|Queen of Heaven |
Astarte (See ASHTORETH.) (Jeremiah 7:18; Jeremiah 44:17-25). Wife of Baal or Moloch, "king of heaven." The male and female pair symbolized nature's generative powers, from whence prostitution was practiced in her worship. The worshippers stoutly refused to give up her worship, attributing their recent deprival of plenty to discontinuing her service, and their former plenty to her service. God makes fools' present prosperity their doom (Proverbs 1:32) and does good to His people in their latter end (Deuteronomy 8:16). In Jeremiah 44:19 Maurer translated "did we form her image." Crescent-shaped cakes were offered to the moon. Beltis, the female of Bel or Baal, was the Babylonian "queen of heaven." Ishtar the Babylonian Venus (in the Sardanapalus inscriptions) was also "the mistress of heaven and earth." Babylon, Israel's instrument of sin, was in righteous retribution made Israel's punishment (Jeremiah 2:19).