One in Messiah Congregation
קָּהָל אֶחָד בְּמָּשִׁיחַ
Part of the Congregation of Israel
Shabbat Shalom שַׁבָּת שָׁלוֹם
Today is the Shabbat, God’s Time
Today we use the Gregorian calendar from Pope Gregory; from the 1500’s.
Today is November 16, 2013
November -- the ninth month (now the 11th month)
Middle English Novembre
Latin Novembris mensis "ninth month"
Novembris had 30 days, until Numa when it had 29 days, until Julius when it became 30 days long.
Yehovah has His own calendar
We are now in the 9th month Chislev, 11th day
Zech.7 And it came to pass in the fourth year of king Darius, that the word of Yehovah came unto Zechariah in the fourth day of the ninth month, even in Chisleu;
לַ חֹדֶשׁ הַתְּשִׁעִי־־בְּ כִסְלֵו
(Part of November & December)
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Some people ask me about the Torah Portions.
We do not follow the Torah Messianic or Judaism portions made up lists made up by rabbis anymore.
It is not a sin to follow it is just scripture. However make sure you do not leave out the chapters pertaining to the Messiah, ex. Isa. 53...
We read the whole bible.
However this week’s Torah Portions for those who need to use it:
This week - Vayishlach וישלח "He sent"
Torah: Genesis 32:3-36:43
Prophets: Hosea 11:7-12:12, Obadiah 1:1-21
Gospel: John 1:19-2:12
“Tis the season to be pagan” is coming, and already around us!
Some Pagan religions are having classes at their facilities to address these (false) issues.
Let's talk a little about Thanksgiving, there are many different accounts.
The Pilgrims left Plymouth, England, on September 6, 1620 for the New World.
Although filled with uncertainty and peril, it offered both civil and religious liberty. Arriving in Massachusetts in late November, the Pilgrims sought a suitable landing place. 1621
The Pilgrims were a specific group of Calvinist Christians.
After King Henry VIII separated the Church of England from the rest of the Catholic Church, many English subjects were dissatisfied with the king acting as the highest church authority.
Encouraged by the Protestant Reformation in Germany, Holland, and Switzerland, these dissatisfied subjects separated from the Church of England in favor of a type of Christianity without a church hierarchy with the Bible as the only authority (as they interpreted it).
Without a hierarchy, many different interpretations of the Christian faith were practiced by various separatist groups.
As a whole, these groups can also be called puritans.
One group, originally called the Leiden Congregation (because they left England and lived in Leiden, Holland for several years), believed that they could not successfully live with their beliefs among the English (and the English authorities also pressured the government of Holland to remove them).
This group set out to live as a congregation in the new world.
They became known as the Pilgrims because they saw themselves as settlers in a promised land with a promised future.
The Pilgrim Church no longer exists as a single entity. They were a type of Calvinists and puritans. Their religion is similar to today's Baptists, Congregationalists, and Methodists. None of the God of Israel
Fast forward a bit in time...
In 1789, following a proclamation issued by President George Washington, America celebrated its first Day of Thanksgiving to God under its new constitution.
That same year, the Protestant Episcopal Church, of which President Washington was a member, announced that the first Thursday in November would become its regular day for giving thanks, "unless another day be appointed by the civil authorities." Yet, despite these early national proclamations, official Thanksgiving observances usually occurred only at the State level.
Much of the credit for the adoption of "of a later ANNUAL national Thanksgiving Day may be attributed to Mrs. Sarah Joseph Hale, the editor of Godey's Lady's Book.
For thirty years, she promoted the idea of a national Thanksgiving Day, contacting President after President until President Abraham Lincoln responded in 1863 by setting aside the last Thursday of November as a national Day of Thanksgiving.
Over the next seventy-five years, Presidents followed Lincoln's precedent, annually declaring a national Thanksgiving Day.
Then, in 1941, Congress permanently established the fourth Thursday of each November as a national holiday.
The problem with this is today "ANYONE" does Thanksgiving.
Whatever religion you have or do not have, family get-togethers, drinking beer, eating turkey, eating your left over Halloween pumpkin (pumpkin pie) and watching football and the parade has replaced the God of Israel.
Thank god? Which god?
Sad to say, not many people celebrate or even know about the "Feasts of the Lord".
Today in the year 2013 we have many, many religions that hold many, many Gospels and many other gods.
Which one do you have?
Which one did you get married under?
I doubt it was the God of Israel!
This might seem a little difficult for you to understand, but if you put a little thought to what I’m saying, you can understand that the God of the Baptist is very different than the God of the Catholics and the God of the church of Christ is totally different than all the other Protestant religions.
First, I’d like to dispel some false doctrines
The name Jesus does not come from the name Zeus. These two words do not sound alike.
etymology : The origin and historical development of a linguistic form as shown by determining its basic elements, earliest known use, and changes in form and meaning, tracing its transmission from one language to another, identifying its cognates in other languages, and reconstructing its ancestral form where possible, the branch of linguistics that deals with etymologies.
As you can see, there is no etymological relationship between these two words.
It is clearly seen that different letters are used in the spelling of these two words.
English Greek English transliteration and sound
Jesus Ιησους Iisous pronounced ee-ay-sooce
Zeus Ζευς Zeys pronounced Zeys
In short, I suggest you learn some Greek before you make this foolish argument.
Let’s examine the names Jesus / Yeshua and Jah / Yah
Spellings of some names in Hebrew
Yah - יָהּ
Yeshua - יֵשׁוּעַ
Notice from the right to the left, the first 2 consonant letters, they are different in Yah and Yeshua
יֵשׁ - Y SH
יָהּ Y H
Just by this we can conclude the names are pronounced differently.
יֵשׁוּעַ = Yeshua
יֵשׁוּעַ = Yeshua is 30 times in TaNaK
Most people in the world have a different God then we do.
Here are a few examples:
This is 2Kgs.17 – read the whole chapter
Here are some serious verses to consider
For so it was, that the children of Israel had sinned against Yehovah their
God, which had brought them up out of the land of Egypt, from under the hand of
Pharoah king of Egypt, and
had feared other gods,
 And walked in the statutes of the heathen, whom Yehovah cast out from before the children of Israel, and of the kings of Israel, which they had made.
 And the children of Israel did secretly those things that were not right against Yehovah their God, and they built them high places in all their cities, from the tower of the watchmen to the fenced city.
 And they set them up images and groves in every high hill, and under every green tree:
And there they burnt incense in all the high places, as did the heathen whom Yehovah
carried away before them; and wrought wicked things to provoke Yehovah to
 For they served idols, whereof Yehovah had said unto them, Ye shall not do this thing.
Notwithstanding they would not hear, but
hardened their necks, like to the neck of their fathers, that did not believe
in Yehovah their God.
 And they rejected his statutes, and his covenant that he made with their fathers, and his testimonies which he testified against them; and they followed vanity, and became vain, and went after the heathen that were round about them, concerning whom Yehovah had charged them, that they should not do like them.
