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“Grove” or “Asherah” in Deuteronomy 16:21 et al.?

"Thou shalt not plant thee a grove of any trees near unto the altar of the LORD thy God, which thou shalt make thee." (Deuteronomy 16:21, KJV)

Critics claim that the KJV errs in translating “אשׁרה ('ăshêrâh)” as “grove,” as there is supposedly no harm in planting groves of trees. In Pagan nature religions, however, groves are places of learning and worship. A “pagan grove” is a terminology among Pagans that refers to Pagan learning circles. Hindu militants in the Orissa region of India are angry at this passage precisely for the reason that groves are sacred to Hindus.