By His Asherah He Has Saved Him

Credit: BiblePlaces.com

Leviticus chapters 6-7 continue to list the sacrifices that Israel must offer YWHW, and YHWH only. Yet in 1 Kings & 2 Kings numerous kings engaged in the worship of other gods. Ahaziah worshipped Baal, and the kings Jehoahaz, Jehoash and Jeroboam II each “did not turn away from the sins of Jeroboam son of Nebat.” In the Kingdom of Judah, the kings Jehoram and Ahaziah “followed the ways of the kings of Israel.”

There is evidence to show that in the Iron IIB period, in the 8th century BCE, people in Judah worshipped gods other than YHWH. At Kuntillet ‘Ajrud, archaeologists found an inscription that mentions “Yahweh of Samaria and his Asherah.” There is similar evidence from Khirbet el-Qom.

Khirbet el-Qom is an archaeological site situated between Hebron and Lachish, in the former territory of the ancient Kingdom of Judah. At Khirbet el-Qom archaeologists found two tombs carved into the rock that date from the mid to late 8th century BCE, the Iron IIB period. Each of these tombs contained inscriptions. One of the inscriptions includes the following text:

Uriyahu the honourable has written this

Blessed is/be Uriyahu by Yahweh

And…from his oppressors by his Asherah he has saved him

As at Kuntillet ‘Ajrud, YWHW is connected with Asherah. In Canaanite worship, Asherah was the consort of the god Baal. This tomb inscription may suggest that this is the way some in the Kingdom of Judah saw YHWH, as having a goddess as a consort.

The image above is of Khirbet el-Qom.