'Idols' in the Bible
When Laban had gone to shear his sheep, Rachel stole her father’s household idols.
If you find your gods with anyone here, he will not live! Before our relatives, point out anything that is yours and take it.” Jacob did not know that Rachel had stolen the idols.
Now Rachel had taken Laban’s household idols, put them in the saddlebag of the camel, and sat on them. Laban searched the whole tent but found nothing.
She said to her father, “Sir, don’t be angry that I cannot stand up in your presence; I am having my period.” So Laban searched, but could not find the household idols.
Do not turn to idols or make cast images of gods for yourselves; I am Yahweh your God.
“Do not make idols for yourselves, set up a carved image or sacred pillar for yourselves, or place a sculpted stone in your land to bow down to it, for I am Yahweh your God.
I will destroy your high places, cut down your incense altars, and heap your dead bodies on the lifeless bodies of your idols; I will reject you.
You saw their detestable images and idols made of wood, stone, silver, and gold, which were among them.
They have provoked My jealousywith their so-called gods;they have enraged Me with their worthless idols.So I will provoke their jealousywith an inferior people;I will enrage them with a foolish nation.
This man Micah had a shrine, and he made an ephod and household idols, and installed one of his sons to be his priest.
Then the five men who had gone to scout out the land went in and took the carved image overlaid with silver, the ephod, and the household idols, while the priest was standing by the entrance of the gate with the 600 men armed with weapons of war.
When they entered Micah’s house and took the carved image overlaid with silver, the ephod, and the household idols, the priest said to them, “What are you doing?”
So the priest was pleased and took his ephod, household idols, and carved image, and went with the people.
They cut off Saul’s head, stripped off his armor, and sent messengers throughout the land of the Philistines to spread the good news in the temples of their idols and among the people.
The Philistines abandoned their idols there, and David and his men carried them off.
He banished the male cult prostitutes from the land and removed all of the idols that his fathers had made.
This happened because of all the sins of Baasha and those of his son Elah, which they committed and caused Israel to commit, provoking the Lord God of Israel with their worthless idols.
He followed the example of Jeroboam son of Nebat and in his sins that he caused Israel to commit, provoking the Lord God of Israel with their worthless idols.
He committed the most detestable acts by going after idols as the Amorites had, whom the Lord had dispossessed before the Israelites.
They served idols, although the Lord had told them, “You must not do this.”
They rejected His statutes and His covenant He had made with their ancestors and the decrees He had given them. They pursued worthless idols and became worthless themselves, following the surrounding nations the Lord had commanded them not to imitate.
These nations feared the Lord but also served their idols. Their children and grandchildren continue doing as their fathers did until today.
“Since Manasseh king of Judah has committed all these detestable things—greater evil than the Amorites who preceded him had done—and by means of his idols has also caused Judah to sin,
He walked in all the ways his father had walked; he served the idols his father had served, and he worshiped them.
In addition, Josiah removed the mediums, the spiritists, household idols, images, and all the detestable things that were seen in the land of Judah and in Jerusalem. He did this in order to carry out the words of the law that were written in the book that Hilkiah the priest found in the Lord’s temple.
They stripped Saul, cut off his head, took his armor, and sent messengers throughout the land of the Philistines to spread the good news to their idols and their people.
The Philistines abandoned their idols there, and David ordered that they be burned in the fire.
For all the gods of the peoples are idols,but the Lord made the heavens.
When Asa heard these words and the prophecy of Azariah son of Oded the prophet, he took courage and removed the detestable idols from the whole land of Judah and Benjamin and from the cities he had captured in the hill country of Ephraim. He renovated the altar of the Lord that was in front of the portico of the Lord’s temple.
and they abandoned the temple of Yahweh, the God of their ancestors and served the Asherah poles and the idols. So there was wrath against Judah and Jerusalem for this guilt of theirs.
I hate those who are devoted to worthless idols,but I trust in the Lord.
For all the gods of the peoples are idols,but the Lord made the heavens.
All who serve carved images,those who boast in idols, will be put to shame.All the gods must worship Him.
They served their idols,which became a snare to them.
They shed innocent blood—the blood of their sons and daughterswhom they sacrificed to the idols of Canaan;so the land became polluted with blood.
Their idols are silver and gold,made by human hands.
The idols of the nations are of silver and gold,made by human hands.
