[b-hebrew] Re: [ANE] question about Ashtarte/ Asharah and Book of Ester

Dora Smith villandra at austin.rr.com
Sun Oct 12 15:04:51 EDT 2003

I posted this to three lists the wrong way; I forgot to put them in the bcc

Can anyone who replies please make sure the reply only goes to their own
list; it will save alot of bounces.


Dora Smith
Austin, Texas
villandra at austin.rr.com
----- Original Message -----
From: "Dora Smith" <villandra at austin.rr.com>
To: "b-hebrew list" <b-hebrew at lists.ibiblio.org>; "ANE list"
<ane at listhost.uchicago.edu>; "ancient bible history"
<ancientbiblehistory at yahoogroups.com>
Sent: Sunday, October 12, 2003 1:51 PM
Subject: [ANE] question about Ashtarte/ Asharah and Book of Ester

> The book of Ester is believed to be a story built around an early spring
> festival taht featured the Canaanite great mother goddess Ashtarte/
> In the fashion of all great mother goddesses as their societies morphed
> patriarchal societies with patriarchal hierarchies of gods, she became the
> wife of teh high god and the mother god, one of whose most important
> functions was to intervene in her role as queen of heaven, with the moody
> male king god, on behalf of people.   This transformation occurred
> from the Aztecs to the Virgin Mary.
> The book of Ester places Ester in a role that looks startlingly like that
> Ashtarte, as she marries a mood-disordered king, and then intervenes with
> him for the lives of her people.   Her depiction as a pure maiden is
> consistent with depictions of the Aztec mother of the sun god, the Mithran
> mother of Mithras, and the Virgin Mary.
> The goddess Ashtarte, Canaanite form Asherah, was widespread across the
> ancient Near East.   The Persian invasion of the Near East would have
> converted Ashtarte to a pure and demure maiden whose main function was to
> intervene with gods and moody kings for her people if Near Eastern myth
> not already pretty much done that.
> In Canaan, among the Israelites, and in atleast some circles and aspects
> official Yahwistic cult, Ashtarte/ Asherah continued to play her role as
> wife of El, Queen of Heaven, and confusingly enough, wife or sister of
> Ba'al, until the Return from Exile, when the Puritan reformers stamped out
> all elements of traditional religion.
> I am wondering what story or myth from Babylonian, Persian, or even
> Israelite life, the book of Ester is modelled on.
> Someone please fess up.   It seems like such a story almost certainly
> exists.
> Yours,
> Dora Smith
> Austin, Texas
> villandra at austin.rr.com

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