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Queen of Heaven
Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible
QUEEN OF HEAVEN (Heb. m e lekheth hash-shÃ¢mayÃ®m ). An object of worship to the people of Jerusalem ( Jeremiah 7:16-20 ) and the Jewish exiles in Egypt ( Jeremiah 44:15-30 ). The Massoretes evidently took the first word as m e le’kheth (‘work,’ ‘creation’) supposing that the silent aleph (’) had been omitted and considered the expression a synonym for ‘Host of Heaven’ ( ts e bhÃ¢’ hash-shÃ¢mayÃ®m , Jeremiah 8:2; Jeremiah 19:13 , Zephaniah 1:5 , Deuteronomy 4:19; Deuteronomy 17:3 etc.). In apparent confirmation of this view we have the fact that this term seems to be used in a collective sense as equivalent to ‘other gods.’ On the other hand, many modern scholars regard malkath (‘queen’) as the correct reading, and suppose the cultus to be a worship of the Semitic Mother-goddess, the PhÅ“nician Ashtart = the Assyr. [Note: Assyrian.] Ishtar (see Ashtoreth). Indeed, Ishtar is called in Assyr. [Note: Assyrian.] inscriptions BÃ§lit ShamÃ§ (‘lady of heaven’) and Sharrat ShamÃ§ (‘queen of heaven’); but Malkat ShamÃ§ (which is the cognate of the term under discussion, and which in Assyr. [Note: Assyrian.] means ‘princess of heaven’) is not one of her titles. The fact that cakes were offered in this worship has little evidential value, as we find this rite a frequent feature in Semitic worship. In Arabia, cakes were offered to the goddess of the evening-star and to the sun-god; and the Israelites offered bread and cakes to Jahweh (see ‘Meal-offering’ and ‘Shewbread’ in art. Sacrifice). Cf. the modern Jewish mazzÃ´th .
W. M. Nesbit.
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Hastings, James. Entry for 'Queen of Heaven'. Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible. https://www.studylight.org/​dictionaries/​eng/​hdb/​q/queen-of-heaven.html. 1909.