Question:

If there are no female gods, then who is the Queen of Heaven in Jeremiah 7:18?


Answer:

Just because man worships an idol, it does not make the god represented by the idol real. "Therefore know this day, and consider it in your heart, that the LORD Himself is God in heaven above and on the earth beneath; there is no other" (Deuteronomy 4:39). God challenges man to prove that any other god exists, but man is unable to plead such a case. "Tell and bring forth your case; yes, let them take counsel together. Who has declared this from ancient time? Who has told it from that time? Have not I, the LORD? And there is no other God besides Me, a just God and a Savior; there is none besides Me. Look to Me, and be saved, all you ends of the earth! For I am God, and there is no other" (Isaiah 45:21-22). God offers proof of His existence, but there is no evidence of any other god.

The Queen of Heaven is just one of many gods the Israelites worshipped in their apostasy from the true God. "Do you not see what they do in the cities of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem? The children gather wood, the fathers kindle the fire, and the women knead dough, to make cakes for the queen of heaven; and they pour out drink offerings to other gods, that they may provoke Me to anger. Do they provoke Me to anger?" says the LORD. "Do they not provoke themselves, to the shame of their own faces?""(Jeremiah 7:17-19). The reason for God's anger is clear. Israel had knowledge of the one true and living God, yet they willfully replaced the real thing with cheap imitations of their own imaginations.

God destroyed Israel for their insolence.

"Thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel: 'You have seen all the calamity that I have brought on Jerusalem and on all the cities of Judah; and behold, this day they are a desolation, and no one dwells in them, 'because of their wickedness which they have committed to provoke Me to anger, in that they went to burn incense and to serve other gods whom they did not know, they nor you nor your fathers" (Jeremiah 44:2-3).

But instead of learning from their mistakes, these idol worshipers decided that they weren't worshiping their idols enough.

"Then all the men who knew that their wives had burned incense to other gods, with all the women who stood by, a great multitude, and all the people who dwelt in the land of Egypt, in Pathros, answered Jeremiah, saying: "As for the word that you have spoken to us in the name of the LORD, we will not listen to you! But we will certainly do whatever has gone out of our own mouth, to burn incense to the queen of heaven and pour out drink offerings to her, as we have done, we and our fathers, our kings and our princes, in the cities of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem. For then we had plenty of food, were well-off, and saw no trouble. But since we stopped burning incense to the queen of heaven and pouring out drink offerings to her, we have lacked everything and have been consumed by the sword and by famine." The women also said, "And when we burned incense to the queen of heaven and poured out drink offerings to her, did we make cakes for her, to worship her, and pour out drink offerings to her without our husbands' permission?" " (Isaiah 44:15-19).

Their own words sealed their fate.

"Then Jeremiah spoke to all the people - the men, the women, and all the people who had given him that answer-saying: "The incense that you burned in the cities of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem, you and your fathers, your kings and your princes, and the people of the land, did not the LORD remember them, and did it not come into His mind? So the LORD could no longer bear it, because of the evil of your doings and because of the abominations which you committed. Therefore your land is a desolation, an astonishment, a curse, and without an inhabitant, as it is this day. Because you have burned incense and because you have sinned against the LORD, and have not obeyed the voice of the LORD or walked in His law, in His statutes or in His testimonies, therefore this calamity has happened to you, as at this day." Moreover Jeremiah said to all the people and to all the women, "Hear the word of the LORD, all Judah who are in the land of Egypt! Thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, saying: 'You and your wives have spoken with your mouths and fulfilled with your hands, saying, "We will surely keep our vows that we have made, to burn incense to the queen of heaven and pour out drink offerings to her." You will surely keep your vows and perform your vows!' Therefore hear the word of the LORD, all Judah who dwell in the land of Egypt: 'Behold, I have sworn by My great name,' says the LORD, 'that My name shall no more be named in the mouth of any man of Judah in all the land of Egypt, saying, "The Lord GOD lives." Behold, I will watch over them for adversity and not for good. And all the men of Judah who are in the land of Egypt shall be consumed by the sword and by famine, until there is an end to them. Yet a small number who escape the sword shall return from the land of Egypt to the land of Judah; and all the remnant of Judah, who have gone to the land of Egypt to dwell there, shall know whose words will stand, Mine or theirs. And this shall be a sign to you,' says the LORD, 'that I will punish you in this place, that you may know that My words will surely stand against you for adversity' " (Jeremiah 44:20-29).

Most commentators note that the queen of heaven was another name for the Phoecian goddess, Asheroth. Asheroth was believed to be the wife of the male god, Baal (the king of heaven), and she was represented by the moon. It is thought that the mention of making cakes was the practice of shaping dough in the form of the moon in various stages. Both Baal and Asheroth were fertility god and goddess and were worshiped with acts of prostitution.

The queen of heaven was the figment of foolish women in Jerusalem. Their false goddess was unable to rescue them from the hands of the living God because she did not exist.

January 18, 2012