A city in the region of Bashan, generally identified today with Tell ʽAshterah about twenty miles (32 kilometers) E of the Sea of Galilee. The low hill there is surrounded by a well-watered plain. Its name would indicate that it was a center of worship of the goddess Ashtoreth or Astarte.
Biblical references to it are principally with regard to giant King Og of Bashan, who is spoken of as reigning “in Ashtaroth, in Edrei.” (Deut. 1:4; Josh. 9:10; 12:4; 13:12) The conquered territory of Og’s kingdom was originally assigned to the Machirites of the tribe of Manasseh, but Ashtaroth later passed to the Gershonites as a Levitical city. (Josh. 13:29-31; 1 Chron. 6:71) At Joshua 21:27, which corresponds with the account at 1 Chronicles 6:71, the city is called Beeshterah, understood to mean “house of Astarte.”
The city is referred to in Assyrian inscriptions and in the Tell el-Amarna Letters.