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International Standard Bible Encyclopedia

im'-aj-iz (tselem; eikon):

1. Definition

2. Origin

3. Historical Beginnings and Early Developments

4. Bible References and Palestinian Customs

5. Most Important Technical Terms

(1) Matstsebhah ("pillar")

(2) 'Asherah ("grove")

(3) Chamman ("sun-image")

6. Obscure Bible References

(1) Golden Calf

Jeroboam's Calves

(2) Brazen Serpent

(3) Teraphim

(4) Image of Jealousy

(5) Chambers of Imagery

(6) 'Ephod


1. Definition:

Images, as used here, are visible representations of supposedly supernatural or divine beings or powers. They may be

(1) themselves objects of worship,

(2) pictures, embodiments or dwelling-places (temple, ark, pillar, priests) of deities worshipped,

(3) empowered instruments (amulets, charms, etc.) of object or objects worshipped,

(4) pictures or symbols of deities reverenced though not worshipped.

These images may be shapeless blocks, or symmetrically carved figures, or objects of Nature, such as animals, sun, moon, stars, etc. These visible objects may sometimes be considered, especially by the uninstructed, as deities, while by others in the small community they are thought of as instruments or symbolizations of deity. Even when they are thought of as deities, this does not exclude a sense and apprehension of a spiritual godhead, since visible corporeal beings may have invisible souls and spiritual attributes, and even the stars may be thought of as "seats of celestial spirits." An idol is usually considered as either the deity itself or his permanent tenement; a fetish is an object which has been given a magical or divine power, either because of its having been the temporary home of the deity, or because it has been formed or handled or otherwise spiritually influenced by such deity. The idol is generally communal, the fetish private; the idol is protective, the fetish is usually not for the common good. (See Jevons, Idea of Cod in Early Religions, 1910.) Relics and symbolic figures do not become "images" in the objectionable sense until reverence changes to worship. Until comparatively recent times, the Hebrews seem to have offered no religious objection to "artistic" images, as is proved not only from the description of Solomon's temple, but also from the discoveries of the highly decorated temple of Yahweh at Syene dating from the 6th century B.C., and from ruins of synagogues dating from the pre-Christian and early Christian periods (PEF, January, 1908; The Expositor, December, 1907; Expository Times, January and February, 1908). The Second Commandment was not an attack upon artists and sculptors but upon idolaters. Decoration by means of graven figures was not in ancient times condemned, though, as Josephus shows, by the time of the Seleucids all plastic art was regarded with suspicion. The brazen serpent was probably destroyed in Hezekiah's time because it had ceased to be an ancient artistic relic and had become an object of worship (see below). So the destruction of the ark and altar and temple, which for so long a time had been the means of holy worship, became at last a prophetic hope (Isaiah 6:7 Jeremiah 3:6 Amos 5:25 Hosea 6:6; compare Zechariah 14:20). While the temple is not naturally thought of as an "image," it was as truly so as any Bethel. An idol was the temple in miniature-a dwelling-place of the god. When an image became the object of worship or a means by which a false god was worshipped, it became antagonistic to the First and Second Commandments respectively.

2. Origin:

The learned author of the article on "Image Worship" in the Encyclopedia Biblica (11th edition) disposes too easily of this question when he suggests that image-worship is "a continuance by adults of their childish games with dolls.. Idolatrous cults repose largely on make-believe."

Compare the similar statement made from a very different standpoint by the author of Great Is Diana of the Ephesians, or the Original of Idolatry (1695): "All Superstitions are to the People but like several sports to children, which varying in their several seasons yield them pretty entertainment," etc.

