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Deuteronomy 7:5

Context
7:5 Instead, this is what you must do to them: You must tear down their altars, shatter their sacred pillars, 1  cut down their sacred Asherah poles, 2  and burn up their idols.

Deuteronomy 12:3

Context
12:3 You must tear down their altars, shatter their sacred pillars, 3  burn up their sacred Asherah poles, 4  and cut down the images of their gods; you must eliminate their very memory from that place.

Deuteronomy 16:21

Context
Examples of Legal Cases

16:21 You must not plant any kind of tree as a sacred Asherah pole 5  near the altar of the Lord your God which you build for yourself.

1 sn Sacred pillars. The Hebrew word (מַצֵּבֹת, matsevot) denotes a standing pillar, usually made of stone. Its purpose was to mark the presence of a shrine or altar thought to have been visited by deity. Though sometimes associated with pure worship of the Lord (Gen 28:18, 22; 31:13; 35:14; Exod 24:4), these pillars were usually associated with pagan cults and rituals (Exod 23:24; 34:13; Deut 12:3; 1 Kgs 14:23; 2 Kgs 17:10; Hos 3:4; 10:1; Jer 43:13).

2 sn Sacred Asherah poles. A leading deity of the Canaanite pantheon was Asherah, wife/sister of El and goddess of fertility. She was commonly worshiped at shrines in or near groves of evergreen trees, or, failing that, at places marked by wooden poles (Hebrew אֲשֵׁרִים [’asherim], as here). They were to be burned or cut down (Deut 12:3; 16:21; Judg 6:25, 28, 30; 2 Kgs 18:4).

3 sn Sacred pillars. These are the stelae (stone pillars; the Hebrew term is מַצֵּבֹת, matsevot) associated with Baal worship, perhaps to mark a spot hallowed by an alleged visitation of the gods. See also Deut 7:5.

4 sn Sacred Asherah poles. The Hebrew term (plural) is אֲשֵׁרִים (’asherim). See note on the word “(leafy) tree” in v. 2, and also Deut 7:5.

5 tn Heb “an Asherah, any tree.”

sn Sacred Asherah pole. This refers to a tree (or wooden pole) dedicated to the worship of Asherah, wife/sister of El and goddess of fertility. See also Deut 7:5.



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