Baalim and Ashtaroth

1 Samuel 7:4

7:4 Baalim and Ashtaroth. The worship of Baal and Ashtaroth, the chief god and goddess of the Canaanites, as well as the Moabites, the Phoenicians, and many others, had been a snare to Israel ever since the death of Joshua (Judges 2:13) and continued until the time they were carried into exile in Babylon (Jeremiah 32:28,29). “Baalim” and “Ashtaroth” are plural nouns, referring to the images of these supposed deities (actually mere personifications of natural phenomena—Ashtaroth, for example, was the goddess of fertility) or to their various manifestations. The worship of these deities was commonly accompanied by unspeakably cruel and licentious rites, and largely accounts for God’s command to Israel to destroy them out of the land.

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