A goddess worshipped by the Canaanite predecessors of the Israelites to whom they were sometimes tempted to return. She was a mother-goddess and is mentioned in the Ras Shamra tablets, and images possibly representing her on a sacred pole are ordered to be destroyed by force in Deut. 12: 3. Queen Jezebel encouraged her cult in the northern kingdom (1 Kgs. 18: 19) as did Manasseh in the south (2 Kgs. 21: 7). In popular religion denounced by the prophets (Mic. 5: 12–13), Asherah was sometimes regarded as Yahweh's consort, whereas Yahweh of the official religion was not regarded as a sexual being.