'Idol' in the Bible
Do not make an idol for yourself, whether in the shape of anything in the heavens above or on the earth below or in the waters under the earth.
“You shall not profane My holy name [using it to honor an idol, or treating it with irreverence or contempt or as a byword]; but I will be sanctified (set apart as holy) among the Israelites. I am the Lord, who sanctifies and declares you holy,
not to act corruptly and make an idol for yourselves in the shape of any figure: a male or female form,
Be careful not to forget the covenant of the Lord your God that He made with you, and make an idol for yourselves in the shape of anything He has forbidden you.
“When you have children and grandchildren and have been in the land a long time, and if you act corruptly, make an idol in the form of anything, and do what is evil in the sight of the Lord your God, provoking Him to anger,
Do not make an idol for yourself in the shape of anything in the heavens above or on the earth below or in the waters under the earth.
You shall not bring an abomination (idol) into your house, and like it come under the ban (doomed to destruction); you shall utterly detest and you shall utterly hate it, for it is something banned.
"Then the LORD told me, "Get going! Go down from here at once! Your people whom you brought out of Egypt have become corrupt. They have turned quickly from the way that I commanded them, and have cast an idol for their use.'
Then I saw how you had really sinned against the LORD your God! You had made for yourselves a calf, a cast idol. You had turned aside quickly from the way that the LORD your God had commanded.
‘The person who makes a carved idol or cast image, which is detestable to the Lord, the work of a craftsman, and sets it up in secret is cursed.’And all the people will reply, ‘Amen!’
He returned the eleven hundred pieces of silver to his mother, and his mother thought, "I will certainly consecrate to Yahweh the pieces of silver from my hand for my son to make an idol of cast metal; now then, I will return them to you."
When he returned the pieces of silver to his mother, his mother took two hundred pieces of silver, and she gave it to the smith, and he made it [into] an idol of cast metal; and it was in the house of Micah.
And the five men that went out to spy out the land ([that is], Laish) responded and said to their relatives, "Do you know that there are in these houses an ephod, teraphim, and an idol of cast metal? So then, consider what you must do."
They took the ark of God and brought it into the house of Dagon and set it beside [the image of] Dagon [their chief idol].
Then Michal took the household idol and put it on the bed, placed some goat hair on its head, and covered it with a garment.
When the messengers arrived, to their surprise, the household idol was on the bed with some goat hair on its head.
Solomon followed Ashtoreth, the goddess of the Sidonians, and Milcom, the detestable idol of the Ammonites.
At that time, Solomon built a high place for Chemosh, the detestable idol of Moab, and for Milcom, the detestable idol of the Ammonites, on the hill across from Jerusalem.
And also Maachah his mother, even her he removed from being queen, because she had made an idol in a grove; and Asa destroyed her idol, and burnt it by the brook Kidron.
He put an idol of Asherah he had made in the temple, about which the Lord had said to David and to his son Solomon, "This temple in Jerusalem, which I have chosen out of all the tribes of Israel, will be my permanent home.
The king also defiled the high places that were across from Jerusalem, to the south of the Mount of Destruction, which King Solomon of Israel had built for Ashtoreth, the detestable idol of the Sidonians; for Chemosh, the detestable idol of Moab; and for Milcom, the abomination of the Ammonites.
He removed the foreign altars and high places and tore down the [pagan] pillars (obelisks, memorial stones), and cut to pieces the Asherim [the symbols of the goddess Asherah].
And also concerning Maachah the mother of Asa the king, he removed her from being queen, because she had made an idol in a grove: and Asa cut down her idol, and stamped it, and burnt it at the brook Kidron.
And he set a carved image, the idol which he had made, in the house of God, of which God had said to David and to Solomon his son, In this house, and in Jerusalem, which I have chosen before all the tribes of Israel, will I put my name for ever:
And he took away the strange gods, and the idol out of the house of the LORD, and all the altars that he had built in the mount of the house of the LORD, and in Jerusalem, and cast them out of the city.
Even when they made for themselves a molten idol of a calf and said, 'This is your God who brought you out from Egypt,' and committed great blasphemies.
In the midst of Your meeting place Your enemies have roared [with their battle cry];They have set up their own emblems for signs [of victory].
