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Ancient Israelite Religion

The Bible makes it clear that the official state religion of Israel was the sole worship of the God Yahweh, centered at the Jerusalem Temple. Archaeological remains, however, demonstrate that popular Israelite religion was in fact quite diverse. In these articles, hand-selected by the Biblical Archaeology Review editors especially for members of the BAS Library, you’ll learn that some Israelites believed Yahweh had a wife, Asherah, while many sought the aid of Yahweh through idolatrous figurines, cult stands and standing stones.

A Temple Built for Two

BAR 34:02, Mar/Apr 2008
By William G. Dever

Pagan Yahwism: The Folk Religion of Ancient Israel

BAR 27:03, May/Jun 2001
By Ephraim Stern

Sacred Stones in the Desert

BAR 27:03, May/Jun 2001
By Uzi Avner

Was Yahweh Worshiped as the Sun?

BAR 20:03, May/Jun 1994
By J. Glen Taylor

Frank Moore Cross—An Interview, Part II: The Development of Israelite Religion

BR 8:05, Oct 1992

Did Yahweh Have a Consort?

BAR 5:02, Mar/Apr 1979
By Ze’ev Meshel

Did God Have a Wife?

BAR 32:05, Sep/Oct 2006
By Shmuel Ahituv

Understanding Asherah—Exploring Semitic Iconography

BAR 17:05, Sep/Oct 1991
By Ruth Hestrin

Who or What Was Yahweh’s Asherah?

BAR 10:06, Nov/Dec 1984
By André Lemaire