The Mystery of Asenath

By on August 31, 2011

One of Israel’s greatest heroes, Joseph, rose to power in Egypt. Pharaoh honored him with a Gentile bride, daughter of the high priest of On, the city traditionally called Heliopolis. Her name was Asenath, and she married Joseph. In time, she became the mother of Ephraim and Manasseh.

But as an Egyptian priest’s daughter with a name dedicated to an idol, she also represents one of the Bible’s greatest symbols. In fact, her name is a biblical archetype, the spirit and meaning of which remains alive and well to this day. Historically, it appears in a variety of different guises, but the image she represents is universal, and is venerated in statuary, paintings and literature. Rescued from devotion to an occult priesthood by her union with Joseph, she symbolizes a secret doctrine, and its ultimate defeat by Christ.

As we track the historical appearances of the goddess for whom she is named, we discover that she plays an important role in prophecy, and in the direction taken through the march of time, by the leaders of the world order. In Babylon, Assyria, Persia, Greece and Rome, we find her prominent influence. In the Bible, she is the Old Testament “queen of heaven,” and the New Testament “Diana of the Ephesians.”

Sometimes, it is easy to forget that this world is marred by the intrusion of sin from on high. We grow to accept the bizarre and the fraudulent as “normal.” But the believer, operating with biblical knowledge, realizes that our planet, a little island floating in a vast universe, is deeply flawed. The world system is based upon an ancient form of worship that involves the goddess of wisdom, fertility and protection. It is vital that we understand the ways in which this mystery has insinuated itself into every corridor and secret chamber of our culture.

Among other things, our long history is a chronicle of Satan’s infringement upon God’s creation. From the very beginning of humanity, Lucifer and his hordes of followers sought to subvert Adam and his progeny. The battle of corruption versus redemption then vigorously ensued, and has raged across the planet ever since. In the antediluvean era, the Serpent’s servants, fallen angels called the “Nephilim,” almost completely permeated the human genealogical line, causing the Lord to take action, destroying humanity, but preserving the righteous Noah and his family.

Following the great flood in the days of Noah, mankind began its trek along the laborious road that would lead to the rise and fall of many staggeringly corrupt societies. Cut off from their former illicit access to heaven through the Nephilim, they sought to reach heaven using an alternate method: the Tower of Babel. It is a familiar story, which resulted in another Divine act of judgment. Humanity was divided into linguistic groups, nations and cultures at His condemnation of the Tower of Babel:

“And the LORD came down to see the city and the tower, which the children of men builded.

“And the LORD said, Behold, the people is one, and they have all one language; and this they begin to do: and now nothing will be restrained from them, which they have imagined to do.

“Go to, let us go down, and there confound their language, that they may not understand one another’s speech.

“So the LORD scattered them abroad from thence upon the face of all the earth: and they left off to build the city.

“Therefore is the name of it called Babel; because the LORD did there confound the language of all the earth: and from thence did the LORD scatter them abroad upon the face of all the earth” (Gen. 11:5-9).

Imagine this moment of supernatural confusion. After the Flood, men longed for the illegal access to heaven that had guided their pre-Flood ancestors. Using forbidden knowledge of a sort now lost to humanity, they initiated a huge project to regain the connection. Knowing their intent, the Lord blocked their efforts. Surprisingly, the Bible gives us the name of the man who was the ringleader in this signal event.

Nimrod

This great juncture in human history rests upon an important predicate. It begins with the genealogy of Ham, that leads us to the greatest and most wicked man in the ancient post-flood world. He is Nimrod, and his spiritual heirs are alive and active to this day. They operate in a style and with a historical protocol that defines the very flow of Scripture. It is the chronicle of idolatry:

“And the sons of Ham; Cush, and Mizraim, and Phut, and Canaan.

“And the sons of Cush; Seba, and Havilah, and Sabtah, and Raamah, and Sabtecha: and the sons of Raamah; Sheba, and Dedan.

“And Cush begat Nimrod: he began to be a mighty one in the earth.

“He was a mighty hunter before the LORD: wherefore it is said, Even as Nimrod the mighty hunter before the LORD.

“And the beginning of his kingdom was Babel, and Erech, and Accad, and Calneh, in the land of Shinar.

“Out of that land went forth Asshur, and builded Nineveh, and the city Rehoboth, and Calah,

“And Resen between Nineveh and Calah: the same is a great city” (Gen. 10:6-12).