 And they left all the commandments of Yehovah their God, and made them molten images, even two calves, and made a grove, and worshipped all the host of heaven, and served Baal.
 And they caused their sons and their daughters to pass through the fire, and used divination and enchantments, and sold themselves to do evil in the sight of Yehovah, to provoke him to anger.
And so it was at the beginning of their dwelling there, that they feared not Yehovah: therefore Yehovah sent
lions among them, which slew some of them.
 Howbeit every nation made gods of their own, and put them in the houses of the high places which the Samaritans had made, every nation in their cities wherein they dwelt.
 And the men of Babylon made Succoth-benoth, and the men of Cuth made Nergal, and the men of Hamath made Ashima,
 And the Avites made Nibhaz and Tartak, and the Sepharvites burnt their children in fire to Adrammelech and Anammelech, the gods of Sepharvaim.
 So they feared Yehovah,(NOT YEHOVAH) and made unto themselves of the lowest of them priests of the high places, which sacrificed for them in the houses of the high places.
 They feared Yehovah, (NOT YEHOVAH) and served their own gods, after the manner of the nations whom they carried away from thence.
 So these nations feared Yehovah, (NOT YEHOVAH) and served their graven images, both their children, and their children's children: as did their fathers, so do they unto this day.
Another gospel, another Jesus (Yeshua) or another spirit is not a new thing.
A new doctrine started right in the Kingdom of Heaven.
Satan brought this doctrine down to earth.
Satan always finds his followers.
Isa.14[ 12] How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer , son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations![ 13] For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north:[ 14] I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High . Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit.
Luke.10[ 18] And he said unto them, I ( Jesus / Yeshua ) beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven.
Thou art the X anointed cherub that covereth no more
Ezek.28[ 11] Moreover the word of Yehovah came unto me, saying,[12 ] Son of man, take up a lamentation upon the king of Tyrus, and say unto him, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Thou sealest up the sum, full of wisdom, and perfect in beauty. Thou hast been in Eden the garden of God ; every precious stone was thy covering, the sardius, topaz, and the diamond, the beryl, the onyx, and the jasper, the sapphire, the emerald, and the carbuncle, and gold: the workmanship of thy tabrets and of thy pipes was prepared in thee in the day that thou wast created.[ 14] Thou art the anointed cherub that covereth; and I have set thee so: thou wast upon the holy mountain of God; thou hast walked up and down in the midst of the stones of fire . Thou wast perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created, till iniquity was found in thee.[ 16] By the multitude of thy merchandise they have filled the midst of thee with violence, and thou hast sinned: therefore I will cast thee as profane out of the mountain of God: and I will destroy thee, O covering cherub , from the midst of the stones of fire.[ 17] Thine heart was lifted up because of thy beauty, thou hast corrupted thy wisdom by reason of thy brightness: I will cast thee to the ground , I will lay thee before kings, that they may behold thee.[ 18] Thou hast defiled thy sanctuaries by the multitude of thine iniquities, by the iniquity of thy traffick; therefore will I bring forth a fire from the midst of thee, it shall devour thee, and I will bring thee to ashes upon the earth in the sight of all them that behold thee.[ 19] All they that know thee among the people shall be astonished at thee: thou shalt be a terror, and never shalt thou be any more.
Satan is relentless
2Cor.11[ 1] Would to God ye could bear with me a little in my folly: and indeed bear with me.[ 2] For I am jealous over you with godly jealousy: for I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ. But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Messiah.
 For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, you might well bear with him.
Why are you ready to receive this?
such are false apostles, deceitful workers,
transforming themselves into the apostles of Messiah.
 And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.
 Therefore it is no great thing if Satan’s ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.
Gal.1[ 6] I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Messiah unto
another gospel:[7 ] Which is not
another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Messiah.
 But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.
 As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed.
Rev.12[ 3] And there appeared another wonder in heaven; and behold a great red dragon , having seven heads and ten horns, and seven crowns upon his heads. And his tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven, and did cast them to the earth:
 And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought
against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels,
 And prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven.
 And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.
 And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser, Satan of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night.
 And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.
 Therefore rejoice, ye heavens, and ye that dwell in them.
Woe to the inhabiters of the earth and of the sea! for the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time.
 And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Yeshua the Messiah.
Also False People bring false or another - messages to you
Acts.20[ 28] Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God , which He, Yeshua hath purchased with His own blood.[29 ] For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock.[ 30] Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them.
2Pet.2:[1 ] But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction.[2 ] And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of. And through covetousness shall they with "feigned words" make merchandise of you: whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not.
Rom.16[ 17] Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them . For they that are such serve not our Lord Yeshua the Messiah, but their own belly; and by "good words" and "fair speeches" deceive the hearts of the simple.
Acts.8[ 9] But there was a certain man, called Simon, which beforetime in the same city used sorcery, and bewitched the people of Samaria, giving out that himself was some great one:[ 10] To whom they all gave heed, from the least to the greatest, saying, This man is the great power of God.[11 ] And to him they had regard, because that of long time he had bewitched them with sorceries.
Acts.5[34 ] Then stood there up one in the council, a Pharisee, named Gamaliel, a doctor of the law, had in reputation among all the people, and commanded to put the apostles forth a little space;[35 ] And said unto them, Ye men of Israel, take heed to yourselves what ye intend to do as touching these men.[36 ] For before these days rose up Theudas, boasting himself to be somebody; to whom a number of men, about four hundred, joined themselves: who was slain; and all, as many as obeyed him, were scattered, and brought to nought.[37 ] After this man rose up Judas of Galilee in the days of the taxing, and drew away much people after him: he also perished; and all, even as many as obeyed him, were dispersed.
Acts.17[ 16] Now while Paul waited for them at Athens, his spirit was stirred in him, when he saw the city wholly given to idolatry.
 Therefore disputed he in the synagogue with the Jews, and with the devout persons, and in the market daily with them that met with him.
 Then certain philosophers of the Epicureans, and of the Stoicks, encountered him. And some said, What will this babbler say? other some, He seemeth to be a setter forth of strange gods: because he preached unto them Jesus, and the resurrection.
 And they took him, and brought him unto Areopagus, saying, May we know what this new doctrine, whereof thou speakest, is?
 For thou bringest certain strange things to our ears: we would know therefore what these things mean.
 (For all the Athenians and strangers which were there spent their time in nothing else, but either to tell, or to hear some new thing.)
Matt.15[ 9] But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.
Matt.16[ 12] Then understood they how that he bade them not beware of the leaven of bread, but of the doctrine of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees.
Eph.4[ 14] That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;
Col.2[ 22] Which all are to perish with the using;) after the commandments and doctrines of men?
1Tim.1[ 3] As I besought thee to abide still at Ephesus, when I went into Macedonia, that thou mightest charge some that they teach no other doctrine , Neither give heed to fables and endless genealogies, which minister questions, rather than godly edifying which is in faith: so do.
