a city of Bashan, in the kingdom of Og (De 1:4; Jos 12:4; 13:12; 9:10). It was in the half-tribe of Manasseh (Jos 13:12), and as a Levitical city was given to the Gershonites (1Ch 6:71). Uzzia, one of David's valiant men (1Ch 11:44), is named as of this city. It is identified with Tell Ashterah, in the Hauran, and is noticed on monuments B.C. 1700-1500. The name Beesh-terah (Jos 21:27) is a contraction for Beth-eshterah, i.e., "the house of Ashtaroth."
ASHTAROTH or ASTAROTH. A city N.E. of Jordan, called so from being a seat of Ashtoreth's worship, "Og dwelt in Ashtaroth, in Edrei" (De 1:4; Jos 12:4; 13:12-31; 9:10). Allotted to Machir, son of Manasseh; and, out of Manasseh's portion, then allotted to the sons of Gershom, their other Levitical city here being Golan (Jos 21:27), called Be-eshterah (i.e. Beth Ashterah, "the house of Ashtaroth.") Between Adara and Abila (according to Eusebius and-Jerome) lay two villages, probably the one Ashtaroth, the other Ashteroth-Karnaim. There is still a Tel Ashterah in this region. One of David's valiant men was Uzziah the Ashterathite (1Ch 11:44).
This city (pl. of Ashtoreth [wh. see]), originally held by Og, king of Bashan (De 1:4; Jos 9:10; 12:4; 13:12,31), later captured by the Israelites and by them awarded to the Gershonites (Jos 21:27 Be-eshterah, 'dwelling [or temple] of Ashtoreth'; cf. || 1Ch 6:56, which reads Ashtaroth), might, without contradicting Biblical records, be identified with Ashteroth-Karnaim (wh. see). However, a statement found in Eusebius' Onomasticon favours the view that the names designate two localities. Eusebius relates that there were at his time two villages of the same name, separated by a distance of 9 miles, lying between Adara (Edrei) and Abila; viz., (1) Ashtaroth, the ancient city of Og, 6 miles from Abila, and (2) Karnaim Ashtaroth, a village in the corner of Bashan, where Job's village is shown (cf. Book of Jubilees 29:10). Eusebius' Karnaim Ashtaroth evidently lay in the corner or angle formed by the rivers Nahr er-Rukkad and Shar
and once As'taroth (a star), a city on the east of Jordan in Bashan, in the kingdom of Og, doubtless so called from being a seat of the worship of the goddess of the same name.
ASHTAROTH, or ASTARTE, a goddess of the Zidonians. The word Ashtaroth properly signifies flocks of sheep, or goats; and sometimes the grove, or woods, because she was goddess of woods, and groves were her temples. In groves consecrated to her, such lasciviousness was committed as rendered her worship infamous. She was also called the queen of heaven; and sometimes her worship is said to be that of "the host of heaven." She was certainly represented in the same manner as Isis, with cows' horns on her head, to denote the increase and decrease of the moon. Cicero calls her the fourth Venus of the Syrians. She is almost always joined with Baal, and is called a god, the Scriptures having no particular word to express a goddess. It is believed that the moon was adored in this idol. Her temples generally accompanied those of the sun; and while bloody sacrifices of human victims were offered to Baal, bread, liquors, and perfumes were presented to Astarte. For her, tables were prepared upon the flat terrace roofs of houses, near gates, in porches, and at cross- ways, on the first day of every month; and this was called by the Greeks, Hecate's supper.
Solomon, seduced by his foreign wives, introduced the worship of Ashtaroth into Israel; but Jezebel, daughter of the king of Tyre, and wife to Ahab, principally established her worship. She caused altars to be erected to this idol in every part of Israel; and at one time four hundred priests attended the worship of Ashtaroth, 1Ki 18:7.