No universal institution or custom is founded wholly on superstition. If it does not answer to some real human need, and "if its foundations are not laid broad and deep in the nature of things, it must perish" (J.G. Fraser, Psyche's Task, 1909, 103; compare Salomon Reinach, Revue des etudes grecques, 1906, 324). Image-worship is too widespread and too natural to humanity, as is proved in modern centuries as well as in the cruder earlier times, to have its basis and source in any mere external and accidental circumstances. All modern research tends to corroborate our belief that this is psychological rather than ecclesiastical in its origin. It is not imposed externally; it comes from within, and naturally accompanies the organic unfoldment of the human animal in his struggle toward self-expression. This is now generally acknowledged to be true of religious feeling and instinct (see especially Rudolf Eueken, Christianity and the New Idealism, 1909, chapter i; I. King, The Development of Religion, 1910); it ought to be counted equally true of religious expression. Neither can the origin of image-worship or even of magical rites be fully explained, as Fraser thinks, by the ordinary laws of association. These associations only become significant because the devoted worshipper already has a body of beliefs and generalizations which make him attentive to the associations which seem to him religiously or magically important. (Jastrow, Aspects of Rel. Belief and Practice in Babylonia and Assyria; compare James H. Leuba, Psychological Origin and Nature of Religion, 1909; Study of Religions, 1911). So animism must be regarded as a philosophy rather than as an original religious faith, since it is based on an "explanation of phenomena rather than an attitude of mind toward the cause of these phenomena" (EB, 11th edition, article "Animism," and compare Hoffding, Philosophy of Religion, 1906, 138). In whatever ways the various image-worshipping cults arose historically-whether from a primitive demonology or from the apotheosis of natural objects, or from symbolism, or a false connection of cause with effect-in any case it had some human need behind it and human nature beneath it. The presence of the image testifies to faith in the supernatural being represented by the image and to a desire to keep the object of worship near. Prayer is easier when the worshipper can see his god or some sacred thing the god has honored (compare M. L'abbe E. Van Drival, De l'origine et des sources de l'idolatrie, Paris, 1860).

