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    September 21    Scripture

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    Idol in Easton's Bible Dictionary (1.) Heb. aven, "nothingness;" "vanity" (Isa. 66:3; 41:29; Deut. 32:21; 1 Kings 16:13; Ps. 31:6; Jer. 8:19, etc.). (2.) 'Elil, "a thing of naught" (Ps. 97:7; Isa. 19:3); a word of contempt, used of the gods of Noph (Ezek. 30:13). (3.) 'Emah, "terror," in allusion to the hideous form of idols (Jer. 50:38). (4.) Miphletzeth, "a fright;" "horror" (1 Kings 15:13; 2 Chr. 15:16). (5.) Bosheth, "shame;" "shameful thing" (Jer. 11:13; Hos. 9:10); as characterizing the obscenity of the worship of Baal. (6.) Gillulim, also a word of contempt, "dung;" "refuse" (Ezek. 16:36; 20:8; Deut. 29:17, marg.). (7.) Shikkuts, "filth;" "impurity" (Ezek. 37:23; Nah. 3:6). (8.) Semel, "likeness;" "a carved image" (Deut. 4:16). (9.) Tselem, "a shadow" (Dan. 3:1; 1 Sam. 6:5), as distinguished from the "likeness," or the exact counterpart. (10.) Temunah, "similitude" (Deut. 4:12-19). Here Moses forbids the several forms of Gentile idolatry. (11.) 'Atsab, "a figure;" from the root "to fashion," "to labour;" denoting that idols are the result of man's labour (Isa. 48:5; Ps. 139:24, "wicked way;" literally, as some translate, "way of an idol"). (12.) Tsir, "a form;" "shape" (Isa. 45:16). (13.) Matztzebah, a "statue" set up (Jer. 43:13); a memorial stone like that erected by Jacob (Gen. 28:18; 31:45; 35:14, 20), by Joshua (4:9), and by Samuel (1 Sam. 7:12). It is the name given to the statues of Baal (2 Kings 3:2; 10:27). (14.) Hammanim, "sun-images." Hamman is a synonym of Baal, the sun-god of the Phoenicians (2 Chr. 34:4, 7; 14:3, 5; Isa. 17:8). (15.) Maskith, "device" (Lev. 26:1; Num. 33:52). In Lev. 26:1, the words "image of stone" (A.V.) denote "a stone or cippus with the image of an idol, as Baal, Astarte, etc." In Ezek. 8:12, "chambers of imagery" (maskith), are "chambers of which the walls are painted with the figures of idols;" comp. ver. 10, 11. (16.) Pesel, "a graven" or "carved image" (Isa. 44:10-20). It denotes also a figure cast in metal (Deut. 7:25; 27:15; Isa. 40:19; 44:10). (17.) Massekah, "a molten image" (Deut. 9:12; Judg. 17:3, 4). (18.) Teraphim, pl., "images," family gods (penates) worshipped by Abram's kindred (Josh. 24:14). Put by Michal in David's bed (Judg. 17:5; 18:14, 17, 18, 20; 1 Sam. 19:13). "Nothing can be more instructive and significant than this multiplicity and variety of words designating the instruments and inventions of idolatry."

