(1.) Heb. 'asherah, properly a wooden image, or a pillar
representing Ashtoreth, a sensual Canaanite goddess, probably
usually set up in a grove (2 Kings 21:7; 23:4). In the Revised
Version the word "Asherah" (q.v.) is introduced as a proper
noun, the name of the wooden symbol of a goddess, with the
plurals Asherim (Ex. 34:13) and Asheroth (Judg. 3:13).
The LXX. have rendered "asherah" in 2 Chr. 15:16 by "Astarte."
The Vulgate has done this also in Judg. 3:7.
(2.) Heb. 'eshel (Gen. 21:33). In 1 Sam. 22:6 and 31:13 the
Authorized Version renders this word by "tree." In all these
passages the Revised Version renders by "tamarisk tree." It has
been identified with the Tamariscus orientalis, five species of
which are found in Israel.
(3.) The Heb. word 'elon, uniformly rendered in the Authorized
Version by "plain," properly signifies a grove or plantation. In
the Revised Version it is rendered, pl., "oaks" (Gen. 13:18;
14:13; 18:1; 12:6; Deut. 11:30; Josh. 19:33). In the earliest
times groves are mentioned in connection with religious worship.
The heathen consecrated groves to particular gods, and for this
reason they were forbidden to the Jews (Jer. 17:3; Ezek. 20:28).