also known as: Inanna, Anat, Isis, Astarte, and possibly Asherah
The name “Ishtar” does not appear in the Bible. This is the goddess of sexuality, war and political power of Akkadian, Sumeria, Mesopotamia, and Assyria, etc.
One of her common symbols is the lion. She is also associated with the planet Venus.
Queen of Heaven
Hebrew: השמים מלכת —Malkath haShamayim —meaning: Queen of Heaven
Ishtar is referred to in ancient cultures as “Queen of Heaven,” and is mentioned by that name in the Bible (Jeremiah 7:18; 44:17, 25).
The children gather wood, the fathers kindle fire, and the women knead dough, to make cakes for the queen of heaven. And they pour out drink offerings to other gods, to provoke me to anger. —Jeremiah 7:18 ESV
Then all the men who knew that their wives had made offerings to other gods, and all the women who stood by, a great assembly, all the people who lived in Pathros in the land of Egypt, answered Jeremiah:
—Jeremiah 44:15-18 ESV
“As for the word that you have spoken to us in the name of the Lord, we will not listen to you. But we will do everything that we have vowed, make offerings to the queen of heaven and pour out drink offerings to her, as we did, both we and our fathers, our kings and our officials, in the cities of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem. For then we had plenty of food, and prospered, and saw no disaster. But since we left off making offerings to the queen of heaven and pouring out drink offerings to her, we have lacked everything and have been consumed by the sword and by famine.”
The title “Queen of Heaven” is still used by some modern pagans, referring to what they call The Great Goddess.
Biblical scholar F.F. Bruce links Ishtar, Tammuz, Innini, Ma (Cappadocia), Mami, Dingir-Mah, Cybele, Agdistis, Pessinuntica and the Idaean Mother to the cult of a great Mother-goddess (F.F. Bruce, “Babylon and Rome,” The Evangelical Quarterly, Vol. 13, (October 15, 1941), pp. 241-261.).
Article Version: June 17, 2019