1Tim.4[ 1] Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils;
2Tim.4[1 ] I charge thee therefore
before God, and the Lord Yeshua the Messiah, who shall judge the quick and the
dead at his appearing and his kingdom;
 Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.
 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;[4 ] And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.
Heb.13  Be not carried about with divers and strange doctrines
2John.1[ 10] If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine
(but another doctrine), receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed:
 For he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds.
Rev.2[ 14] But I have a few things against thee, because thou hast there them that hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balac to cast a stumblingblock before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed unto idols, and to commit fornication.[15 ] So hast thou also them that hold the doctrine of the Nicolaitans, which thing I hate.
Beware of Mother Goddess Worship
Easter = Astarte, one of the titles of Beltis, "The Queen of Heaven’’ is found on Assyrian monuments as ‘‘Ishtar’’
Goddess of spring
Fertile rabbits and colored Easter eggs
Ashtoreth the goddess of the Zidonians
The great goddess Diana
Sabbath Queen Doctrine in Judaism
I have a Catholic Bible and they call Mary the Queen of Heaven
All this below is a cover-up of the Feasts of Yehovah
Easter – fertility, goddesses
The pagan worship of Easter (another form of the Queen of Heaven)
Let’s look back at 2008
The Gregorian calendar is the most widely used calendar in the world today.
It is a reform of the Julian calendar, first proposed by the Calabrian doctor Aloysius Lilius, and decreed by Pope Gregory XIII, for whom it was named, on 24 February 1582 by papal bull Inter gravissimas.
This is what happens, every few years, in the Gregorian calendar, made-up in the 1500's, the calendar we use each day of our lives.
"Check your Gregorian calendar for 2008"
March 23 - 2008 - Easter (pagan name) - or resurrection day - should be "First Fruits"
April 20 - 2008 - Passover, when the Messiah Yeshua (Jesus) dies
I hope you see this Gregorian calendar has Messiah "rising from the dead" almost "a month before He dies".
Think that over…
Ashtoreth the goddess of the Zidonians - "goddesses"
 But king Solomon loved many strange women, together with the daughter of Pharaoh, women of the Moabites, Ammonites, Edomites, Zidonians, and Hittites;
 Of the nations concerning which Yehovah said unto the children of Israel, Ye shall not go in to them, neither shall they come in unto you: for surely they will turn away your heart after their gods: Solomon clave unto these in love.
 And he had seven hundred wives, princesses, and three hundred concubines: and his wives turned away his heart.
 For it came to pass, when Solomon was old, that his wives turned away his heart after other gods: and his heart was not perfect with Yehovah his God, as was the heart of David his father.
 For Solomon went after Ashtoreth the goddess of the Zidonians, and after Milcom the abomination of the Ammonites.
 And Solomon did evil in the sight of Yehovah, and went not fully after Yehovah, as did David his father.
 Then did Solomon build an high place for Chemosh, the abomination of Moab, in the hill that is before Jerusalem, and for Molech, the abomination of the children of Ammon.
 And likewise did he for all his strange wives, which burnt incense and sacrificed unto their gods.
 And Yehovah was angry with Solomon, because his heart was turned from Yehovah God of Israel, which had appeared unto him twice,
 And had commanded him concerning this thing, that he should not go after other gods: but he kept not that which Yehovah commanded.
 Because that they have forsaken me, and have worshipped Ashtoreth the goddess of the Zidonians, Chemosh the god of the Moabites, and Milcom the god of the children of Ammon, and have not walked in my ways, to do that which is right in mine eyes, and to keep my statutes and my judgments, as did David his father.
The great goddess Diana (NOT)
 After these things were ended, Paul purposed in the spirit, when he had passed through Macedonia and Achaia, to go to Jerusalem, saying, After I have been there, I must also see Rome.
 So he sent into Macedonia two of them that ministered unto him, Timotheus and Erastus; but he himself stayed in Asia for a season.
 And the same time there arose no small stir about that way.
 For a certain man named Demetrius, a silversmith, which made silver shrines for Diana, brought no small gain unto the craftsmen;
 Whom he called together with the workmen of like occupation, and said, Sirs, ye know that by this craft we have our wealth.
 Moreover ye see and hear, that not alone at Ephesus, but almost throughout all Asia, this Paul hath persuaded and turned away much people, saying that they be no gods, which are made with hands:
 So that not only this our craft is in danger to be set at nought; but also that the temple of the great goddess Diana should be despised, and her magnificence should be destroyed, whom all Asia and the world worshippeth.
 And when they heard these sayings, they were full of wrath, and cried out, saying, Great is Diana of the Ephesians.
 And the whole city was filled with confusion: and having caught Gaius and Aristarchus, men of Macedonia, Paul's companions in travel, they rushed with one accord into the theatre.
 And when Paul would have entered in unto the people, the disciples suffered him not.
 And certain of the chief of Asia, which were his friends, sent unto him, desiring him that he would not adventure himself into the theatre.
 Some therefore cried one thing, and some another: for the assembly was confused; and the more part knew not wherefore they were come together.
 And they drew Alexander out of the multitude, the Jews putting him forward. And Alexander beckoned with the hand, and would have made his defence unto the people.
 But when they knew that he was a Jew, all with one voice about the space of two hours cried out, Great is Diana of the Ephesians.
 And when the townclerk had appeased the people, he said, Ye men of Ephesus, what man is there that knoweth not how that the city of the Ephesians is a worshipper of the great goddess Diana, and of the image which fell down from Jupiter?
 Seeing then that these things cannot be spoken against, ye ought to be quiet, and to do nothing rashly.
 For ye have brought hither these men, which are neither robbers of churches, nor yet blasphemers of your goddess.
 Wherefore if Demetrius, and the craftsmen which are with him, have a matter against any man, the law is open, and there are deputies: let them implead one another.
 But if ye inquire any thing concerning other matters, it shall be determined in a lawful assembly.
 For we are in danger to be called in question for this day's uproar, there being no cause whereby we may give an account of this concourse.
 And when he had thus spoken, he dismissed the assembly.
"The queen of heaven in scripture"
Jer. 7  The children gather wood, and the fathers kindle the fire, and the women knead their dough, to make cakes to the queen of heaven, and to pour out drink offerings unto other gods, that they may provoke me to anger.
Jer. 44  But we will certainly do whatsoever thing goeth forth out of our own mouth, to burn incense unto the queen of heaven, and to pour out drink offerings unto her, as we have done, we, and our fathers, our kings, and our princes, in the cities of Judah, and in the streets of Jerusalem: for then had we plenty of victuals, and were well, and saw no evil.
 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.
 And when we burned incense to the queen of heaven, and poured out drink offerings unto her, did we make her cakes to worship her, and pour out drink offerings unto her, without our men?
 Thus saith Yehovah of hosts, the God of Israel, saying; Ye and your wives have both spoken with your mouths, and fulfilled with your hand, saying, We will surely perform our vows that we have vowed, to burn incense to the queen of heaven, and to pour out drink offerings unto her: ye will surely accomplish your vows, and surely perform your vows.
