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always designates a breast and back piece of steel. It is, however, requisite to observe, that in estimating the meaning of Hebrew names for armour of all kinds, they are liable to the same laxity of use which all other languages have manifested.
The Girdle, or more properly the baldric or belt, was of leather, studded with metal plates or bulle; broad when the armour was slight, and then might be girt upon the hips; otherwise it supported the sword scarf-wise from the shoulder.
Greaves were likewise known, even so early as the time of David, for Goliath wore them. They consisted of a pair of shin-covers of brass or strong leather, bound by thongs round the calves and above the ankles. They reached only to the knees, excepting among the Greeks, whose greaves, elastic behind, caught nearly the
whole leg, and were raised in front above the knees.
AR'NON, a river forming the southern boundary of trans-Jordanic Palestine, and separating it from the land of Moab (Num. xxi. 13, 26; Deut. ii. 24; iii. 8, 16; Josh. xii. 1; Isa. xvi. 2; Jer. xlviii. 20). It now bears the name of Wady Modjeb, and rises in the mountains of Gilead. near Katrane, whence it pursues a circuitous course of about eighty miles to the Dead Sea. It flows in a rocky bed, and, at the part visited by Burckhardt, in a channel so deep and precipitous as to appear inaccessible; yet along this, winding among huge fragments of rock, lies the most frequented road, and, not being far from Dibon, probably that taken by the Israelites. The stream is almost dried up in summer; but huge masses of rock, torn from the banks, and deposited high above the usual channel, evince its fulness and impetuosity in the rainy season.
ARO'ER, a town on the north side of the river Arnon, and therefore on the southern border of the territory conquered from the Amorites, which was assigned to the tribes of Reuben and Gad (Deut. ii. 36; Josh. xii. 2; xiii. 9). The Amorites had previously dispossessed the Ammonites of this territory; and although in the texts cited the town seems to be given to Reuben, it is mentioned as a Moabitish city by Jeremiah (xlviii. 19). Burckhardt found the ruins of this town under the name of Araayr, on the edge of a precipice overlooking the river. Aroer is always named in conjunction with the city that is in the midst of the river;' whence it has been conjectured that, like Rabbath Ammon [which see], it consisted of two parts, or distinct cities; the one on the bank of the river, and the other in the valley beneath, surrounded, either naturally or artificially, by the waters of the river.
2. AROER, one of the towns built,' or probably rebuilt, by the tribe of Gad (Num. xxxii. 34). Burckhardt, in journeying from Szalt towards Rabbath Ammon, notices a ruined site, called Ayra, as one of the towns built by the tribe of Gad.' It is about seven miles south-west from Szalt. Aroer of Gad is also mentioned in Judg. xi. 33, and 2 Sam. xxiv. 5.
3. AROER, a city in the tribe of Judah (1 Sam. xxx. 28).
4. AROER, a city in the south of Judah, to which David sent presents after recovering the spoil of Ziklag (1 Sam. xxx. 26, 28). At the distance of twenty geographical miles S. by W. from Hebron, there is a broad valley called Ararah, in which are evident traces of an ancient village or town. The identity of name shows that this was the Aroer of Judah.
AR'PHAD, or ARPAD, a Syrian city, having its own king, and always associated in Scripture with Hamath, the Epiphania of the Greeks (2 Kings xviii. 34; xix. 34; Isa. x. 9; xxxvi. 19). But all the explanations given respecting it are purely conjectural, and Arphad must still be numbered among unascertained Scriptural sites.
ARPHAX'AD, the son of Shem, and father of Salah; born one year after the Deluge, and died B. C. 1904, aged 438 years (Gen. xi. 12, &c.).
ARROW. This word is frequently used as the symbol of calamities or diseases inflicted by God (Job vi. 4; xxxiv. 6; Ps. xxxviii. 2; Deut. xxxii. 23; comp. Ezek. v. 16; Zech. ix. 14).
