Webster's New Collegiate Dictionary:
"Easter ... estre ... eastre ... ostarun ... from the prehistoric West Germanic name of a pagan spring festival."
Easton's Bible Dictionary:
"Easter, originally a Saxon word (Eostre), denoting a goddess of the Saxons."
"The Anglo-Saxon priest Venerable Bede in the 8th century derived [the English name Easter] from the Anglo-Saxon spring goddess Eostre."
Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, 1894:
"Easter. The Saxon goddess of the east, whose festival was held in the spring."
"The English term [Easter] ... relates to Estre, a Teutonic goddess of the rising light of day and spring ... Anglo-Saxon, easter, eastron; Old High German, ostra, ostrara, ostrarun; German, Ostern."
The Two Babylons:
"Easter is nothing else than Astarte ... the queen of heaven, whose name, as pronounced by the people Nineveh, was evidently identical with that now in common use in this country."
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia:
"EASTER ... The English word comes from the Anglo-Saxon Eastre or Estera, a Teutonic goddess to whom sacrifice was offered in April, so the name was transferred to the pashcal feast. The word does not properly occur in Scripture, although the Authorized Version has it in Acts 12:4 where it stands for Passover, as it is rightly rendered in the Revised Standard Version."
Acts 12:1 Now about that time Herod the king stretched forth his hands to vex certain of the church.
2 And he killed James the brother of John with the sword.
3 And because he saw it pleased the Jews, he proceeded further to take Peter also. (Then were the days of unleavened bread.)
4 And when he had apprehended him, he put him in prison, and delivered him to four quaternions of soldiers to keep him; intending after Easter [Greek word: pascha, translated in all other KJV occurrences as passover; NKJV and others: Passover] to bring him forth to the people.
Ezekiel 8:15 Then said he unto me, Hast thou seen this, O son of man? turn thee yet again, and thou shalt see greater abominations than these.
16 And he brought me into the inner court of the LORD'S house, and, behold, at the door of the temple of the LORD, between the porch and the altar, were about five and twenty men, with their backs toward the temple of the LORD, and their faces toward the east; and they worshipped the sun toward the east.
17 Then he said unto me, Hast thou seen this, O son of man? Is it a light thing to the house of Judah that they commit the abominations which they commit here? for they have filled the land with violence, and have returned to provoke me to anger: and, lo, they put the branch to their nose.
18 Therefore will I also deal in fury: mine eye shall not spare, neither will I have pity: and though they cry in mine ears with a loud voice, yet will I not hear them.
9:1 He cried also in mine ears with a loud voice, saying, Cause them that have charge over the city to draw near, even every man with his destroying weapon in his hand.
2 And, behold, six men came from the way of the higher gate, which lieth toward the north, and every man a slaughter weapon in his hand; and one man among them was clothed with linen, with a writer's inkhorn by his side: and they went in, and stood beside the brasen altar.
3 And the glory of the God of Israel was gone up from the cherub, whereupon he was, to the threshold of the house. And he called to the man clothed with linen, which had the writer's inkhorn by his side;
4 And the LORD said unto him, Go through the midst of the city, through the midst of Jerusalem, and set a mark upon the foreheads of the men that sigh and that cry for all the abominations that be done in the midst thereof.
5 And to the others he said in mine hearing, Go ye after him through the city, and smite: let not your eye spare, neither have ye pity:
6 Slay utterly old and young, both maids, and little children, and women: but come not near any man upon whom is the mark; and begin at my sanctuary. Then they began at the ancient men which were before the house.
7 And he said unto them, Defile the house, and fill the courts with the slain: go ye forth. And they went forth, and slew in the city.
See also Ashtoreth and Asherah.
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