An atheism Facebook page I follow posted a link to a Huffington Post article stating rather matter-of-factly that God had a wife and she was intentionally edited out of the Bible. Here we go again… this reminds me of those people that say Jesus is a copy of the Egyptian god Horus. I read the article and all I could do was shake my head. A commenter on Facebook said it best:
“What a load of rot – it seems that theologians are scrambling over themselves these days to make more and more outrageous claims to garner their moment of fame in the spotlight.”
The part that makes me mad is how misleading the article is. They don’t quote any supporting scriptures from the Bible, but they claim there are remnants of Asherah in the bible. They say things like:
“In the Book of Kings, we’re told that a statue of Asherah was housed in the temple and that female temple personnel wove ritual textiles for her.”
Let’s just look at a passage from the book of Kings.
“He removed the Asherah pole from the LORD’s temple and took it outside Jerusalem to the Kidron Valley, where he burned it.He smashed it to dust and then threw the dust in the public graveyard.He tore down the quartersof the male cultic prostitutes in the LORD’s temple, where women were weaving shrinesfor Asherah.” 2 Kings 23:6,7
We can conclude from this verse that the article is partially correct, an idol to Asherah was in the Lord’s temple, and women wove shrines or ritual textiles for her. However, they try to deceive people by saying it was housed in the temple, like it’s supposed to be there or they were told to put it there. Read 2 Kings 21 and you will see that king Manasseh, who did “a great amount of evil in the site of the Lord”, was the one who brought the idols and Asherah poles back into the culture of Judah and into the temple. It’s not until Josiah takes the throne that we see a change. In 2 Kings 22:8 a scroll of the law is discovered, and it changes everything! In chapter 23 king Josiah has all the idols removed from the temple and destroyed. Josiah restores God as the only God to be worshiped in Judah.
The Huffington Post article tries to shock people and re-enforce it’s claim of Asherah being God’s wife by saying “the ancient Isrealites were, in fact, polytheists.” That statement is partially true. The ancient Israelites had many periods in their history of polytheism. They had a bad habit of worshiping the gods of their captors. However, like we see from the story in 2 Kings, they always return to monotheistic worship of the one true God, and Jews to this day are monotheists. Anybody who knows even a little from the Old Testament should not be surprised to hear that polytheistic relics from ancient Israel have been found. Any time they were not hearing from God it seems they worshiped all kinds of idols to try to get guidance.
Let’s go back to that scroll of the law the Josiah read that caused him to destroy the idols. People (mainly atheists) try to say the ancient Israelites were polytheistic, and the bible has been edited to be monotheistic. If that’s the case, why would Josiah destroy the idols? The scroll he read should have been polytheistic. If Asherah was God’s wife, why would he have her idols and relics destroyed? The fact is that scroll told Josiah there is one true God and idol worship is forbidden!
To make the atheist argument for them, those chapters upon chapters (books upon books?) of Israel’s back and forth between monotheistic worship of God, and polytheistic worship of God and idols would have been fabricated and none of that really happened. Maybe it was added to make things more believable. Maybe it’s just extra stuff to make the bible thicker and more interesting. I guess that makes sense to an atheist… after all these are the people that believe that nothing became something and every living thing we see came about by evolution.
Our translations of the bible are more accurate today than they have ever been. We have more manuscripts to compare and verify. We have a better understanding of the ancient languages the Bible was written in. The Bible says there is and always has been one God.