Their land is full of idols;they bow down to the work of their hands,to what their fingers have made.
The idols will vanish completely.
On that day people will throwtheir silver and gold idols,which they made to worship,to the moles and the bats.
As my hand seized the idolatrous kingdoms,whose idols exceeded those of Jerusalem and Samaria,
and as I did to Samaria and its idolswill I not also do to Jerusalem and its idols?”
An oracle against Egypt:Look, the Lord rides on a swift cloudand is coming to Egypt.Egypt’s idols will tremble before Him,and Egypt’s heart will melt within it.
Egypt’s spirit will be disturbed within it,and I will frustrate its plans.Then they will seek idols, ghosts,spirits of the dead, and spiritists.
Look, riders come—horsemen in pairs.”And he answered, saying,“Babylon has fallen, has fallen.All the images of her godshave been shattered on the ground.”
Then you will defile your silver-plated idols and your gold-plated images. You will throw them away like menstrual cloths, and call them filth.
For on that day, every one of you will reject the silver and gold idols that your own hands have sinfully made.
I am Yahweh, that is My name;I will not give My glory to anotheror My praise to idols.
They will be turned back and utterly ashamed—those who trust in idolsand say to metal-plated images:You are our gods!
All who make idols are nothing,and what they treasure does not profit.Their witnesses do not see or know anything,so they will be put to shame.
All of them are put to shame, even humiliated;the makers of idols go in humiliation together.
“Come, gather together,and draw near, you fugitives of the nations.Those who carry their wooden idols,and pray to a god who cannot save,have no knowledge.
Bel crouches; Nebo cowers.Their idols are consigned to beasts and cattle.The images you carry are loaded,as a burden for the weary animal.
All of you, assemble and listen!Who among the idols has declared these things?The Lord loves him;he will accomplish His will against Babylon,and His arm will be against the Chaldeans.
When you cry out,let your collection of idols deliver you!The wind will carry all of them off,a breath will take them away.But whoever takes refuge in Mewill inherit the landand possess My holy mountain.
This is what the Lord says:What fault did your fathers find in Methat they went so far from Me,followed worthless idols,and became worthless themselves?
The priests quit asking, “Where is the Lord?”The experts in the law no longer knew Me,and the rulers rebelled against Me.The prophets prophesied by Baaland followed useless idols.
Has a nation ever exchanged its gods?(But they were not gods!)Yet My people have exchanged their Gloryfor useless idols.
If you return, Israel—this is the Lord’s declaration—you will return to Me,if you remove your detestable idolsfrom My presenceand do not waver,
Listen—the cry of my dear peoplefrom a far away land,“Is the Lord no longer in Zion,her King not within her?”Why have they provoked me to angerwith their carved images,with their worthless foreign idols?
Like scarecrows in a cucumber patch,their idols cannot speak.They must be carried because they cannot walk.Do not fear them for they can do no harm—and they cannot do any good.
They are both stupid and foolish,instructed by worthless idolsmade of wood!
Can any of the worthless idols of the nations bring rain?Or can the skies alone give showers?Are You not the Lord our God?We therefore put our hope in You,for You have done all these things.
I will first repay them double for their guilt and sin because they have polluted My land. They have filled My inheritance with the lifelessness of their detestable and abhorrent idols.”
Lord, my strength and my stronghold,my refuge in a time of distress,the nations will come to Youfrom the ends of the earth, and they will say,“Our fathers inherited only lies,worthless idols of no benefit at all.”
Yet My people have forgotten Me.They burn incense to false idolsthat make them stumble in their wayson the ancient roadsand walk on new paths, not the highway.
Announce to the nations;proclaim and raise up a signal flag;proclaim, and hide nothing.Say: Babylon is captured;Bel is put to shame;Marduk is devastated;her idols are put to shame;her false gods, devastated.
Your altars will be desolated and your incense altars smashed. I will throw down your slain in front of your idols.
I will lay the corpses of the Israelites in front of their idols and scatter your bones around your altars.
Wherever you live the cities will be in ruins and the high places will be desolate, so that your altars will lie in ruins and be desecrated, your idols smashed and obliterated, your incense altars cut down, and your works wiped out.
Then your survivors will remember Me among the nations where they are taken captive, how I was crushed by their promiscuous hearts that turned away from Me and by their eyes that lusted after their idols. They will loathe themselves because of the evil things they did, their detestable practices of every kind.