Lightnings are, by a very fine figure, described | as the arrows of God (Ps. xviii. 14; cxliv. 6; Habak. iii. 11; comp. Wisd. v. 21; 2 Sam. xxii. 15). 'Arrow' is occasionally used to denote some sudden or inevitable danger; as in Ps. xci. 5-The arrow that flieth by day.' It is also figurative of anything injurious, as a deceitful tongue (Ps. cxxix. 4; Jer. ix. 7); a bitter word (Ps. Ixiv. 3): a false testimony (Prov. xxv. 18). The arrow is, however, not always symbolical of evil. In Ps. cxxvii. 4, 5, well-conditioned children are compared to arrows in the hands of a mighty man;' i. e. instruments of power and action. The arrow is also used in a good sense to denote the efficient and irresistible energy of the word of God in the hands of the Messiah (Ps. xlv. 6; Isa. xliv. 2).
ARROWS, DIVINATION BY. [DIVINATION.]
ARTAXERX'ES, ARTACHSHAST. The word, which is supposed to mean great king, is the title under which more than one Persian king is mentioned in the Old Testament.
The first ARTACHSHAST is mentioned in Ezra iv. 7-24, as the Persian king who, at the instigation of the adversaries of the Jews, obstructed the rebuilding of the Temple, from his time to that of Darius, king of Persia. According to the arguments adduced in the article AHASUERUS, this king is the immediate predecessor of Darius Hystaspis, and can be no other than the Magian impostor, Smerdis, who seized on the throne B.C. 521, and was murdered after a usurpation of less than eight months (Herod. iii. 61-78).
As to the second ARTACHSHAST, in the seventh year of whose reign Ezra led a second colony of the Jewish exiles back to Jerusalem (Ezra vii. 1, sq.), the opinions are divided between Xerxes and his son Artaxerxes Longimanus, and it is difficult, if not impossible, to arrive at any certain conclusion on the subject.
The third ARTACHSHAST is the Persian king who, in the twentieth year of his reign, considerately allowed Nehemiah to go to Jerusalem for the furtherance of purely national objects, invested him with the government of his own people, and allowed him to remain there for twelve years (Neh. ii. 1, sq. ; v. 14). It is almost unanimously agreed that the king here intended is Artaxerxes Longimanus, who reigned from the year 464 to 425 B.C.
ARTEMAS. This name (which is a contraction for Artemidorus) occurs only once (Tit. iii. 12), as that of an esteemed disciple whom St. Paul designed to send into Crete to supply the place of Titus, whom he invited to visit him at Nicopolis. When the Epistle was written, the Apostle seems not to have decided whether he should send Artemas or Tychicus for this purpose.
AR'VAD, or, as it might be spelt, ARUAD, whence the present name Ruad, a small island and city on the coast of Syria, called by the Greeks Aradus, by which name it is mentioned in 1 Macc. xv. 23. It is a small rocky island, opposite the mouth of the river Eleutherus, to the north of Tripolis, about one mile in circumference and two miles from the shore. Strabo describes it as a rock rising in the midst of the waves, and modern travellers state that it is
steep on every side. Strabo also describes the houses as exceedingly lofty, and were doubtless so built, on account of the scantiness of the site: hence, for its size, it was exceedingly populous.
ARVADITES (Gen. x. 18; 1 Chron. i. 16), the inhabitants of the island Aradus [ARVAD], and doubtless also of the neighbouring coast. The Arvadites were descended from Arvad, one of the sous of Canaan (Gen. x. 18). Strabo describes the Arvadites as a colony from Sidon. They were noted mariners (Ezek. xxvii. 8, 11), and formed a distinct state, with a king of their own; yet they appear to have been in some de pendence upon Tyre, for the prophet represents them as furnishing their contingent of mariners to that city (Ezek. xxvii. 8, 11). The Arvadites took their full share in the maritime traffic for which the Phoenician nation was celebrated, particularly after Tyre and Sidon had fallen under the dominion of the Græco-Syrian kings.