For they provoked Him to [righteous] anger with their high places [devoted to idol worship]And moved Him to jealousy with their carved images [by denying Him the love, worship, and obedience that is rightfully and uniquely His].
They joined themselves also to [the idol] Baal of Peor,And ate sacrifices offered to the dead.
Therefore through this the wickedness [the sin, the injustice, the wrongdoing] of Jacob (Israel) will be atoned for and forgiven;And this will be the full price [that God requires] for taking away his sin:When Israel makes all the stones of the [pagan] altars like crushed chalk stones;When the Asherim and the incense altars will not stand.
To an idol?—something that a smelter casts,and a metalworker plates with goldand makes silver welds for it?
To one who shapes a pedestal,choosing wood that does not rot?He looks for a skilled craftsmanto set up an idol that will not fall over.
They each help his neighborAnd say to his brother [as he fashions his idols], “Be of good courage!”
“I have stirred up and put into action one from the north [the king of Persia, Cyrus the Great], and he has come;From the rising of the sun he will call on My Name [in prayer].And he will trample on [the Babylonian] officials as on mortar,Even as a potter treads clay.”
Who [among the idols] has declared this from the beginning, so that we could know?Or from earlier times, so that we could say, “He is [unquestionably] right!”?In fact, there was no one who declared it,Indeed, there was no one who proclaimed it;There was no one at all who heard you speak [for you pagan gods are speechless].
All those who form an idol [are] nothing, and their delightful things do not profit. And their witnesses do not see or know, so they will be ashamed.
Who has fashioned a god or cast an idol to no profit?
The ironworker labors over the coals,shapes the idol with hammers,and works it with his strong arm.Also he grows hungry and his strength fails;he doesn’t drink water and is faint.
The carpenter measures it with a line; he traces its shape with a stylus, then fashions it with planes and shapes it with a compass. He makes the idol like a human figure, with human beauty, to be at home in a shrine.
It serves as fuel for man.He takes some of it and warms himself;also he kindles a fire and bakes bread;he even makes it into a god and worships it;he makes an idol from it and bows down to it.
He makes a god or his idol with the rest of it.He bows down to it and worships;He prays to it, “Save me, for you are my god.”
No one thinks to himself, nor do they comprehend or understand and say to themselves: 'I burned half of it in the fire -- yes, I baked bread over the coals; I roasted meat and ate it. With the rest of it should I make a disgusting idol? Should I bow down to dry wood?'
“Gather yourselves and come;Draw near together, you fugitives of the nations;They have no knowledge,Who carry about their wooden idolAnd pray to a god who cannot save.
“They lift it on their shoulders [in religious processions or into battle] and carry it;They set it in its place and there it remains standing.It cannot move from its place.Even if one cries to it [for help], the idol cannot answer;It cannot save him from his distress.
I have even from the beginning declared it to thee; before it came to pass I shewed it thee: lest thou shouldest say, Mine idol hath done them, and my graven image, and my molten image, hath commanded them.
“Behind the door and the doorpostYou have set up your [pagan] symbol;Indeed, far removed from Me, you have uncovered yourself,And have gone up and made your bed wide.And you have made a [new] agreement for yourself with the adulterers,You have loved their bed,You have looked [with passion] on their manhood.
He that killeth an ox is as if he slew a man; he that sacrificeth a lamb, as if he cut off a dog's neck; he that offereth an oblation, as if he offered swine's blood; he that burneth incense, as if he blessed an idol. Yea, they have chosen their own ways, and their soul delighteth in their abominations.
They say to a wooden idol, 'You are my father.' They say to a stone image, 'You gave birth to me.' Yes, they have turned away from me instead of turning to me. Yet when they are in trouble, they say, 'Come and save us!'
“Why should I [overlook these offenses and] forgive you?Your children have abandoned (rejected) MeAnd sworn [their oaths] by those who are not gods.When I had fed them until they were full [and bound them to Me by a promise],They committed [spiritual] adultery,Assembling in troops at the houses of prostitutes (idols).
For the religion of these people is worthless. They cut down a tree in the forest, and a craftsman makes it into an idol with his tools.