    Idol in Fausset's Bible Dictionary Of the 19 Hebrew words for it and IMAGE many express the abhorrence which idolatry deserves and the shame and sorrow of the idolater. (1) Awen, "vanity," "nothingness," "wickedness," "sorrow" (Isaiah 66:3; Isaiah 41:29; Deuteronomy 32:21; 1 Kings 16:13; Psalm 31:6; Jeremiah 8:19; Jeremiah 10:8; Zechariah 10:2; 1 Samuel 15:23). "Beth-el," the house of God, is named "Beth-aven," house of vanity, because of the calf worship. (2) Eliyl, either a contemptuous diminutive of Eel, God, godling; or from al "not," a "thing of naught." There is a designed contrast between the contemptible liliym and the Divine Elohim (Psalm 97:7; Isaiah 19:3, "non-entities" margin Ezekiel 30:13). (3) emah, "terror," (Jeremiah 1:38) "they are mad after their idols," hideous forms more fitted to frighten than to attract, bugbears to frighten children with. (4) miphletseth, "a fright": Maachah's idol which Asa cut down (1 Kings 15:13; 2 Chronicles 15:16); the phallus, symbol of the generative organ, the nature goddess Asherah's productive power. Jeremiah 10:2-5 graphically describes the making of an idol and its impotence. (5) bosheth, "shame": not merely shameful, but the essence of shame, bringing shame on its votaries and especially expressing the obscenity of Baal's and Baal Peor's worship (Jeremiah 11:13; Hosea 9:10). (6) gillulim, from gal "a heap of stones" (Gesenius): Ezekiel 30:13; Ezekiel 16:36; Deuteronomy 29:17, "dungy gods" margin (7) shiquts, ceremonial "uncleanness" (Ezekiel 37:23). The worshippers "became loathsome like their love," for men never rise above their object of worship; "they that make them are like unto them, so is everyone that trusteth in them" (Psalm 115:4-8). (8) ceemel, a "likeness" (Deuteronomy 4:16). (9) tselem, from tseel "a shadow" (Daniel 3:1; 1 Samuel 6:5), "the image" as distinguished from the demuth, "likeness," the exact counterpart (Greek eikoon; Colossians 1:15; Genesis 1:27). The "image" presupposes a prototype. "Likeness" (Greek homoiosis) implies mere resemblance, not the exact counterpart and derivation, hence the Son is never called the "likeness" of the Father but the "Image" (1 Corinthians 11:7; John 1:18; John 14:9; 2 Corinthians 4:4; 1 Timothy 3:16; 1 Timothy 6:16; Hebrews 1:3). The idol is supposed to be an "image" exactly representing some person or object. (10) timahuh "similitude," "form "(Deuteronomy 4:12- 19, where Moses forbids successively the several forms of Gentile idolatry: ancestor worship, as that of Terah (Joshua 24:2), Laban (Genesis 31:19; Genesis 31:30; Genesis 31:32), and Jacob's household (Genesis 35:2-4), to guard against which Moses' sepulchre was hidden; hero worship and relic worship (Judges 8:27; Judges 17:4; 2 Kings 18:4); nature worship, whether of the lower animals as in Egypt, or of the heavenly bodies, the sun, moon, and stars, as among the Persians). (11) atzab, etzeb, otzeb, "a figure," from aatzab "to fashion"; with the additional idea of sorrowful labour (Isaiah 48:5; Psalm 139:24), "see if there be any wicked way (way of pain, way of an idol, Isaiah 48:5) in me, and lead me in the way everlasting." The way of idolatry, however refined, proves to be a way of pain, and shuts out from the way everlasting (1 John 5:21; Revelation 21:8; 1 Corinthians 10:20-21). Tacitus, the Roman historian (Hist. 5:4), notices the contrast between Judaism and the whole pagan world, which disproves the notion that it borrowed from the latter and consecrated several of their rites. "The Jews conceive the Divinity as One, and to be understood only by the mind; they deem...

    Idol in Naves Topical Bible Manufacture of Ex 20:4; 32:4,20; De 4:23; Isa 40:19,20; 44:9-12,17; Hab 2:18; Ac 19:24,25 -Manufacture of, forbidden Ex 20:4; 34:17 -Made of Gold Ex 32:3,4; Ps 115:4-7; 135:15-17; Isa 2:20; 30:22; 31:7; Ho 8:4 Silver Isa 2:20; 30:22; 31:7; Ho 8:4 Wood and stone Le 26:1; De 4:28; 2Ki 19:18; Isa 37:19; 41:6; 44:13- 19; Eze 20:32 -Coverings of Isa 30:22 -Prayer to, unanswered 1Ki 18:25-29; Isa 16:12 -Things offered to, not to be eaten Ex 34:15

    Idol in Smiths Bible Dictionary An image or anything used as an object of worship in place of the true God. Among the earliest objects of worship, regarded as symbols of deity, were the meteoric stones,which the ancients believed to have been images of the Gods sent down from heaven. From these they transferred their regard to rough unhewn blocks, to stone columns or pillars of wood, in which the divinity worshipped was supposed to dwell, and which were connected, like the sacred stone at Delphi, by being anointed with oil and crowned with wool on solemn days. Of the forms assumed by the idolatrous images we have not many traces in the Bible. Dagon, the fish-god of the Philistines, was a human figure terminating in a fish; and that the Syrian deities were represented in later times in a symbolical human shape we know for certainty. When the process of adorning the image was completed, it was placed in a temple or shrine appointed for it. Epist. Jer 12:1 ..., 19:1 ... Wisd. 13:15; 1Co 18:10 From these temples the idols were sometimes carried in procession, Epist. Jer 4:26 on festival days. Their priests were maintained from the idol treasury, and feasted upon the meats which were appointed for the idols' use. Bel and the Dragon 3,13.