The four cities mentioned here – Nineveh, Rehoboth, Calah and Resen – represent a kingdom of idol worship, founded and guided by Nimrod. They constitute the world’s first alliance of city-states – evil powers under the direction of a single, strong personality. The word “Asshur,” which seems to be a proper noun representing a person, can actually be translated, “to Assyria.” He went forth to Assyria. But grammarians also say that it is a passive participle of the verb, “to make strong.” In either case, Nimrod is the founder and designer of this ancient power structure.

It is common to misrepresent Nimrod as a sort of ancient hero, who struggled after the Flood to bring honor and discipline to mankind. Nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, he was the worst kind of tyrannical ruler, a man who directly, and with full knowledge of what he was doing, set himself in opposition to the Lord. Three times, he is described as “mighty.” In the Keil and Delitzsch Commentary on the Old Testament, we find the following: “Nimrod ‘began to be a mighty one in the earth.’ rcd (gibbor, strong) is used here as in chap. vi. 4, to denote a man who makes himself renowned for bold and daring deeds. Nimrod was mighty in hunting, and that in opposition to Jehovah (enantion kuriou, LXX – “opposed to the Lord”); not before Jehovah in the sense of, according to the purpose and will of Jehovah …” (vol. 1, p. 165).

This commentary, quoting the Septuagint Greek Bible, demonstrates that the ancient translators thought of Nimrod as being “opposed to the Lord,” not dedicated to Him. They add, “The name itself, Nimrod from drn (marad), ‘we will revolt’ points to some violent resistance to God. It is so characteristic that it can only have been given by his contemporaries, and thus have become a proper name” (ibid. p. 165).

As has been pointed out by many early expositors, Nimrod, “the mighty hunter,” is figuratively shown in the biblical context to be a hunter opposed to the Lord’s own work, that of bringing sinful man to Himself for redemption. Nimrod was, therefore, a skilled hunter and trapper of the souls of men, as he turned them away from the Lord, into idolatry.

Flavius Josephus put it this way: “Now it was Nimrod who excited them to such an affront and contempt of God. He was the grandson of Ham, the son of Noah – a bold man, and of great strength of hand. He persuaded them to ascribe it to God, as if it was through his means they were happy, but to believe that it was their own courage which procured that happiness: (Antiquities, 1, iv. 2).

The Husband/Son

It is well-known, and has been long established that the religious system founded and promoted by Nimrod was built around the figures of a lady and her lord – originally called Semiramis and Tammuz. In the vision of the prophet Ezekiel, we learn that even ancient Israel had turned to the worship of this false god founded by Nimrod two thousand years earlier. The Lord showed him the awful sight of Israelite women in abject idolatry:

“Then he brought me to the door of the gate of the LORD’s house which was toward the north; and, behold, there sat women weeping for Tammuz” (Ezek. 8:14).

Why were the women weeping? In the old world, Tammuz, the husband of Semiramis, died. But then, his body was recovered and he was reborn into her arms as a child. This death-and-rebirth tableau became an annual event in which the death of Tammuz was lamented for a forty-day period each year.

Originally, as well documented by Alexander Hislop in The Two Babylons, Tammuz was but another name for the ancient Ninus, or Nimrod. Researching the names of ancient kings, he writes, “… that of Ninus stands first, in such terms as exactly correspond with the Scriptural account of Nimrod. Thus, then looking at the fact that Ninus is currently made by antiquity the son of Belus, or Bel, when we have seen that the historical Bel is Cush, the identity of Ninus and Nimrod is still further confirmed.

“But when we look at what is said of Semiramis, the wife of Ninus, the evidence receives an additional development. That evidence goes conclusively to show that the wife of Ninus could be none other than the wife of Nimrod, and, further, to bring out one of the grand characters in which Nimrod, when deified, was adored” (pp. 28, 29).

Thus, the wife, husband/child became models for a type of worship that set the standard for every type of pagan worship. In Chaldea, the goddess-mother became Astarte, the Assyrian Ishtar. She was the Egyptian Isis, whose Osiris died an annual death. In India, the pair were Isi and Iswara; in Asia Minor, Cybele and Doeius; In Rome, Fortuna and Jupiter, the child; In Greece, Ceres with a suckling babe, or Irene and Plutus. The Mother and Child became a pagan fertility rite. Money, crops and property were thought to grow from the providence of the goddess. From the very beginning, the blessing of the city or the state were associated with the blessing that came from her.

