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International Standard Bible Encyclopedia

ash'-to-reth, ash-to reth (`ashtoreth; plural `ashtaroth; Astarte):

1. Name and Origin

2. Attributes of the Goddess

3. Ashtoreth as a Moon-Goddess

4. The Local Ashtaroth

1. Name and Origin:

The name of the supreme goddess of Canaan and the female counterpart of Baal.

The name and cult of the goddess were derived from Babylonia, where Ishtar represented the evening and morning stars and was accordingly androgynous in origin. Under Semitic influence, however, she became solely female, but retained a memory of her primitive character by standing, alone among the Assyro-Bab goddesses, on a footing of equality with the male divinities. From Babylonia the worship of the goddess was carried to the Semites of the West, and in most instances the feminine suffix was attached to her name; where this was not the case the deity was regarded as a male. On the Moabite Stone, for example, `Ashtar is identified with Chemosh, and in the inscriptions of southern Arabia `Athtar is a god. On the other hand, in Atar-gatis or Derketo (2 Maccabees 12:26), Atar, without the feminine suffix, is identified with the goddess `Athah or `Athi (Greek Gatis). The cult of the Greek Aphrodite in Cyprus was borrowed from that of Ashtoreth; whether the Greek name also is a modification of Ashtoreth, as has often been maintained, is doubtful.

2. Attributes of the Goddess:

In Babylonia and Assyria Ishtar was the goddess of love and war. An old Babylonian legend related how the descent of Ishtar into Hades in search of her dead husband, Tammuz, was followed by the cessation of marriage and birth in both earth and heaven, while the temples of the goddess at Nineveh and Arbela, around which the two cities afterward grew up, were dedicated to her as the goddess of war. As such she appeared to one of Assur-bani-pal's seers and encouraged the Assyrian king to march against Elam. The other goddesses of Babylonia, who were little more than reflections of the god, tended to merge into Ishtar who thus became a type of the female divinity, a personification of the productive principle in nature, and more especially the mother and creatress of mankind. The chief seat of the worship of Ishtar in Babylonia was Erech, where prostitution was practiced in her name, and she was served with immoral rites by bands of men and women. In Assyria, where the warlike side of the goddess was predominant, no such rites seem to have been practiced, and, instead, prophetesses were attached to her temples to whom she delivered oracles.

3. Ashtoreth as a Moon-Goddess:

In Canaan, Ashtoreth, as distinguished from the male `Ashtar, dropped her warlike attributes, but in contradistinction to Asherah, whose name and cult had also been imported from Assyria, became, on the one hand, the colorless consort of Baal, and on the other hand, a moon-goddess. In Babylonia the moon was a god, but after the rise of the solar theology, when the larger number of the Babylonian gods were resolved into forms of the sun-god, their wives also became solar, Ishtar, "the daughter of Sin" the moon-god, remaining identified with the evening-star. In Canaan, however, when the solar theology had absorbed the older beliefs, Baal, passing into a sun-god and the goddess who stood at his side becoming a representative of the moon-the pale reflection, as it were, of the sun-Ashtoreth came to be regarded as the consort of Baal and took the place of the solar goddesses of Babylonia.

4. The Local Ashtaroth:

Hence there were as "many Ashtoreths" or Ashtaroth as Baals. They represented the various forms under which the goddess was worshipped in different localities (Judges 10:6 1 Samuel 7:4; 1 Samuel 12:10, etc.). Sometimes she was addressed as Naamah, "the delightful one," Greek Astro-noe, the mother of Eshmun and the Cabeiri. The Philistines seem to have adopted her under her warlike form (1 Samuel 31:10 the King James Version reading "Ashtoreth," as Septuagint), but she was more usually the moon-goddess (Lucian, De Dca Syriac., 4; Herodian, v.6, 10), and was accordingly symbolized by the horns of a cow. See ASHTEROTH-KARNAIM. At Ashkelon, where Herodotus (i.105) places her most ancient temple, she was worshipped under the name of Atar-gatis, as a woman with the tail of a fish, and fish were accordingly sacred to her. Elsewhere the dove was her sacred symbol. The immoral rites with which the worship of Ishtar in Babylonia was accompanied were transferred to Canaan (Deuteronomy 23:18) and formed part of the idolatrous practices which the Israelites were called upon to extirpate.