Now a surprise in Judaism
The Sabbath Queen doctrine
Beware of made up doctrines like the Queen of Heaven, the Shechinah, the female counterpart of God or the Sabbath Queen doctrine.
Below are some examples of how evil they are.
The word Shechinah is 176 times in the man-made Talmud.
During Friday night prayer services, do you leave the doors open to welcome the Sabbath Queen? I hope not.
What does the Sabbath Queen represent in Judaism?
Shabbat is compared esoterically to a bride given to us by God, whom we long for her arrival - (source: Talmud Shabbat 119a).
Though some do open the door, the common custom is just turn around toward the door - (source: "Igrot Moshe" by R' M. Feinstein, O.C. III 45; V 16). With blessings from Jerusalem,
Rabbi Shraga Simmons
The Liturgy treats the Sabbath as a bride and queen, or, as we see in the Mishneh Torah, a king.
Shabbat Table: Challah, Wine and Candles"
The Nature of Shabbat
The Sabbath (or Shabbat, as it is called in Hebrew) is one of the best known and least understood of all Jewish observances. People who do not observe Shabbat think of it as a day filled with stifling restrictions, or as a day of prayer like the Christian Sabbath. But to those who observe Shabbat, it is a precious gift, a day of great joy eagerly awaited throughout the week, a time when we can set aside all of our weekday concerns and devote ourselves to higher pursuits. In Jewish literature, poetry and music, Shabbat is described as a bride or queen, as in the popular Shabbat hymn Lecha Dodi Likrat Kallah (come, my beloved, to meet the [Sabbath] bride). It is said "more than Israel has kept Shabbat, Shabbat has kept Israel."
Talmud Mas. Shabbath 119a
I made it a festive day for the scholars. Raba said: May I be rewarded for that when a disciple came before me in a lawsuit, I did not lay my head upon my pillow before I had sought [points in] his favour.1 Mar son of R. Ashi said: I am unfit to judge in a scholar's lawsuit. What is the reason? He is as dear to me as myself, and a man cannot see [anything] to his own disadvantage.
R. Hanina robed himself and stood at sunset of Sabbath eve [and] exclaimed, "Come and let us go forth to welcome the queen Sabbath." 2 R. Jannai donned his robes, on Sabbath eve and exclaimed, "Come, O bride, Come, O bride!"
Rabbah son of R. Huna visited the home of Rabbah son of R. Nahman, [and] was offered three se'ahs of oiled cakes. "Did you know that I was coming?" asked he. Are you then more important to us than it [the Sabbath]? replied he.
Talmud - Mas. Baba Kama 32b
"Come, let us go forth to meet the bride, the queen!" Some [explicitly] read:". . . to meet Sabbath, the bride, the queen." R. Jannai, [however,] while dressed in his Sabbath attire used to remain standing and say: "Come thou, O queen, come thou, O queen!"
Ode to the Sabbath Queen
Drew Family Weekend 1999
Akiva D. Roth, Ed.M.
Assistant Chaplain/Hillel Director
As the sun begins to set
on our campus Drew
It is time to gather and bid you Adieu
We take the time to acknowledge the role you play
On this our special holy day
Whether one attends
prayer services in an auditorium
Or takes a nice stroll in the arboretum
Each of us recognizes the uniqueness of the Sabbath day
In his or her own special way
Your presence graces us
each and every week
It is your company and inspiration we seek
You permit us to depart from our daily grind
And allow us to nurture the mind
The rest of the week we
spend entrenched in technology
But on Shabbat we engage in spirituality
Through changing seasons and times you do remain
From our weekly visit you do not abstain
Each week you usher in our "island in time"
And with us every Friday night you dine
We welcome you into our
On the Sabbath day we set aside our strife
Your presence is our weekly gift
That gives us that spiritual lift
We all observe Shabbat in a different manner
But to you that is no matter
The time has come to end
From our "Shabbat oasis" we must adjourn
We have now finished our piece
Now it is time to say: "I bid you peace."
Sabbath Queen, Author Jerusalem Fohner
What does it mean when we ask the Sabbath Bride to come?
Throughout Jewish liturgy, G-d is referred to in two aspects; male and female. Where the Sabbath is concerned, it is often likened to the time when the Shechinah, the female aspect of the Light force of the Creator, is betrothed to the male aspect of the Light force. In the Shabbat hymn "Lecha Dodi", we are inviting the Shabbat Queen to come to her wedding canopy. When the two aspects of the Lightforce are united, the entire universe is in harmony, allowing for the tremendous Light of Shabbat to be revealed in our world.
TROUBADOUR LADY OF LOVE
In the Medieval Jewish Kabbalah
The Jewish mystical "Book Bahir" (Brilliance) appeared ca. 1176 in Provence (Languedoc) in Southern France, that is, in the exact time and geographical location of some of the most intense troubadour activity.
The Bahir is one of the books of the early Jewish mystical "Tradition" called the "Kabbalah." Like the songs of sections 130-132 of the "Bahir" are modelled on the troubadour's pursuit of the courtly lady -- here especially as regards the pursuit of the mystery of love as symbolic of the pursuit of Divine Wisdom. Translators have also rooted these passages in Christian Gnosticism.
The following excerpt from THE EARLY KABBALAH, edited and introduced by Joseph Dan, Preface by Moshe Idel, translated by Ronald C. Kiener (NY: Paulist Press, 1986).
And what is THE WHOLE EARTH IS FULL OF HIS GLORY? It is all that land which was created in the first day, which is above, corresponding to the Land of Israel, full of the divine Glory. And what is it? Wisdom (Chokmah), as it is written: "Honor (kavod, Glory) of the wise will inherit." And it is said: "Blessed be the Glory of God from Its Place."
And what is this divine Glory? This can be explained by a parable: A king had a great lady in his room. She was loved by all his knights, and she had sons. They all came every day to see the face of the king, and they blessed him. They asked him: "Our mother, where is she?" He said to them, "You cannot see her now." They said; "Blessed is she wherever she is."
What is the meaning of that which is written FROM ITS PLACE? Because no one knows Its place. This is like a king's daughter who came from afar, and nobody knew where she came from. When they saw that she was a fine lady, beautiful and just in all that she did, they said: "She undoubtedly was taken from the side of the light, for her deeds give light to the world." They then asked her: "Where are you from?" She answered: "From my place." They said: "If so, the people of your place must be great! Blessed are you and blessed is your place!
LITURGICAL MUSIC: THE SABBATH QUEEN
The Sabbath Queen, Psalm 29 on CD titled "Water & Baptism" by Venance Fortunat (mixed vocal ensemble), directed by Anne-Marie Deschamps. l'empreiente digitale/Harmonia Mundi ED13060, 1996.
From the CD liner notes:
"[This] Recitation of Psalm 29 [is] the musical version belonging to the Greek Jews whose ancestors had been driven out of Spain. The chant is very similar to others found in oriental Sephardic communities. It was transcribed early this century [20th] by the famous musicologist Abraham Tsvi Idelsohn (in the THESAURUS OF JEWISH MUSIC). It is one of a group of chants sung to welcome the Sabbath; following the 16th c. kabbalist movement, the Sabbath is compared to a queen whom one goes to meet at sunset every Friday evening."