“They adorn the idol with silver and with gold;They fasten it with hammers and nailsSo that it will not fall apart.
But they are altogether stupid and foolishIn their discipline of delusion—their idol is wood!
All these idolaters will prove to be stupid and ignorant. Every goldsmith will be disgraced by the idol he made. For the image he forges is merely a sham. There is no breath in any of those idols.
Is this man Coniah a despised broken idol? is he a vessel wherein is no pleasure? wherefore are they cast out, he and his seed, and are cast into a land which they know not?
For you will no longer remember the oracle of the Lord, because every man’s own word will become the oracle, [for as they mockingly call all prophecies oracles, whether good or bad, so will it prove to be to them; God will take them at their own word]; and you have perverted the words [not of a lifeless idol, but] of the living God, the Lord of hosts, our God.
But they put their detestable things (idols) in the house which is called by My Name, to defile it.
“For because you have trusted in your works [your hand-made idols] and in your treasures [instead of in God],Even you yourself will be captured;And Chemosh [your disgusting god cannot rescue you, but] will go away into exile [along with the fugitives]Together with his priests and his princes.
“As for Your terror,The pride and arrogance of your heart have deceived you,O you who live in the clefts of the rock (Sela also called Petra),Who hold and occupy the height of the hill.Though you make your nest as high as the eagle’s,I will bring you down from there,” says the Lord.
All idolaters will prove to be stupid and ignorant. Every goldsmith will be disgraced by the idol he made. For the image he forges is merely a sham. There is no breath in any of those idols.
He stretched out the form of a hand and caught me by a lock of my head; and the Spirit lifted me up between earth and heaven and brought me in the visions of God to Jerusalem, to the entrance of the north gate of the inner court, where the seat of the idol of jealousy, which provokes to jealousy, was located.
Then He said to me, “Son of man, raise your eyes now toward the north.” So I raised my eyes toward the north, and behold, to the north of the altar gate was this idol of jealousy at the entrance.
So I went in and looked. I noticed every figure of creeping thing and beast -- detestable images -- and every idol of the house of Israel, engraved on the wall all around.
Then He said to me, “Son of man, do you see what the elders of the house of Israel are doing in the darkness, each at the shrine of his idol? For they are saying, ‘The Lord does not see us. The Lord has abandoned the land.’”
that you built yourself an altar for prostitution and made yourself a high place [for ritual prostitution] in every square [of Jerusalem].
At the beginning of every street you built your high place and made your beauty repulsive; and you offered your body to every passer-by and multiplied your obscene immorality.
and does not eat [at the pagan shrines] on the mountains or raise his eyes to the idols of the house of Israel, or defile his neighbor’s wife or approach a woman during her [monthly] time of impurity—
For when I had brought them into the land which I swore to give to them, they saw every high hill and every dark and leafy tree [as a place for idol worship], and there they offered their sacrifices and there they presented their offering that provoked My anger; there also they made their sweet-smelling aroma and there poured out their drink offerings.
They will repay you for your obscene conduct, and you will be punished for idol worship. Then you will know that I am the sovereign Lord."
Yes, [O mountains of Israel] I will cause men—My people Israel—to walk on you and take possession of you, so that you will become their inheritance and never again bereave them of children.’
Then the Lord said to me, “Go again, love a woman (Gomer) who is beloved by her husband and yet is an adulteress, even as the Lord loves the children of Israel, though they turn to other gods and love the raisin cakes [used in the feasts in pagan worship].”
My people consult their wooden idol, and their diviner’s wand informs them;For a spirit of harlotry has led them astray,And they have played the harlot, departing from their God.
Your calf-idol is rejected, Samaria.My anger burns against them.How long will they be incapable of innocence?
That idol was made by a workman -- it is not God! The calf idol of Samaria will be broken to bits.
For Israel has forgotten his Maker and built palaces [and pagan temples],And Judah has built many fortified cities;But I will send a fire upon their cities so that it may consume their palaces and fortresses.
The inhabitants of Samaria will lament over the calf idol of Beth Aven. Its people will mourn over it; its idolatrous priests will wail over it, because its splendor will be taken from them into exile.
