Jeremiah 17:2, Wooden images…green trees.In ancient times, sacred tree-like poles (like obelisks called asherah poles) and green trees were set up near pagan altars for the worship of the Babylonian and Canaanite sex goddess, Astarte (or Ishtar from which the Christian festival Easter derives its name).
In Exodus 34:13, YHVH commands the Israelites to destroy the pagan sex worship symbols that the NIV Study Bible describes as wooden poles, or carved images, that were set up in honor of this pagan goddess at pagan worship sites. The International Bible Encyclopedia (vol. 1, p. 317) states that a tree trunk with branches in honor of this pagan deity was often placed next to the altar of YHVH—something YHVH abhorred! (Deut 16:21; Judg 6:25, 28, 30; 2 Kgs 23:6). In Deuteronomy 16:21, YHVH forbids his people from placing wooden images or trees next to their altars.
You shall not plant for yourself any tree, as a wooden image, near the altar which you build for yourself to the YHVH your Elohim.
Today, at Christmas time, contrary to the Written Word of Elohim, Christian churches place trees next to their altars of worship.
Jeremiah’s description of such a tree in chapter 10 is eerily reminiscent of our modern Christmas tree, which finds itself placed in significant places where people gather whether it be in Christian churches and in homes. Sometimes this pagan deity was represented by a tree, sometimes by an obelisk type pole. The asherah pole is related to the matstebah, which is defined as “image, pillar, stump, tree or altar.”This type of pagan representation made its way into the religious system of ancient Israel, something YHVH forbad and something he expected righteous leaders to destroy (e.g. 2 Kgs 10:25–27). Have you ever wondered about the origins of the church steeple and about its striking resemblance to the ancient Egyptian obelisk, which was associated with phallic and sun god worship?