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But since we left off to burn incense to the queen of heaven, and to pour out drink offerings unto her, we have wanted all things, and have been consumed by the sword and by the famine.

New Defender's Study Bible Notes

44:18 queen of heaven. The so-called “queen of heaven” was the chief goddess of the pagan pantheon, known by various names in the various nations, notably Ishtar in Babylon, but also Astarte, Ashtoreth, Venus and others. Both a fertility and military goddess, she was commonly worshipped, especially by pagan women, through sexual rites. King Josiah had, for a time, been able to stop these idolatrous practices, and now these apostate Jews were arguing that this had been the cause of their calamities. Strangely, even in Christian lands, there has been a modern revival of worship of the “goddess” among the feminists of the New Age movement, and even some evangelicals have begun to argue that God is our universal “mother” as well as heavenly Father. There is even a danger that Mary, the mother of Jesus, might be exalted in the minds of some to the status of deity.

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