In the history of Israel’s rebellion against God they frequently worshiped Ashtaroth, the goddess of the Zidonians. Soon after Joshua led them into the Promised Land they mixed with the heathen who dwelt there and became spiritually corrupted. “And they forsook the Lord God of their fathers, which brought them out of the land of Egypt, and followed other gods, of the gods of the people that were round about them, and bowed themselves unto them, and provoked the Lord to anger.
And they forsook the Lord, and served Baal and Ashtaroth”. Judges 2:12,13. As time went on, they frequently worshiped Ashtaroth and Baal together. (See Judges 10:6, I Samuel 7:3,4, and I Samuel 12:10). The time of the kings was no better. Solomon was the first king to worship Ashtaroth (I Kings 11:5), but many kings followed his example.
Ashtaroth was worshiped as the goddess of love and fertility. They also believed she was connected with blessings on the land. Therefore, women especially chose to worship her. When the rebel Judahites kidnapped Jeremiah and the two princesses (one of whom was heir to the throne), and took them to Egypt, the Jewish women started burning incense to the queen of heaven (Jeremiah 44:17). Dr. Scoffield, in his reference Bible, identified the queen of heaven as Ashtaroth. The men consented to their wives worshiping her. Jeremiah warned them that they would all die as a result of this rebellion against the Lord. “Behold, I will watch over them for evil, and not for good: and all the men of Judah that are in the land of Egypt shall be consumed by the sword and by the famine, until there be an end of them”. Jeremiah 44:27. However, they did not all die. As pointed out in the Wycliffe Bible Commentary, some of them repented and turned back to the Lord, because there was a Jewish community in Egypt in the inter-testament period that worshiped the Lord. When Joseph took Mary and the baby Jesus to Egypt, they probably went to this Jewish community.
The law shall go forth from Jerusalem, and righteousness shall be established in all the earth.
The worship of Ashtaroth, even though extinguished from the Jewish people, continued in the world. The Babylonians worshiped her as Ishtar and the Greeks as Astarte. In the Christian dispensation, it continued as Mary worship. Today we have a form of goddess worship intruding into the environmental movement. Some people, when they speak of “mother earth” or “mother nature”, attach a spiritual meaning to the words. I am not saying God is against the environmental movement. God loves this beautiful planet He created and will judge those who would destroy it. “And the nations were angry, and thy wrath is come, and the time of the dead, that they should be judged, and that thou shouldest give reward unto thy servants the prophets, and to the saints, and them that fear thy name, small and great; and shouldest destroy them which destroy the earth”. Revelation 11:18. However, environmentalism without the worship of Jesus Christ is usually misguided.
The true “queen of heaven” is revealed in scripture. She is the Holy City, or the New Jerusalem. “But Jerusalem which is above is free, which is the mother of us all”. Galatians 4:26. She is coming from heaven with Jesus Christ when He returns. “And I John saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband”. Revelation 21:2. We will be blessed and spiritually nourished in the New Jerusalem. “Rejoice ye with Jerusalem, and be glad with her, all ye that love her: rejoice for joy with her, all ye that mourn for her. That ye may suck, and be satisfied with the breasts of her consolations; that ye may milk out, and be delighted with the abundance of her glory.
For thus saith the Lord, Behold, I will extend peace to her like a river, and the glory of the Gentiles like a flowing stream: then shall ye suck, ye shall be borne upon her sides, and be dandled upon her knees. As one whom his mother comforteth, so will I comfort you; and ye shall be comforted in Jerusalem”. Isaiah 66:10-13. The “queen of heaven” will be the ruling city over all the earth and the capital city of the Kingdom of Israel. The law shall go forth from Jerusalem, and righteousness shall be established in all the earth.
Editor’s Note: Our esteemed writer from Western Canada dispatched his December article to us but gave us a few thoughts on the state of world conditions as he sees them. It is an interesting commentary and no doubt will interest many of our readers. “Hi Brooks. I hope things are going well for you. This is the last article of the year and I am wondering what next year will bring. The U.S. elections are coming up and there are riots in France; the U.S. is selling 60 billion dollars worth of armaments to Saudi Arabia. Canada is purchasing fighter jets. Iran is working on nuclear weapons while the Israelis are working on computer viruses to destroy the Iranian computer system. Obama is pushing for peace between the Israelis and Palestinians while the Israelis build more houses in Arab territory. Then there is the massive debt of the industrialized nations. Also the crazy weather everywhere. The list goes on and on. We are living in momentous times and it seems like our people only care about the almighty dollar for them and their families.”