ARU'MAH, otherwise RUMAH, a city near Shechem, where Abimelech encamped (Judg. ix. 41).
A'SA (healing or physician), son of Abijah, grandson of Rehoboam, and third king of Judah. He began to reign two years before the death of Jeroboam, in Israel, and he reigned forty-one years, from B.C. 955 to 914. As Asa was very young at his accession, the affairs of the government were administered by his mother, or, aecording to some (comp. 1 Kings xv. 1, 10), his grandmother Maachah, who is understood to have been a granddaughter of Absolom [MAACHAH]. She gave much encouragement to idolatry; but the young king, on assuming the reins of government, zealously rooted out the idolatrous practices which had grown up during his minority and under the preceding reigns; and only the altars in the high places' were suffered to remain (1 Kings xv. 11-13; 2 Chron. xiv. 2-5). He neglected no humau means of putting his kingdom in the best possible military condition, for which ample opportunity was afforded by the peace which he enjoyed in the teù first years of his reign. And his resources were so well organized, and the population had so increased, that he was eventually in a condition to count on the military services of 580,000 men (2 Chron. xiv. 6-8). In the eleventh year of his reign, relying upon the Divine aid, Asa attacked and defeated the nume rous host of the Cushite king Zerah, who had penetrated through Arabia Petræa into the vale of Zephathah, with an immense host (2 Chron. xiv. 9-15.) As the triumphant Judahites were returning, laden with spoil, to Jerusalem, they were met by the prophet Azariah, who declared this splendid victory to be a consequence of Asa's confidence in Jehovah, and exhorted him to perseverance. Thus encouraged, the king exerted himself to extirpate the remnants of idolatry, and caused the people to renew their covenant with Jehovah (2 Chron. xv. 1-15). It was this clear knowledge of his dependent political position, as the vice-gerent of Jehovah, which wou for Asa the highest praise that could be given to a Jewish king--that he walked in the steps of his ancestor David (1 Kings xv. 11).
Nevertheless, the king failed towards the latter end of his reign to maintain the character he had thus acquired. When Baasha, king of Israel.
had renewed the war between the two kingdoms, and had taken Ramah, which he was proceeding to fortify as a frontier barrier, Asa, the conqueror of Zerah, was so far wanting to his kingdom and his God as to employ the wealth of the Temple and of the royal treasures to induce the king of Syria (Damascus) to make a diversion in his favour by invading the dominions of Baasha. By this means he recovered Ramah, indeed; but his treasures were squandered, and he incurred the rebuke of the prophet Hanani, whom he cast into prison, being, as it seems, both alarmed and enraged at the effect his address was calculated to produce upon the people. Other persons (who had probably manifested their disapprobation) also suffered from his anger (1 Kings xv. 16-22; 2 Chron. xvi. 1-10). In the three last years of his life Asa was afflicted with a grievous disease in his feet; and it is mentioned to his reproach that he placed too much confidence in his physicians. At his death, however, it appeared that his popularity had not been substantially impaired; for he was honoured with a funeral of unusual cost and magnificence (2 Chron. xvi. 11-14).
ASAHEL (God-created), son of David's sister Zeruiah, and brother of Joab and Abishai. He was noted for his swiftness of foot; and after the battle at Gibeon he pursued and overtook Abner, who, with great reluctance, and to preserve his own life, slew him with a backthrust of his spear, B.C. 1055 [ABNER] (2 Sam. ii. 18-23).
