William G. Dever

“Blessed by Yahweh and by his asherah.” This Hebrew blessing on the wall of a tomb near Hebron may have been as popular in the eighth century B.C. when it was carved as “May he rest in peace” is today. A similar inscription found in Sinai appears later in the article.

What or who was Yahweh’s asherah? Some scholars suggest that asherah was the name of a goddess, the consort or wife of Yahweh. Others say that an asherah was a holy place or sanctuary. But the author proposes that an asherah was a sacred tree or group of trees that was an integral part of a hilltop sanctuary.