Easter or Ishtar?

by Al Perez

The word Easter appears once in the King James version of the Bible.Herod has put Peter in prison, "intending after Easter to bring him forth to the people" (Acts 12:4). Yet in the original Greek text the word is not Easter, but Pesach, that is Passover. So why was the name changed? Please read on, and remember Exodus 34:14; For you shall worship no other god, for the LORD, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous G-d.

"Asherah" the Greek form of this word from the Septuagint is "Astarte", who is the Babylonian goddess of the sea, sea being symbolic of people, and consort of the god El. She was the mother of several gods, including Ba'al, the Babylonian god of the sun. These deities were soon adopted by the Canaanites when they named these female deities the Asherah or Asherim. These deities were made of wood carved from a type of evergreen tree, or often they were set up in Canaanite homes as full trees cut down from a forest. The Asherim normally were highly acknowledged during two specific occasions. First and foremost, they were the fertility gods of the spring equinox, when the days and nights were approximately the same in length, signifying the beginning of living things growing for the summer season. A very common practice in the Canaanite religion was performed on the first Sunday of the equinox. The families would face east to await the rising of the sun, which was the chief symbol of the sun god, Ba'al. Later on during the day, the children of the Canaanite parents would often go and hunt for eggs, which were symbolic of sex, fertility and new life. It was believed that these eggs came from rabbits, which in the pagan world were symbolic of lust, sexual prowess and reproduction. The Canaanites, however, were not the only ones who worshiped rabbits as deities. The Egyptians and the Persians (Babylon) also held rabbits in high esteem because they believed that rabbits first came from the divine Phoenix birds, who once ruled the ancient skies until they were attacked by other gods in a power struggle. When they were struck down, they reincarnated into rabbits, but kept the ability to produce eggs like the ancient birds to show their origins.

Other stories concerning the egg rose later in the Middle Ages by the Anglo-Saxons, where they believed the origin of the Universe had the earth being hatched out of an enormous egg. Decorating eggs came about to honor their pagan gods and were often presented as gifts to other families to bring them fertility and sexual success during the coming year. And secondly, they were highly worshiped and celebrated during the winter solstice. As according to Jer. 10:1-5; Is. 40:19-20; 41:7 and 44:9-20, the pagans would go out into the forest and do one of two things. Either they chopped down a tree and carved a female deity out of it, or they would simply bring the tree into the house and decorate it with gold and silver ornaments symbolizing the sun and the moon while nailing a stand on the bottom so it would not totter or tip over.

Out of this practice came many other variations of these pagan festivals until the Roman Catholic Church adopted the Asherah worship and named it EASTER around 155 A.D. According to the CATHOLIC ENCYCLOPEDIA, Easter was named after a pagan goddess of the Anglo-Saxons named Eostre, the goddess of the dawn. A great controversy arose between the Catholic Church and the Greek Orthodox Church in 325 A.D. on whether to celebrate Easter on Sundays or on whatever day the Jewish Passover fell upon. Unfortunately, the Greeks lost a lot of followers and the Catholics contended that keeping Easter on Sundays would stimulate the practices of both the Christian world and the pagan worshipers. Note that the word CATHOLIC means "universal" or "one world" in thought, concept and practice. Hence, since the original practice of Asherah worship we now have in our time the celebration of Easter, a counterfeit holiday to the true Christian festival of the Passover which was instituted in the Bible and completed in the New Testament when Christ died on the cross as our Passover Lamb.

"...For indeed Christ, our Passover, was sacrificed for us."