A'SAPH (assembler), a Levite, son of Barachias (1 Chron. vi. 39; xv. 17), eminent as a musician, and appointed by David to preside over the sacred choral services which he organized. The sons of Asaph' are afterwards mentioned as choristers of the temple (1 Chron. xxv. 1, 2; 2 Chron. xx. 14; xxix. 13; Ezra ii. 41; iii. 10; Neh. vii. 44; xi. 22): and this office appears to have been made hereditary in his family (1 Chron. xxv. 1, 2). Asaph was celebrated in after times as a prophet and poet (2 Chron. xxix. 30; Neh. xii. 16), and the titles of twelve of the Psalms (lxxiii. to lxxxiii.) bear his name. The merits of this appropriation are elsewhere examined [PSALMS]. -There were two other persons named Asaph one who occupied the distinguished post of recorder' to king Hezekiah (2 Kings xviii. 18; Isa. xxxvi. 3); another who was keeper of the royal forests under Artaxerxes (Neh, ií. 8).
ASCENSION. The event spoken of under this title is among those which Christians of every age have contemplated with the most profound satisfaction. It was in his ascension that Christ exhibited the perfect triumph of humanity over every antagonist, whether in itself, or in the circumstances under which it may be supposed to exist. The contemplation of this, the entrance of the Redeemer into glory, inspired the prophets of old with the noblest views of his kingdom. Thou hast ascended on high; thou hast led captivity captive; thou hast received gifts for men; yea, for the rebellious also, that the Lord God might dwell among them' (Ps. lxviii. 18); and 'Lift up your heads, O ye gates; and be ye lift up, ye everlasting doors, and the king of glory shall come in' (Ps. xxiv. 9). That something of vast importance, in respect to the completion of the great scheme of salvation, was involved in this event, appears
from the words of our Lord himself, Touch me not, for I am not yet ascended to my Father: but go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God and your God' (John xx. 17). Nor was it till this had taken place that he poured out the grace of the Spirit upon his church, or began the higher exercises of his office as a mediating priest. In the primitive church, the feast of the Ascension, called also by St. Chrysostom the Assumption of Christ, was considered, like the solemn days of the Nativity and the Passion, as of apostolic origin. St. Chrysostom, in his homily on the subject, calls it an illustrious and refulgent day, and describes the exaltation of Christ as the grand proof of God's reconciliation to mankind.
AS'ENATH, the daughter of Potipherah, priest of On, whom the king of Egypt bestowed in marriage upon Joseph, with the view probably of strengthening his position in Egypt by this high connection. The considerations suggested by this marriage belong to another place [JOSEPH]; and attention is here only required to the name, which, in common with other words of foreign origin, has attracted considerable notice. The most probable interpretation is that it means worshipper of Neith-the titular goddess of Sais, the Athene of the Greeks.
ASH. The word thus translated occurs only once in Scripture (Isa. xliv. 14), and is variously translated. Some consider pine-tree to be the correct translation, others the rubus or bramble. Celsius quotes from the Arab author, 'Abu 1 Fadli, the description of a tree called aran, which appears well suited to the passage, though it has not yet been ascertained what tree is intended. The aran is said to be a tree of Arabia Petræa, of a thorny nature, inhabiting the valleys, but found also in the mountains, where it is however less thorny. The wood is said to be much valued for cleaning the teeth. The fruit is in bunches like small grapes. The berry is noxious while green, and bitter like galls; as it ripens it becomes red, then black and somewhat sweetish, and when eaten is grateful to the stomach, &c., and seems to act as a stimulant medicine. Sprengel supposes this to be the caper plant. To us it appears to agree in some respects with Salvadora persica, but not in all points, and therefore it is preferable to leave it as one of those still requiring investigation by some traveller in Syria conversant both with plants and their Oriental names and uses.
