Also called Ashtart, Ishtar, Ashtoreth, Esther, and many other names. A Phoenician/Philistine goddess (Judges 2:13, 10:6, 1 Samuel 31:10, 1 Kings 11:5, 2 Kings 23:13) identified with ANAT. Jeremiah 7:18 has her being offered cakes as Queen of Heaven, a term later attached to the Shechinah or Divine Radiance who is also the Sabbath bride. 

That reference also connects her to Anat, noted as Shamgar's mother in Judges 3:31 and 5:6, and as the foundress of Anatot, the village of Yirme-Yahu's (Jeremiah's) birth, later called Anatha (the singular form). The significance of this lies in the fact that Beit Anatha, as the village later became known, was the place, just north of Yeru-Shalayim, now called Bethany by most Christians. The raising of Lazarus and the story surrounding it reads like an ancient Anathaic or Astartic cult.

Jeremiah 44:15-19 has her being worshipped by exiles to Egypt with cakes and libations. Shd was the wife of Ba'al.


Copyright © 2015 David Prashker
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