You will all know that I am Yahweh when their slain lie among their idols around their altars, on every high hill, on all the mountaintops, and under every green tree and every leafy oak—the places where they offered pleasing aromas to all their idols.
I went in and looked, and there engraved all around the wall was every form of detestable thing, crawling creatures and beasts, as well as all the idols of the house of Israel.
“Son of man, these men have set up idols in their hearts and have put sinful stumbling blocks before their faces. Should I be consulted by them at all?
“Therefore, speak to them and tell them: This is what the Lord God says: When anyone from the house of Israel sets up idols in his heart, puts a sinful stumbling block before his face, and then comes to the prophet, I, Yahweh, will answer him appropriately. I will answer him according to his many idols,
so that I may take hold of the house of Israel by their hearts. They are all estranged from Me because of their idols.
“Therefore, say to the house of Israel: This is what the Lord God says: Repent and turn away from your idols; turn your faces away from all your detestable things.
For when anyone from the house of Israel or from the foreigners who reside in Israel separates himself from Me, setting up idols in his heart and putting a sinful stumbling block before his face, and then comes to the prophet to inquire of Me, I, Yahweh, will answer him Myself.
This is what the Lord God says: Because your lust was poured out and your nakedness exposed by your acts of prostitution with your lovers, and because of all your detestable idols and the blood of your children that you gave to them,
He does not eat at the mountain shrines or raise his eyes to the idols of the house of Israel. He does not defile his neighbor’s wife or come near a woman during her menstrual impurity.
and when he oppresses the poor and needy, commits robbery, and does not return collateral, and when he raises his eyes to the idols, commits detestable acts,
He does not eat at the mountain shrines or raise his eyes to the idols of the house of Israel. He does not defile his neighbor’s wife.
I also said to them: Each of you must throw away the detestable things that are before your eyes and not defile yourselves with the idols of Egypt. I am Yahweh your God.
“But they rebelled against Me and were unwilling to listen to Me. None of them threw away the detestable things that were before their eyes, and they did not forsake the idols of Egypt. So I considered pouring out My wrath on them, exhausting My anger against them within the land of Egypt.
because they rejected My ordinances, profaned My Sabbaths, and did not follow My statutes. For their hearts went after their idols.
“Then I said to their children in the wilderness: Don’t follow the statutes of your fathers, defile yourselves with their idols, or keep their ordinances.
For they did not practice My ordinances but rejected My statutes and profaned My Sabbaths, and their eyes were fixed on their fathers’ idols.
When you offer your gifts, making your children pass through the fire, you continue to defile yourselves with all your idols to this day. So should I be consulted by you, house of Israel? As I live”—this is the declaration of the Lord God—“I will not be consulted by you!
“As for you, house of Israel, this is what the Lord God says: Go and serve your idols, each of you. But afterward you will surely listen to Me, and you will no longer defile My holy name with your gifts and idols.
For the king of Babylon stands at the split in the road, at the fork of the two roads, to practice divination: he shakes the arrows, consults the idols, and observes the liver.
You are to say: This is what the Lord God says: A city that sheds blood within her walls so that her time of judgment has come and who makes idols for herself so that she is defiled!
You are guilty of the blood you have shed, and you are defiled from the idols you have made. You have brought your judgment days near and have come to your years of punishment. Therefore, I have made you a disgrace to the nations and a mockery to all the lands.
She offered her sexual favors to them; all of them were the elite of Assyria. She defiled herself with all those she lusted after and with all their idols.
These things will be done to you because you acted like a prostitute with the nations, defiling yourself with their idols.
For they have committed adultery, and blood is on their hands; they have committed adultery with their idols. They have even made the children they bore to Me pass through the fire as food for the idols.
On the same day they slaughtered their children for their idols, they entered My sanctuary to profane it. Yes, that is what they did inside My house.
This is what the Lord God says:I will destroy the idols and put an endto the false gods in Memphis.There will no longer bea prince from the land of Egypt.So I will instill fear in that land.
Therefore say to them: This is what the Lord God says: You eat meat with blood in it, raise your eyes to your idols, and shed blood. Should you then receive possession of the land?
So I poured out My wrath on them because of the blood they had shed on the land, and because they had defiled it with their idols.
I will also sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean. I will cleanse you from all your impurities and all your idols.
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