ASH'DOD, the Azorus of the Greeks and Romans, and so called in 1 Macc. iv. 15; Acts viii. 40; a city on the summit of a grassy hill, near the Mediterranean coast, nearly mid-way between Gaza and Joppa, being 18 geog. miles N. by E. from the former, and 21 S. from the latter; and it is more exactly mid-way between Askelon and Ekron, being 10 geog. miles N. by E. from the former, and S. by W. from the latter. Ashdod was a city of the Philistines, and the chief town of one of their five states (Josh. xiii. 3; 1 Sam. vi. 17). It was the seat of the worship of Dagon (1 Sam. v. 5; 1 Macc. xi. 4); and it was before its shrine in this city that the captured ark was deposited and triumphed over the idol (1 Sam. v. 1-9). Ashdod was assigned to Judah; but many centuries passed before this and the other Phi
judged to denote ineffectual means, labour to no purpose. Compare Hos. xii. 1.
listine towns were subdued [PHILISTINES]; and ASHES, in the symbolical language of Scripit appears never to have been permanently in ture, denote human frailty (Gen. xviii. 27), deep possession of the Judahites, although it was dis- humiliation (Esth. iv. 1; Jonah iii. 6; Matt. xi. mantled by Uzziah, who built towns in the terri-21; Luke x. 13; Job xlii. 6; Dan. ix. 3). To tory of Ashdod (1 Chron. xxvi. 6). It is men- sit in ashes was a token of grief and mourning tioned to the reproach of the Jews returned from (Job ii. 8; Lam. iii. 16; Ezek. xxvii. 30), as captivity, that they married wives of Ashdod, was also strewing them upon the head (2 Sam. with the result that the children of these mar-xiii. 10; Isa. xli. 3) [MOURNING]. Feeding on riages spoke a mongrel dialect, half Hebrew and ashes,' in Ps. cii. 9, appears to express grief, as half in the speech of Ashdod (Neh. xiii. 23, 24). of one with whose food the ashes with which he These facts indicate the ancient importance of is covered mingle. But in Isa. xliv. 20, feedAshdod. It was indeed a place of great strength;ing on ashes,' which afford no nourishment, is and being on the usual military route between Syria and Egypt, the possession of it became an object of importance in the wars between Egypt and the great northern powers. Hence it was secured by the Assyrians before invading Egypt (Isa. i. 1, sq.); and at a later date it was taken by Psammetichus, after a siege of twenty-nine years, being the longest siege on record. The destruction of Ashdod was foretold by the prophets (Jer. xxv. 20; Amos i. 8; iii. 9; Zeph. ii. 4; Zach. ix. 6); and was accomplished by the Maccabees (1 Macc. v. 68: x. 77-84; xi. 4). It was, however, rebuilt, and was included in the dominion of Herod the Great, who bequeathed it, with two other towns, to his sister Salome. The evangelist Philip was found at Ashdod after he had baptized the Ethiopian eunuch (Acts viii. 40). Azotus early became the seat of a bishopric; and we find a bishop of Azotus present at the councils of Nice, of Chalcedon, A.D. 359, of Seleucia, and of Jerusalem, A.D. 536.
Ashdod exists at present as an inconsiderable village. The site is marked by ancient ruins, such as broken arches, and partly buried fragments of marble columns; there is also what has the appearance of a very ancient khan, the principal chamber of which had obviously, at some former period, been used as a Christian chapel. The place is still called Esdud.
ASH'ER (happy), one of the sons of Jacob by Zilpah, the handmaid of Leah (Gen. xxx. 13; XXXV. 26), and founder of one of the twelve tribes (Num. xxvi. 44-47). Asher had four sons and one daughter (Gen. xlix. 20; Deut. xxxiii. 24). On quitting Egypt the number of adult males in the tribe of Asher was 41,500, which made it the ninth of the tribes (excluding Levi) in numbers-Ephraim, Manasseh, and Benjamin only being below it. But before entering Canaan an increase of 11,900-an increase exceeded only by Manasseh-raised the number to 53,400, and made it the fifth of the tribes in population (comp. Num. i. 40, 41; xxvi. 47). The inheritance of this tribe lay in a very fruitful country, on the sea-coast, with Lebanon north, Carmel and the tribe of Issachar south, and Zebulon and Naphtali cast. It is usually stated that the whole of the Phoenician territories, including Sidon, were assigned to this tribe. But there are various considerations which militate against this conclusion. The Asherites were unable to gain possession for a long time of the territories actually assigned them, but dwelt among the Canaanites, the inhabitants of the land' (Judg. i. 32); and, as it is not usual to say of a larger number that it dwells among the smaller, the inference is, that they expelled but comparatively few of the Canaanites, leaving them, in fact, a majority of the population.'