Even the calf idol will be carried to Assyria, as tribute for the great king. Ephraim will be disgraced; Israel will be put to shame because of its wooden idol.
Also the high places of Aven (Beth-aven), the sin of Israel, will be destroyed;The thorn and the thistle will grow on their [pagan] altars,And [in despair] they will say to the mountains,“Cover us!” And to the hills, “Fall on us!”
Even now they persist in sin! They make metal images for themselves, idols that they skillfully fashion from their own silver; all of them are nothing but the work of craftsmen! There is a saying about them: "Those who sacrifice to the calf idol are calf kissers!"
“Come to Bethel [where the golden calf is] and transgress;In Gilgal [where idols are worshiped] multiply transgression;Bring your sacrifices every morning,Your tithes every three days!
“Seek the Lord [search diligently for Him and long for Him as your most essential need] so that you may live,Or He will rush down like a [devouring] fire, O house of Joseph,And there will be no one to quench the flame for [idolatrous] Bethel,
These are the ones who now take oaths in the name of the sinful idol goddess of Samaria. They vow, 'As surely as your god lives, O Dan,' or 'As surely as your beloved one lives, O Beer Sheba!' But they will fall down and not get up again."
All this is because of the rebellion and apostasy of JacobAnd for the sins of the house of Israel (the Northern Kingdom).What is the rebellion and apostasy of Jacob?Is it not [the abandonment of God in order to worship the idols of] Samaria?What are the high places [of idolatry] in Judah (the Southern Kingdom)?Are they not Jerusalem [the capital and center of corruption]?
The Lord has issued an order concerning you:There will be no offspringto carry on your name.I will eliminate the carved idol and cast imagefrom the house of your gods;I will prepare your grave,for you are contemptible.
What use is a carved idolafter its craftsman carves it?It is only a cast image, a teacher of lies.For the one who crafts its shape trusts in itand makes idols that cannot speak.
“I will also stretch out My hand [in judgment] against JudahAnd against all the inhabitants of Jerusalem.And I will cut off and destroy the remnant of Baal from this place,And the names and remembrance of the idolatrous priests along with the [false] priests,
And those who bow down and worship the host of heaven [the sun, the moon, and the stars] on their housetopsAnd those who bow down and swear [oaths] to [and pretend to worship] the Lord and [yet also] swear by [the pagan god called] Milcom [god of the Ammonites],
At the same time, I'll punish every idol worshipper, especially those who are filling their master's temple with violence and deceit.
Woe to the idol shepherd that leaveth the flock! the sword shall be upon his arm, and upon his right eye: his arm shall be clean dried up, and his right eye shall be utterly darkened.
And they made a calf in those days, and offered sacrifice unto the idol, and rejoiced in the works of their own hands.
But as for the Gentiles who have accepted the faith, we have communicated to them our decision that they are carefully to abstain from anything sacrificed to an idol, from blood, from what is strangled, and from fornication."
As concerning therefore the eating of those things that are offered in sacrifice unto idols, we know that an idol is nothing in the world, and that there is none other God but one.
Howbeit there is not in every man that knowledge: for some with conscience of the idol unto this hour eat it as a thing offered unto an idol; and their conscience being weak is defiled.
However, food will not bring us closer to God. We are no worse off if we do not eat food that has been offered to an idol, and no better off if we do.
For if any one see thee, who hast knowledge, sitting at table in an idol-house, shall not his conscience, he being weak, be emboldened to eat the things sacrificed to the idol?
What say I then? that the idol is any thing, or that which is offered in sacrifice to idols is any thing?
But if someone says to you, “This is food offered to an idol,” do not eat it, out of consideration for the one who told you, and for conscience’ sake.
But I have a few things against thee: that thou hast there those who hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balak to cast a snare before the sons of Israel, to eat of idol sacrifices and commit fornication.
But I have against thee that thou permittest the woman Jezebel, she who calls herself prophetess, and she teaches and leads astray my servants to commit fornication and eat of idol sacrifices.
But to the cowards, unbelievers, detestable persons, murderers, the sexually immoral, and those who practice magic spells, idol worshipers, and all those who lie, their place will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur. That is the second death."
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- Idol's (1 instance in 10 translations)
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