Concerning the goddess, Hislop writes, “In connection with this, it may be observed, that the name of Juno [Roman “Queen of the gods”], the classical “Queen of Heaven,” which in Greek, was Hera, also signified “The Lady;” and that the peculiar title of Cybele of Rhea at Rome was Domina, or “The Lady.” Further, there is strong reason to believe that Athena, the well-known name of Minerva at Athens, had the very same meaning” (ibid. p. 20).

Speaking through the prophet Jeremiah, the Lord accuses Israel of departing from Him in order to honor this repugnant queen:

“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. 7:18).

Jeremiah, who lived through the horrors of the Babylonian captivity, was painfully aware that the removal of the Lord’s blessing was closely tied to the Israelites’ departure from true worship:

“But 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.

“But 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” (Jer. 44:17,18).

Long before their captivity, the Israelites had fallen to the worship of Ashtoreth, the fertility goddess who was the wife of Baal. In reality, they were nothing more than local manifestations of the ancient Semiramis and Tammuz, later widely known as Ishtar and Tammuz. The Assyrian Ishtar simply became the Canaanite Ashtoreth.

The Prolific Goddess

The goddess of the ancients adopted new identities as quickly as new cultures and new cities sprang up. She was thought indispensable to the life and growth of the local population. Statues of her adorned the streets, public concourses, halls and temples of the ancient world.

It is easy to believe that there was a multiplicity of different goddesses. Actually, there was only one, and she was quickly adaptable to the needs of the local culture. As we have already seen, Semiramis became Astarte, who became Ishtar, who became Isis, who became Athena, who became Juno, and so on.

In one of her forms, she is seen as “Diana of the Ephesians:”

“And the same time there arose no small stir about that way.

“For a certain man named Demetrius, a silversmith, which made silver shrines for Diana, brought no small gain unto the craftsmen;

“Whom he called together with the workmen of like occupation, and said, Sirs, ye know that by this craft we have our wealth.

“Moreover ye see and hear, that not alone at Ephesus, but almost throughout all Asia, this Paul hath persuaded and turned away much people, saying that they be no gods, which are made with hands:

“So that not only this our craft is in danger to be set at nought; but also that the temple of the great goddess Diana should be despised, and her magnificence should be destroyed, whom all Asia and the world worshippeth.

“And when they heard these sayings, they were full of wrath, and cried out, saying, Great is Diana of the Ephesians” (Acts 19:23-28).

This goddess, called Artemis in the Greek language, is the self-fertile goddess of power. She is historically connected to the ancient Semiramis, but endowed with characteristics specific to Asia Minor. Originally, Diana was a virgin huntress, armed with bow and arrows. She was also a municipal goddess whose power was thought to aid women in childbirth. She was also worshiped for her great wisdom.

Perpetually virginal, she nevertheless became one of the many Asiatic mother goddesses of the millennium that preceded the birth of Christ. At Ephesus, her role as protector was merged with the ancient fertility cults, memorialized in a huge temple that was considered one of the seven wonders of the ancient world.

Furthermore, as can be seen from the above passage in Acts, devotion to Diana provided a powerful economic base. People came to worship, leaving offerings. A market system surrounded her temple. Cast metal idols were sold in the thousands. For Ephesus, the trade gateway to Asia, she was a gold mine.

She was imitated in the lives of the Amazons, the warrior maidens of western Asia Minor. These vigorous female warriors are historically credited with founding the cult of Artemis. Her role as a protector goddess brings us to an interesting link to the Bible.

The Mysterious Connection

A few of those cast metal idols still remain. Upon her head was a tower, symbolizing her foundational role in Graeco-Roman society. And so, in addition to blessing and fertility, she was called the “goddess of the fortresses,” who would protect her citizens from enemy assault.

And here, we find perhaps the most important connection between the old world and the new. As one of many similar municipal goddesses of protection, she sheds a great deal of light upon the strange and cryptic trail of secret, supernatural worship. She appears under many names and in many different places, but she always plays the same role.

In Rome, she was called Minerva, the virgin goddess of intelligence and creativity. Warriors, poets, doctors, philosophers, traders, craftsmen and musicians all called upon her for inspiration and support. The Romans credited her with all forms of creativity. Ovid is quoted as calling her, “the goddess of a thousand works.” But statues depict her as a warrior goddess, carrying a spear. As patron goddess of Rome, she was credited with Roman victory in battle.

In actuality, Minerva was simply a variant of another well-known goddess, called Athena. In Athens, she was the municipal goddess of protection. Her very name stems back to the Chaldean name for a royal lady. As a daughter of the mythical superhero, Zeus, she was credited with great intelligence and power. Companion to the gods, she was known as the goddess of war strategy and battlefield heroics.