ASH'IMA (2 Kings xvii. 30), only once mentioned in the Old Testament as the god of the people of Hamath. The Babylonian Talmud, and the majority of Jewish writers, assert that Ashima was worshipped under the form of a goat without wool; the Talmud of Jerusalem says, under that of a lamb. Elias Levita, a learned Rabbi of the sixteenth century, assigns the word the sense of ape. Jurieu and Calmet have proposed other fanciful conjectures. The opinion that this idol had the form of a goat, however, appears to be the one best supported by arguments as well as by authorities.
ASH'KENAZ (Gen. x. 3), and ASHCHENAZ (Jer. li. 27), the name of a son of Gomer, son of Japhet, and of a tribe of his descendants. In Jeremiah it is placed with Ararat and Minni, provinces of Armenia; whence it is probable that Ashkenaz was a province of Armenia; or at least that it lay not far from it, near the Cancasus, or towards the Black Sea.
ASH/PENAZ, chief of the eunuchs of king Nebuchadnezzar, to whose care Daniel and his companions were consigned, and who changed their names (Dan. i. 3, 7).
ASH TAROTH and ÁSHTAROTH-CARNAIM, a town of Bashan (Deut. i. 4; Josh. ix. 10) which was included in the territory of the half-tribe of Manasseh (Josh. xiii. 31), and was assigned to the Levites (1 Chron. vi. 71). It is placed by Eusebius 6 miles from Edrei, the other principal town of Bashan, and 25 miles from Bostra. The town existed in the time of Abraham (Gen. xiv. 5); and as its name of Ashtaroth appears to be derived from the worship of the moon under that name [see the following article], there is little need to look farther than the crescent of that luminary and its symbolical image for an explanation of the addition CARNAIM, or rather KARNAIM, horned.' Astaroth-Carnaim is now usually identified with Mezareib, the situation of which corresponds accurately enough with the distances given by Eusebius. Here is the first castle on the great pilgrim road from Damascus to Mecca, which was built about 340 years ago by the Sultan Selim. There are no dwellings beyond the castle, and within it only a few mud huts upon the flat roofs of the warehouses, occupied by the peasants who cultivate the neighbouring grounds.
ASH TORETH (1 Kings xi. 5) is the name of a goddess of the Sidonians (1 Kings xi. 5, 33), but also of the Philistines (1 Sam. xxxi. 10), whose worship was introduced among the Israelites during the period of the judges (Jud. ii. 13; 1 Sam. vii. 4), was celebrated by Solomon himself (1 Kings xi. 5), and was finally put down
by Josiah (2 Kings xxiii. 13). She is frequently mentioned in connection with Baal, as the corresponding female divinity (Jud. ii. 13); and, from the addition of the words, and all the host of heaven,' in 2 Kings xxiii. 4, it is probable that she represented one of the celestial bodies. There is also reason to believe that she is meant by the queen of heaven,' in Jer. vii. 18; xliv. 17; whose worship is there said to have been solemnised by burning incense, pouring libations, and offering cakes.
According to the testimonies of profane writers, the worship of this goddess, under different names, existed in all countries and colonies of the Syro-Arabian nations. She was especially the chief female divinity of the Phoenicians and Syrians, and there can be no doubt was worshipped also at ancient Carthage. The classical writers, who usually endeavoured to identify the gods of other nations with their own, rather than to discriminate between them, have recognised several of their own divinities in Ashtoreth. Thus she was considered to be Juno or Venus, especially Venus Urania.
