Mount of corruption
(2 Kings 23:13; Vulg., "mount of offence"), the name given to a
part of the Mount of Olives, so called because idol temples were
there erected in the time of Solomon, temples to the Zidonian
Ashtoreth and to the "abominations" of Moab and Ammon.
the moon goddess of the Phoenicians, representing the passive
principle in nature, their principal female deity; frequently
associated with the name of Baal, the sun-god, their chief male
deity (Judg. 10:6; 1 Sam. 7:4; 12:10). These names often occur
in the plural (Ashtaroth, Baalim), probably as indicating either
different statues or different modifications of the deities.
This deity is spoken of as Ashtoreth of the Zidonians. She was
the Ishtar of the Accadians and the Astarte of the Greeks (Jer.
44:17; 1 Kings 11:5, 33; 2 Kings 23:13). There was a temple of
this goddess among the Philistines in the time of Saul (1 Sam.
31:10). Under the name of Ishtar, she was one of the great
deities of the Assyrians. The Phoenicians called her Astarte.
Solomon introduced the worship of this idol (1 Kings 11:33).
Jezebel's 400 priests were probably employed in its service (1
Kings 18:19). It was called the "queen of heaven" (Jer. 44:25).
(1.) Heb. 'asherah, properly a wooden image, or a pillar
representing Ashtoreth, a sensual Canaanitish goddess, probably
usually set up in a grove (2 Kings 21:7; 23:4). In the Revised
Version the word "Asherah" (q.v.) is introduced as a proper
noun, the name of the wooden symbol of a goddess, with the
plurals Asherim (Ex. 34:13) and Asheroth (Judg. 3:13).
The LXX. have rendered _asherah_ in 2 Chr. 15:16 by "Astarte."
The Vulgate has done this also in Judg. 3:7.
(2.) Heb. 'eshel (Gen. 21:33). In 1 Sam. 22:6 and 31:13 the
Authorized Version renders this word by "tree." In all these
passages the Revised Version renders by "tamarisk tree." It has
been identified with the Tamariscus orientalis, five species of
which are found in Israel.
(3.) The Heb. word 'elon, uniformly rendered in the Authorized
Version by "plain," properly signifies a grove or plantation. In
the Revised Version it is rendered, pl., "oaks" (Gen. 13:18;
14:13; 18:1; 12:6; Deut. 11:30; Josh. 19:33). In the earliest
times groves are mentioned in connection with religious worship.
The heathen consecrated groves to particular gods, and for this
reason they were forbidden to the Jews (Jer. 17:3; Ezek. 20:28).
The first great persecution for religious opinion of which we
have any record was that which broke out against the worshippers
of God among the Jews in the days of Ahab, when that king, at
the instigation of his wife Jezebel, "a woman in whom, with the
reckless and licentious habits of an Oriental queen, were united
the fiercest and sternest qualities inherent in the old Semitic
race", sought in the most relentless manner to extirpate the
worship of Jehovah and substitute in its place the worship of
Ashtoreth and Baal. Ahab's example in this respect was followed
by Manasseh, who "shed innocent blood very much, till he had
filled Jerusalem from one end to another" (2 Kings 21:16; comp.
24:4). In all ages, in one form or another, the people of God
have had to suffer persecution. In its earliest history the
Christian church passed through many bloody persecutions. Of
subsequent centuries in our own and in other lands the same sad
record may be made.
Christians are forbidden to seek the propagation of the gospel
by force (Matt. 7:1; Luke 9:54-56; Rom. 14:4; James 4:11, 12).
The words of Ps. 7:13, "He ordaineth his arrows against the
persecutors," ought rather to be, as in the Revised Version, "He
maketh his arrows fiery [shafts]."
a fishery, a town on the Mediterranean coast, about 25 miles
north of Tyre. It received its name from the "first-born" of
Canaan, the grandson of Noah (Gen. 10:15, 19). It was the first
home of the Phoenicians on the coast of Israel, and from its
extensive commercial relations became a "great" city (Josh.
11:8; 19:28). It was the mother city of Tyre. It lay within the
lot of the tribe of Asher, but was never subdued (Judg. 1:31).
The Zidonians long oppressed Israel (Judg. 10:12). From the time
of David its glory began to wane, and Tyre, its "virgin
daughter" (Isa. 23:12), rose to its place of pre-eminence.
Solomon entered into a matrimonial alliance with the Zidonians,
and thus their form of idolatrous worship found a place in the
land of Israel (1 Kings 11:1, 33). This city was famous for its
manufactures and arts, as well as for its commerce (1 Kings 5:6;
1 Chr. 22:4; Ezek. 27:8). It is frequently referred to by the
prophets (Isa. 23:2, 4, 12; Jer. 25:22; 27:3; 47:4; Ezek. 27:8;
28:21, 22; 32:30; Joel 3:4). Our Lord visited the "coasts" of
Tyre and Zidon = Sidon (q.v.), Matt. 15:21; Mark 7:24; Luke
4:26; and from this region many came forth to hear him preaching
(Mark 3:8; Luke 6:17). From Sidon, at which the ship put in
after leaving Caesarea, Paul finally sailed for Rome (Acts 27:3,
This city is now a town of 10,000 inhabitants, with remains of
walls built in the twelfth century A.D. In 1855, the sarcophagus
of Eshmanezer was discovered. From a Phoenician inscription on
its lid, it appears that he was a "king of the Sidonians,"
probably in the third century B.C., and that his mother was a
priestess of Ashtoreth, "the goddess of the Sidonians." In this
inscription Baal is mentioned as the chief god of the Sidonians.