    Idolatry in Easton's Bible Dictionary image-worship or divine honour paid to any created object. Paul describes the origin of idolatry in Rom. 1:21-25: men forsook God, and sank into ignorance and moral corruption (1:28). The forms of idolatry are, (1.) Fetishism, or the worship of trees, rivers, hills, stones, etc. (2.) Nature worship, the worship of the sun, moon, and stars, as the supposed powers of nature. (3.) Hero worship, the worship of deceased ancestors, or of heroes. In Scripture, idolatry is regarded as of heathen origin, and as being imported among the Hebrews through contact with heathen nations. The first allusion to idolatry is in the account of Rachel stealing her father's teraphim (Gen. 31:19), which were the relics of the worship of other gods by Laban's progenitors "on the other side of the river in old time" (Josh. 24:2). During their long residence in Egypt the Hebrews fell into idolatry, and it was long before they were delivered from it (Josh. 24:14; Ezek. 20:7). Many a token of God's displeasure fell upon them because of this sin. The idolatry learned in Egypt was probably rooted out from among the people during the forty years' wanderings; but when the Jews entered Israel, they came into contact with the monuments and associations of the idolatry of the old Canaanitish races, and showed a constant tendency to depart from the living God and follow the idolatrous practices of those heathen nations. It was their great national sin, which was only effectually rebuked by the Babylonian exile. That exile finally purified the Jews of all idolatrous tendencies. The first and second commandments are directed against idolatry of every form. Individuals and communities were equally amenable to the rigorous code. The individual offender was devoted to destruction (Ex. 22:20). His nearest relatives were not only bound to denounce him and deliver him up to punishment (Deut. 13:20-10), but their hands were to strike the first blow when, on the evidence of two witnesses at least, he was stoned (Deut. 17:2-7). To attempt to seduce others to false worship was a crime of equal enormity (13:6-10). An idolatrous nation shared the same fate. No facts are more strongly declared in the Old Testament than that the extermination of the Canaanites was the punishment of their idolatry (Ex. 34:15, 16; Deut. 7; 12:29-31; 20:17), and that the calamities of the Israelites were due to the same cause (Jer. 2:17). "A city guilty of idolatry was looked upon as a cancer in the state; it was considered to be in rebellion, and treated according to the laws of war. Its inhabitants and all their cattle were put to death." Jehovah was the theocratic King of Israel, the civil Head of the commonwealth, and therefore to an Israelite idolatry was a state offence (1 Sam. 15:23), high treason. On taking possession of the land, the Jews were commanded to destroy all traces of every kind of the existing idolatry of the Canaanites (Ex. 23:24, 32; 34:13; Deut. 7:5, 25; 12:1-3). In the New Testament the term idolatry is used to designate covetousness (Matt. 6:24; Luke 16:13; Col. 3:5; Eph. 5:5).