A. H. Sayce

Strong's Hebrew
6253. Ashtoreth -- Ashtoreth
... 6252b, 6253. Ashtoreth. 6254 . Ashtoreth. Transliteration: Ashtoreth Phonetic
Spelling: (ash-to'reth) Short Definition: Ashtoreth. ...
/hebrew/6253.htm - 5k

6252b. Ashtoreth -- an ancient Near Eastern goddess
Ashtoreth or Ashtaroth. 6252a, 6252b. Ashtoreth or Ashtaroth. 6253 .
an ancient Near Eastern goddess. Transliteration: Ashtoreth ...
/hebrew/6252b.htm - 5k

1203. Beeshterah -- perhaps "house of Ashtoreth," a Levitical city ...
... perhaps "house of Ashtoreth," a Levitical city in Manasseh. Transliteration: Beeshterah
Phonetic Spelling: (beh-esh-ter-aw') Short Definition: Be-eshterah. ...
/hebrew/1203.htm - 6k

6255. Ashteroth Qarnayim -- "Ashtaroth of the double horns," a ...
... Jordan NASB Word Usage Ashteroth-karnaim (1). Ashtoreth Karnaim. From
Ashtarowth and the dual of qeren; Ashtaroth of (the) double ...
/hebrew/6255.htm - 6k

6252. Ashtarowth -- a place East of the Jordan
... See also Beyth 'Ashtarowth, Ashtoreth, Ashtroth Qarnayim. see HEBREW ashtrah. see
HEBREW Beyth 'Ashtarowth. see HEBREW Ashtoreth. see HEBREW Ashtroth Qarnayim. ...
/hebrew/6252.htm - 6k

842. Asherah -- a Phoenician goddess, also an image of the same
... of the same -- grove. Compare Ashtoreth. see HEBREW 'ashar. see HEBREW
Ashtoreth. 841, 842. Asherah. 843 . Strong's Numbers.
/hebrew/842.htm - 6k

1045. beth Ashtaroth -- house of Ashtaroth
... house of Ashtaroth. Transliteration: beth Ashtaroth Phonetic Spelling: (bayth
ash-taw-roth') Short Definition: Ashtaroth. Word Origin see bayith and Ashtoreth. ...
/hebrew/1045.htm - 6k


... Standing before Ahab, Elijah demanded that all Israel be assembled to meet
him and the prophets of Baal and Ashtoreth on Mount Carmel. ...
/.../white/the story of prophets and kings/chapter 11 carmel.htm

The Healing of the Waters
... Before them had stood the walls of Jericho, a heathen stronghold, the center of
the worship of Ashtoreth, vilest and most degrading of all Canaanitish forms of ...
/.../white/the story of prophets and kings/chapter 18 the healing of.htm

Israel in Canaan.
... They had many gods, whom they called altogether Baalim, or lords; and goddesses,
whom they called Ashtoreth; and they thought that each had some one city or ...
// chosen people/lesson v israel in canaan.htm

Pride of Prosperity
... For Solomon went after Ashtoreth the goddess of the Zidonians, and after
Milcom the abomination of the Ammonites." 1 Kings 2:4, 5. ...
/.../white/the story of prophets and kings/chapter 3 pride of prosperity.htm

National Apostasy
... blasphemy. The dark shadow of apostasy covered the whole land. Images of
Baalim and Ashtoreth were everywhere to be seen. Idolatrous ...
/.../white/the story of prophets and kings/chapter 8 national apostasy.htm

The Nations of the South-East
... had the conception of a goddess vanished from the mind of the Moabite, that, as
we learn from the Moabite Stone, the Babylonian Istar, the Ashtoreth of Canaan ...
/.../sayce/early israel and the surrounding nations/chapter iii the nations of.htm

The Rending of the Kingdom
... This division must take place, He had declared, "because that they have forsaken
Me, and have worshiped Ashtoreth the goddess of the Zidonians, Chemosh the god ...
/.../white/the story of prophets and kings/chapter 6 the rending of.htm

Elisha's Closing Ministry
... Once more, through a merciful providence, the priests of Baal and of Ashtoreth
were set aside and their heathen altars thrown down. ...
/.../white/the story of prophets and kings/chapter 21 elishas closing ministry.htm

