'Idol' in the Bible
Neither shall you profane My holy name [applying it to an idol, or treating it with irreverence or contempt or as a byword]; but I will be hallowed among the Israelites. I am the Lord, Who consecrates and makes you holy,
Neither shall you bring an abomination (an idol) into your house, lest you become an accursed thing like it; but you shall utterly detest and abhor it, for it is an accursed thing.
They took the ark of God into the house of Dagon and set it beside Dagon [their idol].
For Solomon went after Ashtoreth the goddess of the Sidonians, and after Milcom the abominable idol of the Ammonites!
Then Solomon built a high place for Chemosh the abominable idol of Moab, on the hill opposite Jerusalem, and for Molech the abominable idol of the Ammonites.
He took away the foreign altars and high places and broke down the idol pillars or obelisks and cut down the Asherim [symbols of the goddess Asherah]
Also Maacah, King Asa's mother, he removed from being queen mother, because she had made an abominable image for [the goddess] Asherah. Asa cut down her idol, crushed it, and burned 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 [and Presence] forever;
And he took away the foreign gods and the idol out of the house of the Lord and all the altars that he had built on the mount of the house of the Lord and in Jerusalem; and he cast them out of the city.
In the midst of Your Holy Place Your enemies have roared [with their battle cry]; they set up their own [idol] emblems for signs [of victory].
For they provoked Him to [righteous] anger with their high places [for idol worship] and moved Him to jealousy with their graven images.
They joined themselves also to the [idol] Baal of Peor and ate sacrifices [offered] to the lifeless [gods].
Only on this condition shall the iniquity of Jacob (Israel) be forgiven and purged, and this shall be the full fruit [God requires] for taking away his sin: that [Israel] should make all the stones of the [idol] altars like chalk stones crushed to pieces, so that the Asherim and the sun-images shall not remain standing or rise again.
He who is so impoverished that he has no offering or oblation or rich gift to give [to his god is constrained to make a wooden offering, an idol; so he] chooses a tree that will not rot; he seeks out a skillful craftsman to carve and set up an image that will not totter or deteriorate.
They help every one his neighbor and say to his brother [in his tiresome idol making], Be of good courage!
I have raised up and impelled to action one from the north [Cyrus], and he comes; from the rising of the sun he calls upon My name [recognizing that his victories have been granted to him by Me]. And he shall tread upon rulers and deputies as upon mortar and as the potter treads clay. [He comes with the suddenness of a comet, but none of the idol oracles of the nations has anticipated it.]
[What idol] has declared this from the beginning, that we could know? And beforetime, that we could say that he is [unquestionably] right? Yes, there is none who declares it, yes, there is none who proclaims it; yes, [for the truth is, O you dumb idols] there is none who hears you speak!
The ironsmith sharpens and uses a chisel and works it over the coals; he shapes [the core of the idol] with hammers and forges it with his strong arm. He becomes hungry and his strength fails; he drinks no water and is faint.
The carpenter stretches out a line, he marks it out with a pencil or red ocher; he fashions [an idol] with planes and marks it out with the compasses; and he shapes it to have the figure of a man, with the beauty of a man, that it may dwell in a house.
And from what is left [of the log] he makes a god, his graven idol. He falls down to it, he worships it and prays to it and says, Deliver me, for you are my god!
They bear it upon their shoulders [in religious processions or into battle]; they carry it and set it down in its place, and there it stands. It cannot move from its place. Even if one cries to it for help, yet [the idol] cannot answer or save him out of his distress.
Therefore I have declared things to come to you from of old; before they came to pass I announced them to you, so that you could not say, My idol has done them, and my graven image and my molten image have commanded them.
Behind the door and the doorpost you have set up your [idol] symbol [as a substitute for the Scripture text God ordered]. Deserting Me, you have uncovered and ascended and enlarged your bed; and you have made a [fresh] bargain for yourself with [the adulterers], and you loved their bed, where you saw [a beckoning hand or a passion-inflaming image].
[The acts of the hypocrite's worship are as abominable to God as if they were offered to idols.] He who kills an ox [then] will be as guilty as if he slew and sacrificed a man; he who sacrifices a lamb or a kid, as if he broke a dog's neck and sacrificed him; he who offers a cereal offering, as if he offered swine's blood; he who burns incense [to God], as if he blessed an idol. [Such people] have chosen their own ways, and they delight in their abominations;
Why should I and how can I pass over this and forgive you for it? Your children have forsaken Me and sworn by those that are no gods. When I had fed them to the full and bound them to Me by oath, they committed [spiritual] adultery, assembling themselves in troops at the houses of [idol] harlots.
They deck [the idol] with silver and with gold; they fasten it with nails and with hammers so it will not fall apart or move around.
But the burden of the Lord you must mention no more, for every man's burden is his own response and word [for as they mockingly call all prophecies burdens, whether good or bad, so will it prove to be to them; God will take them at their own word]; for you pervert the words [not of a lifeless idol, but] of the living God, the Lord of hosts, our God!
But they set their abominations [of idol worship] in the house which is called by My Name to defile it.
