A word used in the Authorized Version, with two exceptions, to translate the mysterious Hebrew term Asherah, which is not a grove, but probably an idol or image of some kind. It is also probable that there was a connection between this symbol or image, whatever it was, and the sacred symbolic tree, the representation of which occurs so frequently on Assyrian sculptures.
The two exceptions noticed above are (Genesis 21:33) and 1Sam 22:6 (margin), and you can find more about that here on st-takla.org on other commentaries and dictionary entries. In the religions of the ancient heathen world groves play a prominent part. In the old times altars only were erected to the gods. It was thought wrong to shut up the gods within walls, and hence trees were the first temples; and from the earliest times groves are mentioned in connection with religious worship. (Genesis 12:6,7; 11:30) Authorized Version "plain." the groves were generally found connected with temples, and often had the right of affording an asylum.
Main reference: Smith's Bible Dictionary (1860s)
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