Fresh Troubles
... the ancient temples of the gods; but now those gods and the vices they
represented"Ares and Aphrodite, Plutus and Cybele, Moloch and Ashtoreth, Mammon ...
/.../chapter xxxviii fresh troubles.htm

As God, So Worshipper
... idols. They who 'worship vanity' inevitably 'become vain.' A Venus or a
Jupiter, a Baal or an Ashtoreth, sets the tone of morals. ...
/.../maclaren/expositions of holy scripture a/as god so worshipper.htm

Smith's Bible Dictionary

(a star) the principal female divinity of the Phoenicians, called Ishtar by the Assyrians and Astarte by the Greeks and Romans. She was by some ancient writers identified with the moon. But on the other hand the Assyrian Ishtar was not the moon-goddess, but the planet Venus; and Astarte was by many identified with the goddess Venus (or Aphrodite), as well as with the plant of that name. It is certain that the worship of Astarte became identified with that of Venus, and that this worship was connected with the most impure rites is apparent from the close connection of this goddess with ASHERAH. (1 Kings 11:5,33; 2 Kings 23:13)

Easton's Bible Dictionary
The moon goddess of the Phoenicians, representing the passive principle in nature, their principal female deity; frequently associated with the name of Baal, the sun-god, their chief male deity (Judges 10:6; 1 Samuel 7:4; 12:10). These names often occur in the plural (Ashtaroth, Baalim), probably as indicating either different statues or different modifications of the deities. This deity is spoken of as Ashtoreth of the Zidonians. She was the Ishtar of the Accadians and the Astarte of the Greeks (Jeremiah 44:17; 1 Kings 11:5, 33; 2 Kings 23:13). There was a temple of this goddess among the Philistines in the time of Saul (1 Samuel 31:10). Under the name of Ishtar, she was one of the great deities of the Assyrians. The Phoenicians called her Astarte. Solomon introduced the worship of this idol (1 Kings 11:33). Jezebel's 400 priests were probably employed in its service (1 Kings 18:19). It was called the "queen of heaven" (Jeremiah 44:25).
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
(n.) The principal female divinity of the Phoenicians, as Baal was the principal male divinity.
Ashtoreth (3 Occurrences)
... the deities. This deity is spoken of as Ashtoreth of the Zidonians. She was ... Int.
Standard Bible Encyclopedia. ASHTORETH. ash'-to-reth, ash ...
/a/ashtoreth.htm - 14k

... ash'-to-reth, ash-to reth (`ashtoreth; plural `ashtaroth; Astarte): 1. Name and
Origin 2. Attributes of the Goddess 3. Ashtoreth as a Moon-Goddess 4. The Local ...
/a/astoreth.htm - 10k

Astarte (2 Occurrences)
... ash'-to-reth, ash-to reth (`ashtoreth; plural `ashtaroth; Astarte): 1. Name and
Origin 2. Attributes of the Goddess 3. Ashtoreth as a Moon-Goddess 4. The Local ...
/a/astarte.htm - 11k

Goddess (6 Occurrences)
... In the only instance in which the word occurs in English Versions of the Bible
(1 Kings 11:5, 33), the gender is determined by the noun-"Ashtoreth, the god ...
/g/goddess.htm - 9k

Ash'toreth (3 Occurrences)
Ash'toreth. Ashtoreth, Ash'toreth. Ashtoreths . Multi-Version Concordance
Ash'toreth (3 Occurrences). 1 Kings 11:5 For Solomon went ...
/a/ash'toreth.htm - 7k

Ashtaroth (13 Occurrences)
... Noah Webster's Dictionary. (n.) Plural of Ashtoreth. Int. Standard Bible
Encyclopedia. ... Ashtaroth is the plural of ASHTORETH (which see). ...
/a/ashtaroth.htm - 17k

Zidonians (11 Occurrences)
... 1 Kings 11:5 For Solomon went after Ashtoreth the goddess of the Zidonians, and
after Milcom the abomination of the Ammonites. (KJV JPS BBE DBY WBS YLT). ...
/z/zidonians.htm - 10k