    Idolatry in Smiths Bible Dictionary strictly speaking denotes the worship of deity in a visible form, whether the images to which homage is paid are symbolical representations of the true God or of the false divinities which have been made the objects of worship in his stead. I. History of idolatry among the Jews. --The first undoubted allusion to idolatry or idolatrous customs in the Bible is in the account of Rachel's stealing her father's teraphim. Ge 31:19 During their long residence in Egypt the Israelites defiled themselves with the idols of the land, and it was long before the taint was removed. Jos 24:14; Eze 20:7 In the wilderness they clamored for some visible shape in which they might worship the God who had brought them out of Egypt. Ex 32:1 ... until Aaron made the calf, the embodiment of Apis and emblem of the productive power of nature. During the lives of Joshua and the elders who outlived him they kept true to their allegiance; but the generation following who knew not Jehovah nor the works he had done for Israel, swerved from the plain path of their fathers and were caught in the toils of the foreigner. Jud 2:1 ... From this time forth their history becomes little more than a chronicle of the inevitable sequence of offence and punishment. Jud 2:12,14 By turns each conquering nation strove to establish the worship of its national God. In later times the practice of secret idolatry was carried to greater lengths. Images were set up on the corn-floors, in the wine-vats, and behind the doors of private houses, Isa 57:8; Ho 9:1,2 and to check this tendency the statute in De 27:15 was originally promulgated. Under Samuel's administration idolatry was publicly renounced, 1Sa 7:3-6 but in the reign of Solomon all this was forgotten, even Solomon's own heart being turned after other gods. 1Ki 11:14 Rehoboam perpetuated the worst features of Solomon's idolatry. 1Ki 14:22-24 erected golden calves at Beth-el and at Dan, and by this crafty state' policy severed forever the kingdoms of Judah and Israel. 1Ki 12:26-33 The successors of Jeroboam followed in his steps, till Ahab. The conquest of the ten tribes by Shalmaneser was for them the last scene Of the drama of abominations which had been enacted uninterruptedly for upwards of 250 years. Under Hezekiah a great reform was inaugurated, that was not confined to Judah and Benjamin, but spread throughout Ephraim and Manasseh. 2Ch 31:1 and to all external appearances idolatry was extirpated. But the reform extended little below the surface. Isa 29:13 With the death of Josiah ended the last effort to revive among the people a purer ritual. If not a purer faith. The lamp of David, which had long shed but a struggling ray, flickered for a while and then went out in the darkness of Babylonian Captivity. Though the conquests of Alexander caused Greek influence to be felt, yet after the captivity better condition of things prevailed, and the Jews never again fell into idolatry. The erection of synagogues had been assigned as a reason for the comparative purity of the Jewish worship after the captivity, while another cause has been discovered in the hatred for images acquired by the Jews in their intercourse with the Persians. II. Objects of idolatry.--The sun and moon were early selected as outward symbols of all-pervading power, and the worship of the heavenly bodies was not only the most ancient but the most prevalent system of idolatry. Taking its rise in the plains...

    Idolatry in the Bible Encyclopedia - ISBE i-dol'-a-tri (teraphim, "household idols," "idolatry"; eidololatreia): There is ever in the human mind a craving for visible forms to express religious conceptions, and this tendency does not disappear with the acceptance, or even with the constant recognition, of pure spiritual truths (see IMAGES). Idolatry originally meant the worship of idols, or the worship of false gods by means of idols, but came to mean among the Old Testament Hebrews any worship of false gods, whether by images or otherwise, and finally the worship of Yahweh through visible symbols (Hos 8:5,6; 10:5); and ultimately in the New Testament idolatry came to mean, not only the giving to any creature or human creation the honor or devotion which belonged to God alone, but the giving to any human desire a precedence over God's will (1 Cor 10:14; Gal 5:20; Col 3:5; 1 Pet 4:3). The neighboring gods of Phoenicia, Canaan, Moab--Baal, Melkart, Astarte, Chemosh, Moloch, etc.--were particularly attractive to Jerusalem, while the old Semitic calf-worship seriously affected the state religion of the Northern Kingdom (see GOLDEN CALF). As early as the Assyrian and Babylonian periods (8th and 7th centuries BC), various deities from the Tigris and Euphrates had intruded themselves--the worship of Tammuz becoming a little later the most popular and seductive of all (Ezek 8:14)--while the worship of the sun, moon, stars and signs of the Zodiac became so intensely fascinating that these were introduced even into the temple itself (2 Ki 17:16; 21:3-7; 23:4,12; Jer 19:13; Ezek 8:16; Am 5:26). The special enticements to idolatry as offered by these various cults were found in their deification of natural forces and their appeal to primitive human desires, especially the sexual; also through associations produced by intermarriage and through the appeal to patriotism, when the help of some cruel deity was sought in time of war. Baal and Astarte worship, which was especially attractive, was closely associated with fornication and drunkenness (Am 2:7,8; compare 1 Ki 14:23 f), and also appealed greatly to magic and soothsaying (e.g. Isa 2:6; 3:2; 8:19). Sacrifices to the idols were offered by fire (Hos 4:13); libations were poured out (Isa 57:6; Jer 7:18); the first- fruits of the earth and tithes were presented (Hos 2:8); tables of food were set before them (Isa 65:11); the worshippers kissed the idols or threw them kisses (1 Ki 19:18; Hos 13:2; Job 31:27); stretched out their hands in adoration (Isa 44:20); knelt or prostrated themselves before them and sometimes danced about the altar, gashing themselves with knives (1 Ki 18:26,28; for a fuller summary see EB). Even earlier than the Babylonian exile the Hebrew prophets taught that Yahweh was not only superior to all other gods, but reigned alone as God, other deities being nonentities (Lev 19:4; Isa 2:8,18,20; 19:1,3; 31:7; 44:9-20). The severe satire of this period proves that the former fear of living demons supposed to inhabit the idols had disappeared. These prophets also taught that the temple, ark and sacrifices were not essential to true spiritual worship (e.g. Jer 3:16; Am 5:21-25). These prophecies produced a strong reaction against the previously popular idol-worship, though later indications of this worship are not infrequent (Ezek 14:1-8; Isa 42:17). The Maccabean epoch placed national heroism plainly on the side of the one God, Yahweh; and although Greek and Egyptian idols were worshipped in Gaza and Ascalon and other half-heathen communities clear down to the 5th or 6th century of the Christian era, yet in orthodox centers like Jerusalem these were despised and repudiated utterly from the 2nd century BC onward.

