the moon goddess of the Phoenicians, representing the passive
principle in nature, their principal female deity; frequently
associated with the name of Baal, the sun-god, their chief male
deity (Judg. 10:6; 1 Sam. 7:4; 12:10). These names often occur
in the plural (Ashtaroth, Baalim), probably as indicating either
different statues or different modifications of the deities.
This deity is spoken of as Ashtoreth of the Zidonians. She was
the Ishtar of the Accadians and the Astarte of the Greeks (Jer.
44:17; 1 Kings 11:5, 33; 2 Kings 23:13). There was a temple of
this goddess among the Philistines in the time of Saul (1 Sam.
31:10). Under the name of Ishtar, she was one of the great
deities of the Assyrians. The Phoenicians called her Astarte.
Solomon introduced the worship of this idol (1 Kings 11:33).
Jezebel's 400 priests were probably employed in its service (1
Kings 18:19). It was called the "queen of heaven" (Jer. 44:25).