Milcom

Boyd’s Bible Dictionary:

Jackson’s Dictionary of Scripture Proper Names:

reigning

From Manners and Customs of the Bible:

1. Ashtoreth was the companion deity to Baal. See note on Numbers 22:4141And it came to pass on the morrow, that Balak took Balaam, and brought him up into the high places of Baal, that thence he might see the utmost part of the people. (Numbers 22:41) (#184). This text, verse 33 of this chapter, and 2 Kings 23:1313And the high places that were before Jerusalem, which were on the right hand of the mount of corruption, which Solomon the king of Israel had builded for Ashtoreth the abomination of the Zidonians, and for Chemosh the abomination of the Moabites, and for Milcom the abomination of the children of Ammon, did the king defile. (2 Kings 23:13), are the only places where the word is used in the singular. In all other passages it is Ashtaroth, which is a term probably corresponding to Baalim, the plural of Baal. See note on Judges 3:77And the children of Israel did evil in the sight of the Lord, and forgat the Lord their God, and served Baalim and the groves. (Judges 3:7) (#222). The two words are in several places coupled together. See Judges 10:66And the children of Israel did evil again in the sight of the Lord, and served Baalim, and Ashtaroth, and the gods of Syria, and the gods of Zidon, and the gods of Moab, and the gods of the children of Ammon, and the gods of the Philistines, and forsook the Lord, and served not him. (Judges 10:6); 1 Samuel 7:4; 12:104Then the children of Israel did put away Baalim and Ashtaroth, and served the Lord only. (1 Samuel 7:4)
10And they cried unto the Lord, and said, We have sinned, because we have forsaken the Lord, and have served Baalim and Ashtaroth: but now deliver us out of the hand of our enemies, and we will serve thee. (1 Samuel 12:10)
. Ashtoreth, or Astarte, was a goddess of the Sidonians, and also of the Philistines (1 Sam. 31:1010And they put his armor in the house of Ashtaroth: and they fastened his body to the wall of Beth-shan. (1 Samuel 31:10)). Under different names she was worshiped in all the countries and colonies of the Syro-Arabian nations. As Baal is supposed to have represented the sun, so Astarte is thought to have represented the moon; though some take the two to stand for Jupiter and Venus. The worship of Astarte is very ancient, and was undoubtedly connected with impure rites. But little is known of the form of the goddess or of the mode of worship. She is sometimes seen represented with the head and horns of a cow, and sometimes with a woman’s head having horns. We read in Genesis 14:55And in the fourteenth year came Chedorlaomer, and the kings that were with him, and smote the Rephaims in Ashteroth Karnaim, and the Zuzims in Ham, and the Emims in Shaveh Kiriathaim, (Genesis 14:5) of the city of Ashtaroth Karnaim, that is, the horned Ashtaroth. As the city was doubtless named because of the worship of Astarte, the word Karnaim (horns) is thought to have reference to the horns of the goddess, either lunar or bovine, or both. If “the queen of heaven” spoken of by Jeremiah was meant for Astarte, as many suppose, we have a little light thrown on the mode of her worship. “Seest thou not what they do in the cities of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem? The children gather wood, and the fathers kindle the fire, and the women knead their dough, to make cakes to the queen of heaven, and to pour out drink offerings unto other gods, that they may provoke me to anger” (Jer. 7:17-1817Seest thou not what they do in the cities of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem? 18The children gather wood, and the fathers kindle the fire, and the women knead their dough, to make cakes to the queen of heaven, and to pour out drink offerings unto other gods, that they may provoke me to anger. (Jeremiah 7:17‑18)). See also Jeremiah 44:17-1917But we will certainly do whatsoever thing goeth forth out of our own mouth, to burn incense unto the queen of heaven, and to pour out drink offerings unto 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 had we plenty of victuals, and were well, and saw no evil. 18But since we left off to burn incense to the queen of heaven, and to pour out drink offerings unto her, we have wanted all things, and have been consumed by the sword and by the famine. 19And when we burned incense to the queen of heaven, and poured out drink offerings unto her, did we make her cakes to worship her, and pour out drink offerings unto her, without our men? (Jeremiah 44:17‑19). Here a whole family is represented as engaging in the worship of the goddess. They present to her meat offerings and drink offerings, and burn incense. The worship of Astarte is also referred to in Judges 2:1313And they forsook the Lord, and served Baal and Ashtaroth. (Judges 2:13); 1 Samuel 7:3; 12:103And Samuel spake unto all the house of Israel, saying, If ye do return unto the Lord with all your hearts, then put away the strange gods and Ashtaroth from among you, and prepare your hearts unto the Lord, and serve him only: and he will deliver you out of the hand of the Philistines. (1 Samuel 7:3)
10And they cried unto the Lord, and said, We have sinned, because we have forsaken the Lord, and have served Baalim and Ashtaroth: but now deliver us out of the hand of our enemies, and we will serve thee. (1 Samuel 12:10)
.. See likewise note on Isaiah 65:1111But ye are they that forsake the Lord, that forget my holy mountain, that prepare a table for that troop, and that furnish the drink offering unto that number. (Isaiah 65:11) (#535).