Milcom (8 Occurrences)
... (BBE). 1 Kings 11:5 For Solomon went after Ashtoreth the goddess of the
Sidonians, and after Milcom the abomination of the Ammonites. ...
/m/milcom.htm - 9k

Asherah (40 Occurrences)
... Asirtu was merely the feminine form of Asir, "the superintendent" or "leader," it
is probable that it was originally an epithet of Ishtar (Ashtoreth) of Nineveh ...
/a/asherah.htm - 24k

Sido'nians (11 Occurrences)
... (DBY RSV). 1 Kings 11:5 For Solomon went after Ashtoreth the goddess of the Sidonians,
and after Milcom the abomination of the Ammonites. (See RSV). ...
/s/sido'nians.htm - 9k

Bible Concordance
Ashtoreth (3 Occurrences)

1 Kings 11:5 For Solomon went after Ashtoreth the goddess of the Sidonians, and after Milcom the abomination of the Ammonites.

1 Kings 11:33 because that they have forsaken me, and have worshiped Ashtoreth the goddess of the Sidonians, Chemosh the god of Moab, and Milcom the god of the children of Ammon. They have not walked in my ways, to do that which is right in my eyes, and to keep my statutes and my ordinances, as David his father did.

2 Kings 23:13 The high places that were before Jerusalem, which were on the right hand of the mountain of corruption, which Solomon the king of Israel had built for Ashtoreth the abomination of the Sidonians, and for Chemosh the abomination of Moab, and for Milcom the abomination of the children of Ammon, did the king defile.



Ashtoreth: An Idol of the Philistines, Zidonians, and Phenicians--Probably Identical With Queen of Heaven

Ashtoreth: High Places of, at Jerusalem, Destroyed

Ashtoreth: Temple of

Ashtoreth: Worshiped by Israelites

Plural Ash'Taroth Ashtoreth

Related Terms


Astarte (2 Occurrences)

Goddess (6 Occurrences)

Ash'toreth (3 Occurrences)

Ashtaroth (13 Occurrences)

Zidonians (11 Occurrences)

Milcom (8 Occurrences)

Asherah (40 Occurrences)

Sido'nians (11 Occurrences)

Sidonians (16 Occurrences)

God'dess (2 Occurrences)

Detestation (5 Occurrences)

Beeshterah (1 Occurrence)


Ashteroth-karnaim (1 Occurrence)

Chemosh (8 Occurrences)

Mount (311 Occurrences)

Corruption (37 Occurrences)

Cattle (277 Occurrences)

Molech (16 Occurrences)

Philistines (224 Occurrences)


Phoenicia (6 Occurrences)

Disgusting (149 Occurrences)

Ammonites (97 Occurrences)

Detestable (121 Occurrences)

Moabites (26 Occurrences)

Abomination (78 Occurrences)

Zidon (25 Occurrences)


Observing (28 Occurrences)

Grove (23 Occurrences)

Persecution (22 Occurrences)

Ash'teroth-karna'im (1 Occurrence)


Images (158 Occurrences)

Gods (310 Occurrences)

Ammon (100 Occurrences)

Kittim (8 Occurrences)

Vile (59 Occurrences)

Builded (65 Occurrences)

Forsaken (110 Occurrences)

Syrians (63 Occurrences)

Stone (290 Occurrences)

Moabite (13 Occurrences)

Idol (56 Occurrences)

Olives (30 Occurrences)

Worshiped (83 Occurrences)

Tyre (59 Occurrences)

Ordinances (119 Occurrences)

Judgments (146 Occurrences)

Worshipped (81 Occurrences)

Decisions (133 Occurrences)

Defiled (119 Occurrences)

Solomon's (56 Occurrences)

Malchiel (3 Occurrences)

Defile (63 Occurrences)

Statutes (178 Occurrences)

Moab (162 Occurrences)

Walked (178 Occurrences)

Canaan (102 Occurrences)


Woman (4043 Occurrences)


Canaanites (63 Occurrences)

Walking (189 Occurrences)

Harlot (87 Occurrences)

Golden (86 Occurrences)

Calf (39 Occurrences)

South (170 Occurrences)

Laws (184 Occurrences)

Palestine (1 Occurrence)

Religion (23 Occurrences)

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