Anyone reading a non-Hebrew text of Psalm 29 will wonder why it was chosen to celebrate a "Sabbath Queen." Yet if read in Hebrew it is evident that the entire purpose of the psalm is to lead to and rejoice in a final resting place/time -- "YHWH on the flood sits and sits YHVH king forever." In Jewish mysticism the repetition of "sits and sits" (yashab ve-yesheb) deepens and stretches out this sense of completion. In addition YHVH is here named as "king" and therefore the king's "resting forever" is interpreted as His partner and queen.
In the Kabbalist book called ZOHAR (The Book of Enlightenment), which was first distributed in Spain in the late 13th century, there is a hymn called "The Secret of Sabbath" which helps to further identify the Sabbath rest as goddess and queen (see ZOHAR, translation and introduction by Daniel Chanan Matt, Paulist Press, 1983)
THE SECRET OF SABBATH
The Secret of Sabbath:
She is Sabbath!
United in the secret of One
to draw down upon Her
the secret of One.
The prayer for the
entrance of Sabbath:
The holy Throne of Glory is united in the secret of One,
prepared for the High Holy King to rest upon Her.
When Sabbath enters She is alone,
separated from the Other Side,
all judgments removed from Her.
Basking in the oneness of holy light,
She is crowned over and over to face the Holy King.
All powers of wrath and masters of judgment
flee from Her.
Her face shines with a light from beyond;
She is crowned below by the holy people,
and all of them are crowned with new souls.
Then the beginning of prayer
to bless Her with joy and beaming faces:
Barekbu ET YHVH* ha-Mevorakh ,
"Bless ET YHVH, the-Blessed One,"
ET YHVH, blessing Her first.
(*ET-YHVH is another name for 'Shekinah' (the feminine Divine Presence). In the Kabbalah, ET stands for Aleph to Tav, like our Alpha to Omega, or A to Z. Here ET refers to the song itself as the ultimate speech, hymn or prayer. According to the notes of Daniel Chanan Matt's translation, this passage from the ZOHAR is recited in the Sephardic liturgy on Sabbath Eve.)
Illustrations: Artemisia Gentileschi (1593-1652): Detail of JUDITH and WOMAN PLAYING A LUTE
Queen Sabbath and its Relationship to Orthodox Women:
Orthodox Jews often refer to the Sabbath as a woman, calling it "Queen Sabbath."
This terminology is used to express the great amount of anticipation that leads up to this day of rest. The use of the word Queen then has a dual significance. The Sabbath is sometimes also portrayed as a bride.
This image is especially important to Orthodox women, who for the most part find their primary role in the Jewish community through their position as wife and mother. The Sabbath is primarily focused on finding rest and renewal while spending time with family and friends. The prayers are centered around blessings for the family. This makes the day a time where the primary roles of the women are recognized and praised. In the Reform and Conservative traditions women have a variety of roles through which they can express their religiosity, so the Sabbath becomes less significant in these branches in terms of heightening the role of women.
Blu Greenberg points out that lighting the candles on the Sabbath is one of three mitzvot that women are specifically commanded to perform. (Made up)
Greenberg looks to education and an appreciation for the role that women already do have in Orthodox Judaism as the place to begin before looking for new ways to further the role of women.
Also we can begin to understand the amazing statement made in the Zohar.
The Zohar explains on a deeper level that what happens on Shavuot can be understood as matrimony.
The Kabbalists explain that there are two main spiritual sources named The Holy One blessed be He, and his female counterpart the Shechinah. They connect or separate depending on our spiritual actions when we do positive spiritual actions they unite, and that union draws Light from the supernal worlds, which then flows down to us. If we do negative actions we cause them to separate, this reduces the amount of Light we receive. On Shavuot the amount of Light that is revealed is tremendous, this is described as the marriage and union of The Holy One blessed be He and the Shechinah. This is very beautiful and powerful time.
One of the best ways to connect to this Light is by staying up the entire night of Shavuot and reading from the Torah. This reveals great Light in the world more specifically through the reading we are preparing and beautifying the Shechinah the Bride for the supernal wedding.
Rabbi Shimon in the Zohar says: "Sit beloved, sit and lets prepare the bride on this night, for everybody who connects to her on this night, will be protected for the entire year above and below, and he will complete his year in peace."
This is a beautiful and revelatory statement. Rabbi Shimon is proclaiming here that if we connect to Shavuot we are guaranteeing ourselves a peaceful and blessed life for the entire year. What an amazing gift! And as is true in all spiritual things the greater our understanding and joy of this amazing gift the greater the Light, which we draw from it, is.
Remember, “tis the season to be pagan” is coming, and already around us!
Some Pagan religions are having classes at their facilities to address these (false) issues.
Please do not follow any made up traditions, feasts or events.
If you want to read various encyclopedias and other sources:
Let’s talk a little about the word Easter
The English word Easter is derived from the names "Eostre" - "Eastre" - "Astarte" or Ashtaroth. Astarte was introduced into the British Isles by the Druids and is just another name for Beltis or Ishtar of the Chaldeans and Babylonians.
The book of Judges records that "the children of Israel did evil ...in the sight of Yehovah, and served Baalim, and Ashtaroth, ...and forsook Yehovah, and served not Him."
Easter is just another name for Ashtaroth "The Queen of Heaven." Easter was not considered a "Christian" festival until the fourth century. Early Christians celebrated Passover on the 14th day of the first month and a study of the dates on which Easter is celebrated will reveal that the celebration of Easter is not observed in accordance with the prescribed time for the observance of Passover.
After much debate, the Nicaean council of 325 A.D. decreed that "Easter" should be celebrated on the first Sunday, after the full moon, on or after the vernal equinox. Why was so much debate necessary if "Easter" was a tradition passed down from the Apostles? The answer is that it was not an Apostolic institution, but, an invention of man! They had to make up some rules.
History records that spring festivals in honor of the pagan fertility goddesses and the events associated with them were celebrated at the same time as "Easter". (Ex. eggs, rabbits)
In the year 399 A.D. the Theodosian Code attempted to remove the pagan connotation from those events and banned their observance.
The pagan festival of Easter originated as the worship of the sun goddess, the Babylonian Queen of Heaven who was later worshipped under many names including Ishtar, Cybele, Idaea Mater (the Great Mother), or Astarte for whom the celebration of Easter is named.
Easter is not another name for the Passover or Firstfruits and is not celebrated at the Biblically prescribed time.
In the KJV, Acts 12:4, cross out the word Easter and replace it with the feast of the Passover - Unleavened bread
WORSHIP OF EASTER
Reading from Compton’s Pictured Encyclopedia, 1948, Volume 4, page 140, we find that Easter is the Greatest Festival of the Christian Church, which commemorates the resurrection of Jesus the Messiah __ which festival was named after the ancient Anglo Saxon Goddess of Spring!
