There is an interesting article in Archaeology magazine this month about recent evacuation of sites in ancient Judea, where a lot of statues and inscriptions to the goddess Asherah were unearthed. Asherah is believed to have been the wife or consort of the Canaanite god Yahweh (Jehovah) in the iron age Palestinian civilization in which the Jewish nation evolved.
Asherah is mentioned 40 times in the Bible, always in a negative context. For instance, Josiah is praised by the authors of the Book of Kings for casting down offerings made to Asherah in the Temple at Jerusalem.
Nevertheless, according to archaeological evidence, Asherah continued to be worshiped up until the conquest of Judah in 586 B.C. and the subsequent Babylonian exile.
By the time Israel returned to the Holy Land in the time of Nehemiah, monotheism had gained sufficient strength that the Yahwist party was finally able to purge the country of the vestiges of other gods and goddesses. Since most of the Bible was written after the Babylonian exile, worship of Asherah and other Canaanite deities is reviled as abominable idolatry in the final version of the Holy Scriptures that has come down to us.
I thought that was pretty interesting.