the grove

2 Kings 23:6

23:6 the grove. The “grove” in the house of the Lord was obviously not a group of trees. The Hebrew word is asherah. There are indications that tree stumps in these groves were carved with various lewd figures and that the prostitute priestesses and priests of Baal led in ritualistic sexual activities in the groves, thereby encouraging the “worshippers” to do likewise. Thus the asherah became identified with wooden images associated with Baal’s fertility rites, and the same name thus became identified with the god’s female consort. For such a wooden image of Asherah or Ashtoreth (equivalent also to Astarah) to be installed in the house of the Lord, with all her immoral ceremonies carried out there, was indeed the height of blasphemy and had certainly incurred God’s wrath.

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