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Monthly Bible Question | June

Who was Asherah, and what were Asherah poles?

Micah 5:14: “I will uproot from among you your Asherah poles when I demolish your cities.”

Asherah figurine, Public domain

Asherah was a goddess of fertility worshipped by the Canaanite tribes. The Israelites were strictly warned in Exodus 34:13 to “cut down their (the Canaanite’s) Asherah poles” when they entered the Promised Land. However, the worship of Asherah persisted, and warnings were issued repeatedly, with 40 mentions of Asherah in the Bible!

Asherah was usually portrayed by a carved tree trunk planted in the ground, hence the name “Asherah pole”. They were often placed on hilltops or in woods, sometimes referred to as “high places” or “sacred groves”. Smaller figurines were placed on altars in homes and worshipped as well.

Despite countless warnings from the prophets and the actions of a few God-fearing kings, Israel never completely eliminated the worship of Asherah, and this idolatry was one of the sins for which Israel was judged and exiled.

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