As for the power of nature, which was worshipped under the name of Ashtoreth, Creuzer and Münter assert that it was the principle of conception and parturition-that subordinate power which is fecundated by a superior influence, but which is the agent of all births throughout the universe. As such, Münter maintains that the original form under which Ashtoreth was worshipped was the moon; and that the transition from that to the planet Venus was unquestionably an innovation of a later date. It is evident that the moon alone can be properly called the queen of heaven; as also that the dependent relation of the moon to the sun makes it a more appropriate symbol of that sex, whose functions as female and mother, throughout the whole extent of animated nature, were embodied in Ashtoreth [BAAL].
as peculiar seats of (probably, her) lascivious rites (Isa. i. 29; lxv. 3; 1 Kings xiv. 23; Hos iv. 13; Jer. ii. 20; iii. 13). She also had celebrated temples (1 Sam. xxxi. 10).
As to the form and attributes with which Ash
toreth was represented, the oldest known image, that in Paphos, was a white conical stone. In Canaan she was probably represented as a cow. In Phoenicia, she had the head of a cow or bull, as she is seen on coins. Sanchoniathon states that Astarte adopted the head of a bull as a symbol of her sovereignty; he also accounts for the star which is her most usual emblem, by saying that when she passed through the earth, she found a fallen star, which she consecrated in Tyre. At length, she was figured with the human form, as Lucian expressly testifies of the Syrian goddess-which is substantially the same
The rites of her worship, if we may assume their resembling those which profane authors describe as paid to the cognate goddesses, in part agree with the few indications in the Old Test., in part complete the brief notices there into an accordant picture. The cakes mentioned in Jer. vii. 18, were also known to the Greeks, and were by them made in the shape of a sickle, in reference to the new moon. Among animals, the dove, the crab, and, in later times, the lion, were sacred to her; and among fruits, the pomegranate. No blood was shed on her altar; but male animals, and chiefly kids, were sacrificed to her. The most prominent part of her worship, however, consisted of those libidinous orgies, which Augustine, who was an eye-witness of their horrors in Carthage, describes with such indignation. Her priests were eunuchs in women's attire (1 Kings xiv. 24), and women (Hos. iv. 14), who, like the Bayaderes of India, prostituted themselves to enrich the temple of this goddess. The prohibition in Deut. xxiii. 18 appears to allude to the dedication of such funds to such a purpose. As for the places consecrated to her worship, although the numerous passages in which the authorized version erroneously speaks of groves, are to be deducted (as is explained below), there are yet several occasions on which gardens and shady trees are mentioned
as Ashtoreth; and she is so found on coins of Severus, with her head surrounded with rays, sitting on a lion, and holding a thunderbolt and a sceptre in either hand.
To come now to ASHERAH (Judg. vi. 25). Selden was the first who endeavoured to show that this word-which in the LXX. and Vulgate is generally rendered grove, in which our authorized version has followed them-must in some places, for the sake of the sense, be taken to mean a wooden image of Ashtoreth; and it may now be regarded as a settled point that Asherab is a name, and also denotes an image of this goddess.
Some of the arguments which support this opinion are briefly as follows. It is argued that Asherah almost always occurs with words which denote idols and statues of idrls; that the verbs which are employed to express the making an Asherah, are incompatible with the idea of a grove, as they are such as to build, to shape, to erect; that the words used to denote the destruc tion of an Asherah are those of breaking to pieces subverting; that the image of Asherah is placed in the Temple (2 Kings xxi. 7); and that Asherah is coupled with Baal in precisely the same way as Ashtoreth is: comp. Judg. ii. 13; x. 6; 1 Kings xviii. 19; 2 Kings xxiii. 4; and particularly Judges iii. 7, and ii. 13, where the plural form of both words is explained as of itself denoting images of this goddess. Besides, Selden objects that the signification grove is even incongruous in 2 Kings xvii. 10, where we read of setting up groves under every green tree.' On the strength of these arguments most modern scholars assume that Asherah is a name for Ashtoreth, and that it denotes more especially the relation of that goddess to the planet Venus, as the lesser star of