Venus is a planet in our solar system. She was also called Ishtar by the Babylonians and Astarte by the Phoenicians, , but the Bible has no record of either name. Instead, we know her by Ashoreth which becomes Aphrodite in Ancient Greece.
The Babylonian Ishtar represented the evening and morning stars and was accordingly androgynous in origin. Under Semitic influence, she became solely female, but retained a memory of her primitive character by standing, alone among the Assyro-Bab goddesses, on a footing of equality with the male divinities.
The Moabs, who are descended from the incestuous relationship between Lot and his eldest daughter (see Genesis 19 for that sordid story) worshiped her. The Moabites are rather important in the book of Judges the first seven of chapters I worked on here, as rivals and evil overlords of the Israelites. Like so many things in life, the Moabites were used by the hand of God, to bring the Israelites back to the one true faith.
But that does not close up our story.
Ashoreth is also identified with Chemosh, who was worshiped in southern Arabia. This is mentioned at Judges 11:24 and throughout the book of Kings 1. Ishtar to Chemosh has some similarity. The ish-osh connection with the Hebrew Chet. in front for the “mystery of life.” It is important to note that Hebrew, like all Semitic languages cannot express vowel sounds hence its tag as being rather “guttural,” so while English expresses the “short e” in Chet it is more of a sound than we are used to hearing.
With the suffix of Chet in the front, like the imagery of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ, the god Chemosh was “yoked” to her people, but the difference is that He is Light and path through which we can see and understand Life, while she is a “mysterious” dark force that is incomprehensible and does little for her people other than be something that they can worship. Some scholars would say that one is a higher version of the same god, but that is easily discarded as both ideas were simultaneous and how one got the idea and the other did not is something that they have to toil with, while we know the answer: God told one and the other rejected Him and fell into darkness.
So that solves the Chemosh angle, but Ishtar – Astarte – Ashoreth is another puzzle, and how that becomes Venus one more.
The Ish-Ash slurring of language from Babylonian to Phoenician is explainable between the two goddesses, and that easily moves over to Aph…Aphrodite in Ancient Greece. Venus does not seem to fit the pattern, and based on my own Classical language studies, perhaps there is an Etruscan (pre-Roman) goddess that got meshed with Aphrodite, because the Romans were insecure and took everything they could from the fallen Greeks, but enough speculation, we could spend forever thinking about this one, so, in Britannica XI we see…
VENUS is an old Roman and Latin goddess, apparently representing beauty and growth in nature, and especially in gardens, where the Roman practical sense appreciated most.
She had two temples in Rome, one in the grove of Libitina, the goddess of funerals, with whom she was wrongly identified, and the other near the Circus Maximus, both of which had their dedication day as the 19th of August, or the festival of the Vinalia rustica, a major holiday celebrating the harvesting of wine.
This points to idea that skilled cultivation was the product of human work of which she was protectress. Alas, this old Latin deity, Venus, was entirely absorbed by the Greek Aphrodite, and assume the latter’s cult of human love, which in her original form Venus had never possessed. (See APHRODITE.)
That seems to hint that while Aphrodite-Ishtar-Ashoreth (the latter god is in the Bible and throughout the Book of Judges, our main current concern) are connected, Venus is more like the Chemosh figure, dark and foreboding, and more concern with practical deeds, like Gideon’s in Judges 5, than a loving mother, or sex figure.
Judges it seems, has a few local deities that are not as well-related as the Jungians would like us to say, and Venus/Aphrodite is obviously a much later add-on that got morphed, or gentrified, into the Great Myth when the Roman Empire wanted to assert themselves as part of the framework of history, so Venus does not really fit after all.
The Aphrodite-Astarte-Ishtar myth is interesting, and rather involved, but that’s another tale to tell.