For because you have trusted in your works [your bungling idol images] and in your treasures [instead of in God], you shall also be taken. And Chemosh [your god] shall go into captivity, his priests and his princes together.
Your [object of] horror (your idol) has deceived you, and the pride of your heart [has deceived you], O you who dwell in the clefts of the rock [Sela or 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.
And He put forth the form of a hand and took me by a lock of my head; and the Spirit lifted me up between the earth and the heavens and brought me in the visions of God to Jerusalem, to the entrance of the door of the inner [court] which faces toward the north, where was the seat of the idol (image) of jealousy, which provokes to jealousy.
Then He [the Spirit] said to me, Son of man, now lift up your eyes toward the north. So I lifted up my eyes toward the north, and behold, on the north of the altar gate was that idol (image) of jealousy in the entrance.
Then said He to me, Son of man, have you seen what the elders of the house of Israel do in the dark, every man in his [secret] chambers of [idol] pictures? For they say, The Lord does not see us; the Lord has forsaken the land.
You have built also for yourself a vaulted chamber (brothel) and have made a high place [of idol worship] in every street.
At every crossway you built your high place [for idol worship] and have made your beauty an abomination [abhorrent, loathsome, extremely disgusting, and detestable]; and you have made your body available to every passerby and multiplied your [idolatry and spiritual] harlotry.
And has not eaten [at the idol shrines] upon the mountains nor lifted up his eyes to the idols of the house of Israel, has not defiled his neighbor's wife nor come near to a woman in her time of impurity,
For when I had brought them into the land which I lifted up My hand and swore to give to them, then they saw every high hill and every dark and leafy tree [as a place for idol worship], and they offered there their sacrifices and there they presented their offering that provoked My anger and sadness; there also they made their sweet-smelling savor and poured out there their drink offerings.
Yes, [O mountains of Israel] I will cause men to walk upon you, even My people Israel, and they shall possess you, and you shall be their inheritance; and you shall no more after this bereave them of children [for idol sacrifices].
Then said the Lord to me, Go again, love [the same] woman [Gomer] who is beloved of a paramour and is an adulteress, even as the Lord loves the children of Israel, though they turn to other gods and love cakes of raisins [used in the sacrificial feasts in idol worship].
Your calf [idol], O Samaria, is loathsome and I have spurned it. My wrath burns against them. How long will it be before they attain purity?
For Israel has forgotten his Maker and built palaces and idol temples, and Judah has multiplied fortified cities; but I will send a fire upon his cities and it shall devour his palaces and fortified buildings.
The inhabitants of Samaria shall be in terror for the calf [idol] of Beth-aven [the house of idolatry, contemptuously meaning Bethel], for its people shall mourn over it and its [idolatrous] priests who rejoiced over it [shall tremble] for the glory of [their calf god], because it is departed from it.
The high places also of Aven [once Beth(el), house of God, now (Beth-)aven, house of idolatry], the sin of Israel, shall be destroyed; the thorn and the thistle shall come up on their [idol] altars, and they shall say to the mountains, Cover us! And to the hills, Fall on us!
Come to Bethel [where the golden calf is] and transgress; at Gilgal [another idol worship center] multiply transgression; and bring your sacrifices every morning and your tithes every three days.
Seek the Lord [inquire for and of Him and require Him] and you shall live, lest He rush down like fire upon the house of Joseph [representing the ten tribes] and devour it, and there be none to quench it in Bethel [the center of their idol hopes].
All this is because of the transgression of Jacob and the sins of the house of Israel. What is the transgression of Jacob? Is it not [the idol worship of] Samaria? And what are the high places [of idolatry] in Judah? Are they not Jerusalem?
I will also stretch out My hand over Judah and over all the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and I will cut off the remnant of Baal from this place and the name of the idol priests with the [false] priests,
And those who worship the starry host of the heavens upon their housetops and those who [pretend to] worship the Lord and swear by and to Him and yet swear by and to [the heathen god Molech or] Malcam [their idol king],
And they [even] made a calf in those days, and offered sacrifice to the idol and made merry and exulted in the work of their [own] hands.
In this matter, then, of eating food offered to idols, we know that an idol is nothing (has no real existence) and that there is no God but one.
Nevertheless, not all [believers] possess this knowledge. But some, through being all their lives until now accustomed to [thinking of] idols [as real and living], still consider the food [offered to an idol] as that sacrificed to an [actual] god; and their weak consciences become defiled and injured if they eat [it].
For suppose someone sees you, a man having knowledge [of God, with an intelligent view of this subject and] reclining at table in an idol's temple, might he not be encouraged and emboldened [to violate his own conscientious scruples] if he is weak and uncertain, and eat what [to him] is for the purpose of idol worship?
What do I imply then? That food offered to idols is [intrinsically changed by the fact and amounts to] anything or that an idol itself is a [living] thing?
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- Abandoning Idols
- Abominations, Idolatry Is
- Avoiding Idolatry
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- Burning Idolatrous Things
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- False Gods
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- God Opposes Idolatry
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- Idolatry Consists Of
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- Idols Not Existing
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