EASTER: The greatest festival of the Christian church commemorates the Resurrection of Jesus the Messiah. It is a movable feast, that is, it is not always held on the same date. The church council of Nicea (A.D. 325) decided that Easter should be celebrated on the first Sunday after the first full moon on or after the vernal equinox (March 21). Easter can come as early as March 22 or as late as April 25.
The name Easter comes from the ancient Anglo-Saxon goddess of spring, Eostre or Ostara, in whose honor an annual spring festival was held.
It is a fully documented historical fact that the day which was chosen by the so-called Christian Church to celebrate this resurrection, was a day which had been celebrated by pagans from antiquity!
Yes, the only difference between these two celebrations is the fact that its name was changed to veneer it with Christian Respectability!
It is simply no secret that EASTER originated with the WORSHIP OF A PAGAN GODDESS!
This fact is presented almost every time one researches the word Easter.
Compton’s Encyclopedia, 1956, Volume 4, says this about Easter:
‘‘Many Easter customs come from the Old World...colored eggs and rabbits have come from pagan antiquity as symbols of new life...our name ‘Easter’ comes from ‘Eostre’, an ancient Anglo Saxon goddess, originally of the dawn. In pagan times an annual spring festival was held in her honor. Some Easter customs have come from this and other pre-christian spring festivals.’’
Reading about this Pre-Christian spring festival from Funk & Wagnall’s Standard Reference Encyclopedia, 1962, Volume 8, page 2940, we learn:
Although Easter is a Christian festival, it embodies traditions of an ancient time antedating the rise of Christianity. The origin of its name is lost in the dim past; some scholars believe it probably is derived from Eastre, Anglo-Saxon name of a Teutonic goddess of spring and fertility, to whom was dedicated Eastre monath, corresponding to April. Her festival was celebrated on the day of the vernal equinox, and traditions associated with the festival survive in the familiar Easter bunny, symbol of the fertile rabbit, and in the equally familiar colored Easter eggs originally painted with gay hues to represent the sunlight of spring.
Such festivals, and the myths and legends which explain their origin, abounded in ancient religions. The Greek myth of the return of the earth-goddess Demeter from the underworld to the light of day, symbolizing the resurrection of life in the spring after the long hibernation of winter, had its counterpart, among many others, in the Latin legend of Ceres and Persephone.
The Phrygians believed that their all-powerful deity went to sleep at the time of the winter solstice, and they performed ceremonies at the spring equinox to awaken him with music and dancing. The universality of such festivals and myths among ancient peoples has led some scholars to interpret the resurrection of Messiah as a mystical and exalted variant of fertility myths. (sad)
The Dictionary of Mythology, Folklore, and Symbols, Part 1, page 487 tells us more about this Spring Festival:
‘‘It incorporates some of the ancient Spring Equinox ceremonies of sun worship in which there were phallic rites and spring fires, and in which the deity or offering to the deity was eaten...The festival is symbolized by an ascension Lily...a chick breaking its shell, the colors white and green, the egg, spring flowers, and the Rabbit. The name is related to Astarte, Ashtoreth, Eostre and Ishtar, goddess who visited and rose from the underworld. Easter yields ‘Enduring Eos’... ‘Enduring Dawn’.’’
Part of this spring festival centered around Phallic Rites.
Collier’s Encyclopedia, 1980, Volume 9, page 622, tells us of the Babylonian Ishtar Festival Phallic Rites:
The Ishtar Festivals were symbolical of Ishtar as the goddess of love or generation. As the daughter of Sin, the moon god, she was the Mother Goddess who presided over child birth; and women, in her honor, sacrificed their virginity on the feast day or became temple prostitutes, their earnings being a source of revenue for the temple priests and servants.
We learn about these Temple Prostitutes from the Interpreter’s Dictionary of The Bible, Volume 3, pages 933-934:
a. The roll of the sacred prostitute in the fertility cult. The prostitute who was an official of the cult in ancient Israel and nearby lands of biblical times exercised an important function. This religion was predicated upon the belief that the processes of nature were controlled by the relations between gods and goddess. Projecting their understanding of their own sexual activities, the worshipers of these deities, through the use of imitative magic, engaged in sexual intercourse with devotees of the shrine, in the belief that this would encourage the gods and goddesses to do likewise. Only by sexual relations among the deities could man’s desire for increase in herds and fields, as well as in his own family, be realized. In Israel the gods Baal and Asherah were especially prominent (see BAAL; ASHERAH; FERTILITY CULTS). These competed with Yehovah the God of Israel and, in some cases, may have produced hybrid Yahweh-Baal cults. Attached to the shrines of these cults were priests as well as prostitutes, both male and female. Their chief service was sexual in nature__the offering of their bodies for ritual purposes.
Sexual relations for ritual purposes was the ceremony for the Fertility Cults. The Interpreter’s Dictionary, Volume 2, page 265 says:
FERTILITY CULTS. The oldest common feature of the religions of the ancient Near East was the worship of a great mother-goddess, the personification of fertility. Associated with her, usually as a consort, was a young god who died and came to life again, like the vegetation which quickly withers but blooms again. The manner of the young god’s demise was variously conceived in the myths: he was slain by another god, by wild animals, by reapers, by self-emasculation, by burning, by drowning. In some variations of the theme, he simply absconded. His absence produced infertility of the earth, of man, and of beast. His consort mourned and searched for him. His return brought renewed fertility and rejoicing.
In Mesopotamia the divine couple appear as Ishtar and Tammuz, in Egypt as Isis and Osiris. Later in Asia Minor, the Magna Mater is Cybele and her young lover is Attis. In Syria in the second millennium b.c., as seen in the Ugaritic myths, the dying and rising god is Baal-Hadad, who is slain by Mot (Death) and mourned and avenged by his sister/consort, the violent virgin Anath. In the Ugaritic myths there is some confusion in the roles of the goddesses. The great mother-goddess Asherah, the wife of the senescent chief god El, seems on the way to becoming the consort of the rising young god Baal, with whom we find her associated in the O.T. Ashtarte also appears in the Ugaritic myths, but she has a minor and undistinguished role.
The TaNaK furnishes abundant evidence as to the character of the religion of the land into which the Israelites came. Fertility rites were practiced at the numerous shrines which dotted the land, as well as at the major sanctuaries. The Israelites absorbed the Canaanite ways and learned to identify their god with Baal, whose rains brought fertility to the land. A characteristic feature of the fertility cult was sacral sexual intercourse by priests and priestesses and other specially consecrated persons, sacred prostitutes of both sexes, intended to emulate and stimulate the deities who bestowed fertility. The agricultural cult stressed the sacrifice or common meal in which the gods, priests, and people partook. Wine was consumed in great quantity in thanksgiving to Baal for the fertility of the vineyards. The wine also helped induce ecstatic frenzy, which was climaxed by self-laceration, and sometimes even by self-emasculation. Child-sacrifice was also a feature of the rites. It was not simply a cult of wine, women, and song, but a matter of life and death in which the dearest things of life, and life itself, were offered to ensure the ongoing of life.