Athena is also known as Pallas Athena, after she slew Pallas, the daughter of the god Triton. Protected from harm by Zeus, she defeated the upstart, and in the process, acquired her power and authority. Her reputation for victory was forever sealed by this act. Her worshipers saw her as invincible.

She Who Is of Neith

Moving backward from Minerva to Athena, we discover an earlier incarnation of this patron goddess of protection. We find her among the earliest deities in the pantheon of Egypt. There, she stood as proctress of the city of Saïs, capital of Egypt during the eighth century B.C. It was located on the western branch of the Nile delta. The historian Diodorus Siculus wrote that this goddess, called Neith, built Saïs prior to the great flood that destroyed Athens and Atlantis. He also said that while Greek cities were destroyed, Saïs survived.

Concerning this event, Plato writes, “In Egypt … in that part of the Delta where the stream of the Nile divides around the vertex there is a district called the Saïtic. The most important city of this district is Saïs. (This is in fact also the city from which King Amasis came.) This city was founded by a goddess whose name was ‘Neith’ in Egyptian and (according to the people there) ‘Athena’ in Greek. They are very friendly to Athens and claim to be related to our people somehow or other” (Timaeus 21e).

This brings us to the biblical event referenced at the beginning of this study. It concerns the life of Joseph, nearly two thousand years before the Christian era. As we, and others have often observed, this man, the savior of his brethren, is a wonderful type of Christ. His obedience as a son earned him a glorious outer garment called “the coat of many colors,” symbolic of righteousness. He dreamed that he would be honored by his brothers – that they would bow down to him. They reacted by rejecting him and selling him into bondage and servanthood, the very experience that would burden Jesus when He came.

Many expositors have noted as many as fifty similarities between the lives of Joseph and Jesus. Joseph was obedient to his father, and was sent to his brothers. They hated him, and left him in a pit for dead. But he was raised out of that pit. Dripping with blood, his beautiful coat corresponded to the robe of Jesus. He then disappeared for many years before reappearing to his brothers. His interactions with Potiphar and Pharaoh are remarkably similar. Joseph and Jesus were both condemned by the state.

While in prison, Joseph, like Jesus, was situated between two thieves, one redeemed, the other, lost. The butler, he blessed; the baker he judged. Like Christ, he rose from virtual death in prison to become the redeemer of his people. While alienated from his homeland, he dominated Egypt (representing the world system), using its power to save his brothers from starvation.

He rose to final recognition as co-ruler with Pharoah. It is in this period that we find a most remarkable prophecy, one that gives us an amazing depth of understanding. Surprisingly (though it should not surprise us), the life of Joseph becomes intertwined with that of the goddess:

“And he made him to ride in the second chariot which he had; and they cried before him, Bow the knee: and he made him ruler over all the land of Egypt.

“And Pharaoh said unto Joseph, I am Pharaoh, and without thee shall no man lift up his hand or foot in all the land of Egypt.

“And Pharaoh called Joseph’s name Zaphnath-paaneah; and he gave him to wife Asenath the daughter of Potipherah priest of On. And Joseph went out over all the land of Egypt.

“And Joseph was thirty years old when he stood before Pharaoh king of Egypt. And Joseph went out from the presence of Pharaoh, and went throughout all the land of Egypt.

“And in the seven plenteous years the earth brought forth by handfuls.

“And he gathered up all the food of the seven years, which were in the land of Egypt, and laid up the food in the cities: the food of the field, which was round about every city, laid he up in the same.

“And Joseph gathered corn as the sand of the sea, very much, until he left numbering; for it was without number” (Gen. 41:43-49).

Continuing with the concept that Joseph typifies the life of Christ, we find in the passage above that like Christ, he was honored with a new name. In the same way that the Jehovah of the Old Testament became the Jesus of the New Testament, Joseph became “Zaphnath-paaneah.”

Over the years, scholars have been divided about the real meaning of this cryptic name. Using the Hebrew root words tzaphan (ipm – to hide or cover) and paaneah (vbgp – to work or reveal), Flavius Josephus wrote that the name means “revealer of secrets.” And this follows logically, since the title was bestowed upon him by Pharoah, whose dreams Joseph had interpreted. This Jewish perspective is often held up as the true meaning of the name.

