Images of Asherah: Yahweh’s Consort?

Sidebar to: Was Yahweh Worshiped as the Sun?

Two scenes on the Taanach cult stand may depict the goddess known as Asherah, Yahweh’s consort: the nude woman on tier 4 (above) and the tree of life flanked by two ibex on tier 2 (below). A sacred tree remarkably similar to that on tier 2 also appears on Pithos A from Kuntillet ‘Ajrud (drawing below). On both tier 2 and the pithos, the standing, horned animals rest their front hooves on the trees’ branches and nibble the blossoms. The two trees, symbolizing growth and revival, share many characteristics despite the 150-year discrepancy in their dates.

Images of lions frequently accompany portrayals of the goddess and her cult symbol the asherah, or tree of life, as in all three of these depictions. Fierce lions appear on the edges of the Taanach scenes, while a maned lion stands below the pithos drawing.

Join the BAS Library!

Already a library member? Log in here.

Institution user? Log in with your IP address.