Reading on page 103 of The Two Babylons, by Alexander Hislop, 1959, we find that Easter and Ishtar are the same:
Then look at Easter. What means the term Easter itself? It bears its Chaldean origin on its very forehead. Easter is nothing else than ‘‘Astarte’’, one of the titles of Beltis, ‘‘The Queen of Heaven’’ whose name, as ‘‘pronounced’’ by the people of Nineveh, was evidently identical with that now in common use in this country. That ‘name’, as found by Layard on the Assyrian monuments, is ‘‘Ishtar’’.
The Two Babylons by Alexander Hislop tells us of the doctrines of Semiramis:
‘‘She (Semiramis) taught that he (Nimrod the Babe) was a god-child; that he was Nimrod, their leader reborn; that she and her child were divine. This story was widely known in ancient Babylon and developed into a well established worship__The Worship of The Mother and Child!
Numerous monuments of Babylon show the goddess Mother Semiramis with her child Tammuz in her arms.’’
ISHTAR (pronounced EASTER) of Assyria was worshiped in Pagan Antiquity during her spring festival!
Collier’s Encyclopedia, 1980, Volume 15, page 748, gives us this information:
Ishtar, goddess of love and war, is the most important goddess of the Sumero-Akkadian pantheon. Her name in Sumerian is Inanna (lady of heaven). She was sister of the sun god Shamash and daughter of the moon god Sin. Ishtar was equated with the planet Venus. Her symbol was a star inscribed in a circle. As goddess of war, she was often represented sitting upon a lion. As goddess of physical love, she was patron of the temple prostitutes. She was also considered the merciful mother who intercedes with the gods on behalf of her worshipers. Throughout Mesopotamian history she was worshiped under various names in many cities; one of the chief centers of her cult was Uruk.
Astarte of Phoenicia was the offshoot of Ishtar of Assyria. To the Hebrews, this abomination was known as Ashtoreth__Ashtoroth.
From Collier’s Encyclopedia, Volume 3, page 13, we read:
ASHTAROTH - the plural of the Hebrew ‘Ashto-reth, the Phoenician-Canaanite goddess Astarte, deity of fertility, reproduction, and war . The use of the plural form probably indicates a general designation for the collective female deities of the Canaanites, just as the plural Baalim refer to the male deities.
Watson’s Biblical and Archaeological Dictionary, 1833, tells us more about this mother goddess, Ashtaroth:
ASHTAROTH, or ASTARTE, a goddess of the Zidonians. The word Ashtaroth properly signifies flocks of sheep, or goats; and sometimes the groves, or woods, because she was goddess of woods, and groves were her temples. In groves consecrated to her, such lasciviousness was committed as rendered her worship infamous. She was also called the queen of heaven; and sometimes her worship is said to be that of ‘‘the host of heaven.’’ She was certainly represented in the same manner as Isis, with cow’s horns on her head, to denote the increase and decrease of the moon. Cicero calls her the fourth Venus of the Syrians. She is almost always joined with Baal, and is called a god, the scriptures having no particular word to express a goddess.
It is believed that the moon was adored in this idol. Her temples generally accompanied those of the sun; and while bloody sacrifices or human victims were offered to Baal, bread, liquors, and perfumes were presented to Astarte. For her, tables were prepared upon the flat terrace-roofs of houses, near gates, in porches, and at crossways, on the first day of every month; and this was called by the Greeks, Hecate’s supper. Solomon, seduced by his foreign wives, introduced the worship of Ashtaroth into Israel; but Jezebel, daughter of the king of Tyre, and wife to Ahab, principally established her worship. She caused altars to be erected to this idol in every part of Israel; and at one time four hundred priests attended the worship of Ashtaroth, I Kings 18:7.
The Interpreter’s Dictionary, Volume 3, page 975, tells us of Ishtar’s role as The Queen of Heaven:
Ishtar, the goddess of love and fertility, who was identified with the Venus Star and is actually entitled ‘‘Mistress of Heaven’’ in the Amarna tablets. The difficulty is that the Venus Star was regarded in Israel as a male deity (see DAY STAR), though the cult of the goddess Ishtar may have been introduced from Mesopotamia under Manasseh. It is possible that Astarte, or ASHTORETH, the Canaanite fertility-goddess, whose cult was well established in Israel, had preserved more traces of her astral character as the female counterpart of Athtar than the evidence of the O.T. or the Ras Shamra texts indicates. The title ‘‘Queen of Heaven’’ is applied in an Egyptian inscription from the Nineteenth Dynasty at Beth-shan to ‘‘Antit,’’ the Canaanite fertility-goddess Anat, who is termed ‘‘Queen of Heaven and Mistress of the Gods.’’ This is the most active goddess in the Ras Shamra Texts, but in Israel her functions seem to have been taken over largely by Ashtoreth.
We find this information about Ashtoreth from The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia, 1979, Volume 1, pages 319-320:
ASHTORETH ash’te-reth [Heb. ‘astoret. pl. ‘astarôt; Gk. Astarte].
A goddess of Canaan and Phoenicia whose name and cult were derived from Babylonia, where Ishtar represented the evening and morning stars and was accordingly androgynous in origin. Under Semitic influence, however, she became solely female, although retaining a trace of her original character by standing on equal footing with the male divinities. From Babylonia the worship of the goddess was carried to the Semites of the West, and in most instances the feminine suffix was attached to her name; where this was not the case the deity was regarded as a male. On the Moabite Stone, for example, ‘Ashtar is identified with Chemosh, and in the inscriptions of southern Arabia ‘Athtar is a god. On the other hand, in the name Atargatis (2 Macc. 12:26), ‘Atar, without the feminine suffix, is identified with the goddess ‘Athah or ‘Athi (Gk. Gatis). The cult of the Greek Aphrodite in Cyprus was borrowed from that of Ashtoreth; that the Greek name also is a modification of Ashtoreth is doubtful. It is maintained, however, that the vowels of Heb. ‘astoret were borrowed from boset (‘‘shame’’) in order to indicate the abhorrence the Hebrew scribes felt toward paganism and idolatry.
In Babylonia and Assyria Ishtar was the goddess of love and war. An old Babylonian legend relates how the descent of Ishtar into Hades in search of her dead husband Tammuz was followed by the cessation of marriage and birth in both earth and heaven; and the temples of the goddess at Nineveh and Arbela, around which the two cities afterward grew, were dedicated to her as the goddess of war. As such she appeared to one of Ashurbanipal’s seers and encouraged the Assyrian king to march against Elam. The other goddesses of Babylonia, who were little more than reflections of a god, tended to merge into Ishtar, who thus became a type of the female divinity, a personification of the productive principle in nature, and more especially the mother and creatress of mankind.
