius and Jerome, however (Onomast. s.v. Astaroth, Ἀσταρώθ ), mention it as situated 6 Roman miles from Adraa or Adar (Edrei), which again was 25 from Bostra; and the former adds that it lay on higher ground (ἀνωτέρω ) than Ashteroth-karnaim, which: they farther distinguish by stating (in the next art.) that there were two villages (κῶμαι, castella) lying 9 miles apart, between Adara and Abila. One of these was probably that called Ashtaroth simply, and the other may have been Ashteroth- karnaim. The only trace of the name yet recovered in the region indicated is Tell-Ashterah or Asherah (Ritter, Erdk. 15:819; Porter, ii, 212); and as this is situated on a hill, it would seem to correspond to the Ashtaroth in question.

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Bibliography Information
McClintock, John. Strong, James. Entry for 'Ashtaroth'. Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature. Harper & Brothers. New York. 1870.

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