The Cult of Asherah in Ancient Israel and Judah: Evidence for a Hebrew Goddess

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Judith Hadley deploys recent archaeological discoveries, alongside biblical material and nonbiblical inscriptions, to examine the evidence for the worship of Asherah as the partner of God in the Bible. She asks how Israelites construed the relationship between "Yahweh and his Asherah," and whether in fact the term referred to an object of worship rather than a female deity. This is a well-crafted study that promises to make a significant contribution to the debate about the exact nature of Asherah and her significance in pre-exilic Israel and Judah.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"...Hadley explains her material in a clear, ordered fashion accesible to anyone with genereal knowledge of the field." Christine E. Gudorf, Journal of the American Academy of Religion

"Hadley's critical command of previous studies is impressive; there are over six hundred items in her bibliography, most of which are cited within the text. Her greatest strength, however, lies in her personally revisiting virtually every previously published item germane to the discussion, checking out adventitious cracks and marks in inscriptions for possible earlier misinterpretations, and examinating graffiti for the sequence strokes, overlays, and interrelationships." The Catholic Biblical Quaterly 2001

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Product Details

Table of Contents

Introduction; 1. An introduction to Asherah; 2. The Goddess Athirat; 3. Asherah in the Bible; 4. Inscription no 3 from Khirbet el-Qom; 5. The finds from Kuntillet 'Ajrud; 6. Other related finds; 7. Female figurines; 8. Summary of conclusions.

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 28, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    The best available on this subject

    First, I am not thoroughly happy with the title "The Cult..." At the time Asherah was worshipped, all religions would have been just as legitimate to one as the other. It would depend on a number of factors which certainly included cultural identification and nationhood. When it was judged, it was by those who disagree and worshipped in a different way. Everybody seems to think it is my way or the highway. You believe what I believe or I am going to destroy your places of worship and your heretical people. If there really is a petty little god that demands such a fidelity, he needs to grow up. This book is an excellent survey of writings by other experts on the subject and is very much to the point and written with great clarity. I thoroughly enjoyed reading the book and will be starting it again. It is very helpful in clarifying certain old testament works and at least helps you understand what and when things were taking place regarding the subject. One of the things I have looked for is how the high places (places of worship) fit into the overall scheme and was Asherah represented by a significant star as it began to rise on the East side of the Dead Sea. One of the attributes of a star rising directly over water is that the Goddess is walking on water as she rises especially if the rising involves any lateral movement while still apparently on the surface of the sea. Did her "high Place" worship coincide with the rising and transition of a particular star. Venus and Sirius would have been easily observable as they broke the horizon in rising, especially from "high Places" where there would have been minimum interference. Just a thought. This book will make you think about how it was for the early Hebrews trying to find an explanation for their success or failure. You really will enjoy the book and you will want to hold onto it for future reference. This book is magnificent in its detail.

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