However, there is a competing (and some say much more persuasive) interpretation of the name. In Egyptian Coptic, these two words directly translate to, “Savior of the age.” Whichever of the two is chosen, Joseph is elevated to a position of great honor, foreshadowing as he does, the work of Christ.

But Pharaoh gave him something else … a Gentile bride. In the panorama of the ages, she is the representation of the body of the spiritually redeemed, the bride of Christ.

But curiously, she bears the name of the goddess, whose historical trail we have followed. Her name, Asenath, means, “she who is of Neith.” This interpretation is valid, whether read in Hebrew or Egyptian Coptic.

By birth, Joseph’s wife was a daughter of the pagan world system, administered by an Egyptian priest who dedicated her to the protector goddess. More than that, he is the high priest of Heliopolis, capital city of the land. There, he presides over the pinnacle of pagan power.

It is truly remarkable that the daughter of this pagan priest is given in marriage to the one who is a great archetype of the Redeemer, Himself. Furthermore, she becomes the mother of two sons:

“And unto Joseph were born two sons before the years of famine came, which Asenath the daughter of Potipherah priest of On bare unto him” (Gen. 41:50).

Here, the Bible also tells us that Joseph and Asenath had their children during the expansion of Joseph’s Egyptian experience as administrator. The two boys grew up in the shadow of the temple gods and goddesses.

“And unto Joseph in the land of Egypt were born Manasseh and Ephraim, which Asenath the daughter of Potipherah priest of On bare unto him” (Gen. 46:20).

The pagan Asenath is redeemed through her marriage to Joseph, and is saved from the world system. Her sons became two of Israel’s twelve tribes, and thus, she is made part of the lineage that will inherit the Promised Land and live peacefully in the Kingdom of God. Seen in this light, she is far more than a single woman saved from spiritual death.

In truth, she is no less than a prophetic projection into the far future, a type of the called-out body of believers from within the world system.

Once, she was dedicated to Neith, the ancient goddess of protection, plenty and wisdom. Then, through marriage to Joseph, she became a daughter of the Lord God.

The goddess Neith later evolved to become the Greek Athena and the Roman Minerva. She is alive and well today, as the universal “Queen of Heaven,” known by many names: Astarte, Ishtar, Isis, Ashtoreth, Artemis, Persephone, Venus, Diana, Ceres, Demeter/Europa, Juno, Athena, Minerva and Neith.

An inscription credited to Diodorus, has the Egyptian Isis describing herself as follows: “I am Isis, Queen of this country. I was instructed by Mercury. No one can destroy the laws which I have established. I am the eldest daughter of Saturn, most ancient of the gods. I am the wife and sister of Osiris the King. I first made known to mortals the use of wheat. I am the mother of Orus the King. In my honor was the city of Bubaste (Bubastis, capitol of lower Egypt) built. Rejoice, O Egypt, rejoice, land that gave me birth.”

She is often quoted as saying, “I am Isis, all that has been, is, or shall be; no mortal man hath ever me unveiled.” This gives us some idea of the depth of reverence awarded to the ancient goddess.

In many ways, the name of the goddess queen is irrelevant. Her adherents have given her different names at different times, and in different places. For example, Europe takes its name from Europa, the the ancient Mycenean goddess who was abducted by Zeus in the form of a bull. The ancient god and goddess in a struggle for power is the symbol of a new order. Europa and the bull are now the symbol of European union. It hardly needs to be said that the biblical woman on the beast invokes the most blatant image of the degraded world system.

Columbia

In North America, the goddess has been perpetuated as Columbia. Her name is said to originate from Christopher Columbus, who is credited with discovering the new world. In another way, she is the spirit of the Americas, and one of the chief icons of the United States of America. She is called “Lady Liberty” on Ellis Island in New York Harbor. Millions have looked to her as the spirit of freedom, who rises above the despotic regimes of this world to offer her gift of liberty.

The lady with the torch was originally intended as a centennial gift to the U.S., but 1886 came and went, and years went by before the French-made statue was finally installed. She is said to represent the figure of victory, trampling the chains of oppression. But in truth, she is modeled after Minerva, goddess of wisdom and protector of the people. She wears the Roman toga and carries a monolith, engraved with the year 1776 in Roman numerals.

She is actually a synthesis of several ancient goddess figures, but as we have seen, her history is clear, and her meaning is plain. She is the woman whose esoteric power lies beneath the many false religions and cults of history.

As “Liberty and the Eagle,” she stands as a statue behind the Speaker’s chair in the U.S. House of Representatives. When one knows where to look, she is virtually everywhere … on coins, memorabilia, books, paintings and official documents. Her most imposing appearance is atop the capitol dome where she presides over Washington, District of Columbia, 288 feet above the plaza below!