    Idols Scripture - 2 Corinthians 6:16 And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in [them]; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.

    Idols Scripture - 2 Kings 21:11 Because Manasseh king of Judah hath done these abominations, [and] hath done wickedly above all that the Amorites did, which [were] before him, and hath made Judah also to sin with his idols:

    Idols Scripture - 2 Kings 21:21 And he walked in all the way that his father walked in, and served the idols that his father served, and worshipped them:

    Idols Scripture - Ezekiel 18:12 Hath oppressed the poor and needy, hath spoiled by violence, hath not restored the pledge, and hath lifted up his eyes to the idols, hath committed abomination,

    Idols Scripture - Ezekiel 22:4 Thou art become guilty in thy blood that thou hast shed; and hast defiled thyself in thine idols which thou hast made; and thou hast caused thy days to draw near, and art come [even] unto thy years: therefore have I made thee a reproach unto the heathen, and a mocking to all countries.

    Idols Scripture - Ezekiel 6:6 In all your dwellingplaces the cities shall be laid waste, and the high places shall be desolate; that your altars may be laid waste and made desolate, and your idols may be broken and cease, and your images may be cut down, and your works may be abolished.

    Idols Scripture - Habakkuk 2:18 What profiteth the graven image that the maker thereof hath graven it; the molten image, and a teacher of lies, that the maker of his work trusteth therein, to make dumb idols?

    Idols Scripture - Jeremiah 50:2 Declare ye among the nations, and publish, and set up a standard; publish, [and] conceal not: say, Babylon is taken, Bel is confounded, Merodach is broken in pieces; her idols are confounded, her images are broken in pieces.

    Idols Scripture - Micah 1:7 And all the graven images thereof shall be beaten to pieces, and all the hires thereof shall be burned with the fire, and all the idols thereof will I lay desolate: for she gathered [it] of the hire of an harlot, and they shall return to the hire of an harlot.

    Idols Scripture - Romans 2:22 Thou that sayest a man should not commit adultery, dost thou commit adultery? thou that abhorrest idols, dost thou commit sacrilege?

    Teraphim The teraphim. In the land of Babylonia, from which Abraham had originally come, there was family worship of household gods, and the home had its altar along with clay figurines of these gods, which were called "teraphim." These family gods served as guardian angels of the home. At the death of a father, these household gods, or teraphim, would often be left to the oldest son, with the understanding that others' of the family would have the right to worship them. When Jacob left the home of Laban in Haran, Genesis says, "Rachel had stolen the images (Teraphim] that were her father's" (Genesis 31:19). Laban was very much agitated over this theft. He pursued Jacob's party and said to him, "Wherefore hast thou stolen my gods?" (Genesis 31:30). But why was Laban so concerned about discovering those lost teraphim? Sir Charles Leonard Woolley, in charge of excavations at Ur of the Chaldees, tells of a tablet of that region which reveals a law that throws light on Rachel's theft. Dr. Woolley puts the law thus: "The possession of the household gods conferred the privilege of primogeniture." Thus Rachel must have stolen her brother's birthright when she took her father's teraphim, and she was thereby seeking to make Jacob the legal heir to the wealth of Laban. This ancient form of idolatry was vitally linked to family affairs. It would seem that Rachel brought forth those stolen teraphim when the family was about to move from Shechem to Bethel. Jacob said to his family at that time, "Put away the strange gods that are among you and be clean" (Genesis 35:2). The presence of these relics of former days would indicate an effort to combine the superstitions and heathen charms of an idolatrous worship along with the worship of the true and living GOD. The teraphim appeared on several occasions in later history of the Israelites. [Manners And Customs of Bible Lands]