The Suppression of Asherah

The Bible reflects that, originally, Asherah (which means "Tree of Life") was worshipped with the Lord in ancient Israel and Judah, on hill tops and under trees. Asherah was symbolized as a terebinth tree; The Lord was sometimes symbolized as a serpent (and was called Nehushtan by Moses). These shrines were later destroyed, and their priests and priestesses killed, at the behest of the patriarchal prophets. Patriarchal reforms also attempted to limit worship of the Lord to the Temple of Jerusalem. Though Asherah was also worshipped in the Temple of Jerusalem for two-thirds of the time the Temple stood, She was ultimately ousted from the Temple by the patriarchal prophets, who considered Her a foreign Deity. See Genesis 12:6, 13:18, 18:1; Exodus 4:3-4, 7:8-16; Numbers 21:4-9; Judges 3:7, 9:6; I Samuel 9:13-19, 10:3-6; I Kings 3:1-4, 14:23-24, 15:13-15, 18:19-19:1, 22:43-44; II Kings 13:6-7, 17:9-11, 18:4-5, 21:3-7, 22:8-23:24; II Chronicles: 14:3-5, 15:8, 15:16-17, 17:6, 24:17-18, 28:4, 29:3-19, 31:1, 32:12, 33:3-7, 33:15-19, 33:22, 34:3-7; Isaiah 6:2-6; Jeremiah 7:17-18, 17:1-3, 44:15-19; Micah 5:13-14; Wisdom of Solomon 16:5-12. See also R. Patai, The Hebrew Goddess (1990).