In Babylonia Ishtar was identified with Venus. Like Venus, Ishtar was the goddess of erotic love and fertility. Her chief seat of worship was Uruk (Erech), where prostitution was practiced in her name and she was served with immoral rites by bands of men and women. In Assyria, where the warlike side of the goddess was predominant, no such rites seem to have been practiced, and instead prophetesses to whom she delivered oracles were attached to her temples.
From various Egyptian sources it appears that Astarte or Ashtoreth was highly regarded in the Late Bronze Age.
Reading on pages 412-413 of
Unger’s Bible Dictionary, we find this information about Ashtoreth-Astarte:
Ash'toreth (ash’to-reth), Astarte, a Canaanite goddess. In south Arabic the name is found as ‘Athtar (apparently from ‘athara, to be fertile, to irrigate), a god identified with the planet Venus. The name is cognate with Babylonian Ishtar, the goddess of sensual love, maternity and fertility. Licentious worship was conducted in honor of her. As Asherah and Anat of Ras Shamra she was the patroness of war as well as sex and is sometimes identified with these goddesses. The Amarna Letters present Ashtoreth as Ashtartu. In the Ras Shamra Tablets are found both the masculine form ‘Athtar and the feminine ‘Athtart. Ashtoreth worship was early entrenched at Sidon (I Kings 11:5, 33; II Kings 23:13). Her polluting cult even presented a danger to early Israel (Judg. 2:13; 10:6). Solomon succumbed to her voluptuous worship (I Kings 11:5; II Kings 23:13). The peculiar vocalization Ashtoreth instead of the more primitive Ashtaroth is evidently a deliberate alteration by the Hebrews to express their abhorrence for her cult by giving her the vowels of their word for ‘‘shame’’ (bosheth). M. F. U.
The Interpreter’s Dictionary, Volume 1, page 252 says:
The antipathy toward the Asherah on the part of the Hebrew leaders was due to the fact that the goddess and the cult object of the same name were associated with the fertility religion of a foreign people and as such involved a mythology and a cultus which were obnoxious to the champions of Yahweh.
Unger’s Bible Dictionary, page 412, gives us this information about Asherah:
Asherah (a-she’ra), plural, Asherim, a pagan goddess, who is found in the Ras Shamra epic religious texts discovered at Ugarit in North Syria (1929-1937), as Asherat, ‘‘Lady of the Sea’’ and consort of El. She was the chief goddess of Tyre in the 15th century b.c. with the appellation Qudshu, ‘‘holiness.’’ In the Old Testament Asherah appears as a goddess by the side of Baal, whose consort she evidently came to be, at least among the Canaanites of the South.
However, most Biblical references to the name point clearly to some cult object of wood, which might be worshiped or cut down and burned, and which was certainly the goddess’ image (I Kings 15:13; II Kings 21:7). Her prophets are mentioned (I Kings l8:19) and the vessels used in her service referred to (II Kings 23:4). Her cult object, whatever it was, was utterly detestable to faithful worshipers of Yahweh (I Kings 15:13) and was set up on the high places beside the ‘‘altars of incense’’ (hammanim) and the stone pillars (masseboth). Indeed, the stone pillars seem to have represented the male god Baal (cf. Judg. 6:28), while the cult object of Ashera, probably a tree or pole, constituted a symbol of this goddess (See W. L. Reed’s The Asherah in the Old Testament, Texas Christian University Press). But Asherah was only one manifestation of a chief goddess of Western Asia, regarded now as the wife, now as the sister of the principal Canaanite god El. Other names of this deity were Ashtoreth (Astarte) and Anath. Frequently represented as a nude woman bestride a lion with a lily in one hand and a serpent in the other, and styled Qudshu ‘‘the Holiness,’’ that is, ‘‘the Holy One’’ in a perverted moral sense, she was a divine courtesan. In the same sense the male prostitutes consecrated to the cult of the Qudshu and prostituting themselves to her honor were styled qedishim, ‘‘sodomites’’ (Deut. 23:18; 1 Kings 14:24; 15:12; 22:46). Characteristically Canaanite the lily symbolizes grace and sex appeal and the serpent fecundity (W. F. Albright, Archaeology and the Religion of Israel, Baltimore, John Hopkins Press, 1942, pages 68-94). At Byblos (Biblical Gebal) on the Mediterranean, north of Sidon, a center dedicated to this goddess has been excavated. She and her colleagues specialized in sex and war and her shrines were temples of legalized vice. Her degraded cult offered a perpetual danger of pollution to Israel and must have sunk to sordid depths as lust and murder were glamorized in Canaanite religion.
On page 413 of Unger’s Bible Dictionary,
we have found that Astarte is the Greek name for the Hebrew Ashtoreth. From Collier’s Encyclopedia, Volume 3, page 97, we find that Astarte-Ashtaroth is merely the Semitic Ishtar__which we have already learned is pronounced Easter:
ASTARTE [aesta’rti], the Phoenician goddess of fertility and erotic love. The Greek name, ‘‘Astarte’’ was derived from Semitic, ‘‘Ishtar,’’ ‘‘Ashtoreth.’’ Astarte was regarded in Classical antiquity as a moon goddess, perhaps in confusion with some other Semitic deity. In accordance with the literary traditions of the Greco-Romans, Astarte was identified with Selene and Artemis, and more often with Aphrodite. Among the Canaanites, Astarte, like her peer Anath, performed a major function as goddess of fertility.
Egyptian iconography, however, portrayed Astarte in her role as a warlike goddess massacring mankind, young and old. She is represented on plaques (dated 1700-1100 b.c.) as naked, in striking contrast to the modestly garbed Egyptian goddesses. Edward J. Jurji
In Ephesus from primitive times, this MOTHER goddess had been called DIANA, who was worshiped as the goddess of Virginity and Motherhood. She was said to represent the generative powers of nature, and so was pictured with many breasts. A tower shaped crown, symbolizing the Tower of Babylon, adorned her head:
Reading from Bible Manners And Customs, by James M. Freeman, 1972, page 451, we learn these facts about the Mother of all things:
‘‘The circle round her head denotes the nimbus (sin circle) of her glory, the griffins inside of which express its brilliancy. In her breasts are the twelve signs of the zodiac, of which those seen in front are the ram, bull, twins, crab, and lion; they are divided by the hours. Her necklace is composed of acorns, the primeval food of man. Lions are on her arms to denote her power, and her hands are stretched out to show that she is ready to receive all who come to her. Her body is covered with various breasts and monsters, as sirens, sphinxes, and griffins, to show that she is the source of nature, the mother of all things. Her head, hands, and feet are of bronze while the rest of the statue is of alabaster to denote the ever-varying light and shade of the moon’s figure... Like Rhea, she was crowned with turrets, to denote her dominion over terrestrial objects.’’
The English word Easter is derived from the names "Eostre" - "Eastre" - "Astarte" or Ashtaroth. Astarte was introduced into the British Isles by the Druids and is just another name for Beltis or Ishtar of the Chaldeans and Babylonians
Can you believe this?
Stay far away from all male and female pagan gods and their feasts