From this lofty position, Columbia presides over the district that bears her name. There, she is called “Lady Freedom.” An official U.S. Government release describes her as follows: “The bronze Statue of Freedom by Thomas Crawford is the crowning feature of the dome of the United States Capitol. The statue is a classical female figure of Freedom wearing flowing draperies. Her right hand rests upon the hilt of a sheathed sword; her left holds a laurel wreath of victory and the shield of the United States with thirteen stripes. Her helmet is encircled by stars and features a crest composed of an eagles’ head, feathers, and talons, a reference to the costume of Native Americans. A brooch inscribed ‘U.S.’ secures her fringed robes. She stands on a cast-iron globe encircled with the words E Pluribus Unum, the national motto at the time of her placement atop the dome. The lower part of the base is decorated with fasces and wreaths.”

Actually Lady Freedom is draped in a Roman toga. She carries the ancient Graeco-Roman symbols of victory in battle. She stands atop a globe emblazoned with the slogan, “Out of many, one.” The fasces beneath the globe are symbols of the ancient Roman Senate. There is no doubt that she is the ever-evolving goddess who began so long ago as Ishtar. She depicts divine protection.

Asenath

Those men who have planned and designed the latter-day platforms from which power is projected are well aware of the symbolic history of the goddess. They have sought her favor since the days of Neith, in the early years of Egypt’s dynastic power.

Neith was one of the war goddesses. She carried two crossed arrows and a shield. In the Egyptian language, her name means, “weaver.” Mythologies told of her participation in the creation of the world, as she used her loom to weave it into existence. This goddess of weaving was also worshiped as the protector of marriage, and the goddess of mummification.

However, these details are not really important. What is, in fact, quite important, is her relation to Joseph, whom Scripture reveals as both the “revealer of secrets,” and “Savior of the age.” As bridegroom to a Gentile woman dedicated to the protectorate of the goddess, he typifies the role of Christ, whose mission is to take a bride unto Himself, by calling out a people for His name.

Joseph redeemed his brothers, not the whole of Egypt. Biblical history tells us that Egypt later fell under the power of the evil Pharaoh in Moses’ day. However, through marriage, he did redeem Asenath, who became the mother of two tribes, Ephraim and Manasseh. One day they will receive their promised land grants in the age of the Kingdom.

In a sense, each individual Christian who comes to the Lord is redeemed from the pagan world system, being brought into the Kingdom of Heaven through vital union with the Bridegroom. Before that, each of us, born in sin, was dedicated to the world system and its mystery religion.

At present the goddess stands benignly dormant. As Lady Liberty, she is universally viewed as the image of democracy … even of salvation. In the poem by Emma Lazarus, mounted at the statue’s base, she is called, “A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame is the imprisoned lightning, and her name, Mother of Exiles.”

But her promise of safe harbor fails in the most important way; she can only offer solace, not redemption. And even as this is written, her system is evolving toward greater power. As Asenath was saved from the world of the goddess for whom she was named, so must each individual be saved from a world system that can offer only the mere illusion of final salvation.

This can be accomplished only in the way that Joseph saved Asenath, as he married her, and brought her into his family … the family of God.

The goddess who quietly stands atop the shrines of world power will one day awaken in a burst of power that will astonish the world. The ancient Ishtar will reveal herself, not as the beneficent and merciful woman, but as the destroyer of men’s souls:

“And there came one of the seven angels which had the seven vials, and talked with me, saying unto me, Come hither; I will shew unto thee the judgment of the great whore that sitteth upon many waters:

“With whom the kings of the earth have committed fornication, and the inhabitants of the earth have been made drunk with the wine of her fornication.

“So he carried me away in the spirit into the wilderness: and I saw a woman sit upon a scarlet coloured beast, full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns.

“And the woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet colour, and decked with gold and precious stones and pearls, having a golden cup in her hand full of abominations and filthiness of her fornication:

“And upon her forehead was a name written, MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH.

“And I saw the woman drunken with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus: and when I saw her, I wondered with great admiration” (Rev. 17:1-6).

She is the mystery goddess, who is really no mystery at all to Christians who have studied her checkered history. At present, the risen Christ is in the process of redeeming to Himself a people who have innocently believed in the promise of the goddess.

But while she claims to offer liberty, only He can deliver it: “If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed” (John 8:36).