Judaism Star Worship

Under "Star Worship" the Jewish Encyclopedia states:

Star Worship is perhaps the oldest form of idolatry practiced by the ancients. The observation of the stars in the East very early led the people to regard the planets and the fixed stars as gods. The religion of the ancient Egyptians is known to have consisted preeminently of Sun-worship. Moses sternly warned the Israelites against worshipping the Sun, Moon, stars, and all the hosts of heaven (Deuteronomy 4:19; 17:3) The Israelites fell into this kind of idolatry and as early as the time of Amos they had the images of Siccuth and Chium, the stars of their god (Amos 5:26); the latter name is generally supposed to denote the planet Saturn. That the Kingdom of Israel fell earlier than that of Judah is stated (II Kings 17:16) to have been due, among other causes, to its worshipping the host of heaven. But the Kingdom of Judah in its later period seems to have outdone the Northern Kingdom [Israel] in star-worship. Of Manasseh it is related that he built altars to all the hosts of heaven in the two courts of the house of YHWY, and it seems it was the practice of even Kings before him to appoint priests who offered sacrifices to the Sun, the Moon, the planets, and all the hosts of heaven. Altars for star-worship were built on the roofs of the houses, and horses and chariots were dedicated to the worship of the Sun. (II Kings 21:5; 23:4-5, 11-12) Star-worship continued in Judah until the 18th year of Josiah s reign (621 B.C.) when the King took measures to abolish all kinds of idolatry. But although star-worship was then abolished as a public cult, it was practiced privately by individuals who worshipped the heavenly bodies, and poured out libations to them on the roofs of their houses (Zephaniah 1:5; Jeremiah 8:2; 19:13) Jeremiah, who prophesied in the sixth year of the captivity of Jehoiachin (591 B.C.) describes the worship of the Sun as practiced in the court of the Temple (Ezekiel 8:16) and that even after the destruction of the Temple the women insisted on continuing to worship the Queen of Heaven

The ancient Hebrews, being nomads like the Arabs, favored the Moon, while the Babylonians, who were an agricultural nation, preferred the Sun. But, as appears from Ezekiel 20:7-8 the Moon-worship of the Israelites, even while they were still in Egypt was combined with Sun-worship.

0 0

Post a comment