3. Historical Beginnings and Early Development:

The first man was not born with a totem-pole in his fist, nor did the earliest historic men possess images. They lacked temples and altars and ephods and idols, as they lacked the fire-stick and potter's wheel. Religion, which showed itself so strong in the next stage of human life, must have had very firm beginnings in the prehistoric period; but what were its external expressions we do not yet certainly know, except in the methods of burying and caring for the dead. It seems probable that primitive historic man saw in everything that moved an active soul, and that he saw in every extraordinary thing in earth or heaven the expression of a supernatural power. Yet reflective thinking began earlier than Tylor and all the older scientific anthropologists supposed. Those earlier investigators were without extended chronological data, and although ingenuity was exercised in systematizing the beliefs and customs of modern savages, it was necessarily impossible always to determine in this way which were the most primitive cults. Excavations in Babylonia, Egypt and elsewhere have enabled us for the first time to trace with some chronological certainty the religious expressions of earliest historic man. That primitive man was so stupid that he could not tell the difference between men and things, and that therefore totemism or fetishism or a low form of animism was necessarily the first expression of religious thought is a theory which can no longer be held very buoyantly in the face of the new and striking knowledge, material and religious, which is now seen to be incorporated in some of the most ancient myths of mankind. (See e.g. Winekler, Die jungsten Kampfe wider den Panbabylonismus, 1907; Jeremias, The Old Testament in the Light of the Ancient East, 2 volumes, 1911.) The pan-Bab theory, which makes so much use of these texts, is not certain, but the facts upon which theory depends are clear. It is a suggestive fact that among the earliest known deities or symbols of deities mentioned in the most ancient inscriptions are to be found the sun, moon, stars and other great forces of Nature. Out of these conceptions and the mystery of life-which seems to have affected early mankind even more powerfully than ourselves-sprang the earliest known religious language, the myth, which antedated by eons our oldest written texts, since some of these myths appear fully formed in the oldest texts. Rough figures of these solar and stellar deities are found from very early times in Babylonia. So in the earliest Egyptian texts the sun appears as divine and the moon as "the bull among the stars," and rough figures of the gods were carved in human or animal form, or these are represented pictorially by diadems or horns or ostrich feathers, as far back as the IInd Dynasty, while even earlier than this stakes and pillars and heaps of stones are sacred. (See further, HDB, 5th vol, 176; Erman, A Handbook of Egyptian Rel.; Steindorf, Rel. of the Ancient Egyptians, 1905.) These rude and unshaped objects do not testify, as was once supposed, to a lower form of religious development than when sculptured images are found. The shapeless fetish, which not long ago was generally accepted as the earliest form of image, really represents a more advanced stage and higher form of religious expression than the worship of a beautifully or horribly carved image. It has been generally conceded since the days of Robertson Smith that it takes at least as much imagination and reflection to see an expression of deity in imageless matter as in the carved forms. Rude objects untouched by human hand, even in the most highly developed worships, have been most prized. The earliest images were probably natural objects which, because of their peculiar shapes or functions, were thought of either as divine or as made sacred by the touch of deity. Multiplied copies of these objects would naturally be made when worshippers increased or migrations occurred. While images may have been used in the most early cults, yet the highest development of image-worship has occurred among the most civilized peoples. Both deities and idols are less numerous in the early than in the later days of a religion. This is true in India, Assyria, Babylonia, and Egypt, as all experts now agree. Idols are not found among uncivilized peoples, such as the Bushmen, Fuegians, Eskimos, etc. (See e.g. Allen Menzies, History of Rel., 1895.) Images of the gods presuppose a power of discrimination that could only be the result of reflection. The earliest idols known among the Semites were rude stone pillars or unshapen blocks. These, as the fetish, were probably adored, not for themselves, but for the spirit that was supposed to be in them or to have touched them. Deities and idols are multiplied easily, not only by philological, geographical and social causes, but through intertribal and international associations. One thing absolutely proved by recent excavations has been the extent to which the representations of local deities have been modified by the symbolic art of surrounding nations. Babylonia, for example, was influenced by the Syro-Hittite religious art at least as much as by that of Egypt (William Hayes Ward, Cylinders and Other Ancient Oriental Seals, 1909; Clay, Amurru, 1910). Even in adjacent localities the same deity varied greatly in its pictorial representation. See PALESTINE EXPLORATION, and Revue biblique, XIV, 315-48. With the possible exception of one reign in Egypt, during which Ikhnaton refused to allow any deities to be worshipped except the sun discovered and himself, idolatry outside of the Hebrew kingdom was never made a crime against the state until the days of Constantine. Theodosius (392 A.D.) not only placed sacrifices and divination among the capital crimes, but placed a penalty upon anyone who entered a heathen temple.

4. Bible References and Palestinian Customs:

The dignity of the image in common thought in Bible times may be seen from the fact that man is said to have been made in God's image (tselem; compare 1 Samuel 6:5 Numbers 33:52), and Christ is said to be "the image of the invisible God" (eikon; compare Colossians 1:15 with Romans 1:23). The heathen thought of the sun and stars and idols as being images of the gods, but the Hebrews, though Yahweh's temple was imageless, thought of normal humanity as in some true sense possessing a sacred resemblance to Deity, though early Christians taught that only Christ was the Father s "image" in unique and absolute perfection. See IMAGE. The ordinary words for "image" by a slight change came to mean vermin, carrion, false gods, no gods, carcasses, dung, etc. Heathen gods were undoubtedly accounted real beings by the early Hebrews, and the images of these enemies of Yahweh were doubtless looked upon as possessing an evil associated (?) power. In the earlier Old Testament era, images, idols, and false gods are synonymous; but as early as the 8th century B.C. Hebrew prophets begin to reach the lofty conception that heathen gods are non-existent, or at least practically so, when compared with the ever-living Yahweh, while the idols are "worthless things" or "non-entities" (Isaiah 2:8, 18, 20; Isaiah 10:10, 11; 19:01; 31:07:00; compare Jeremiah 14:14 Ezekiel 30:13; note the satiric term 'elilim, as contrasted with the powerful 'elohim). The many ordinary terms used by the Hebrews for an idol or image mean "copy," simulacrum, "likeness," "representation." These are often, however, so compounded as technically to express a particular form, as "graven" or "carved" image (e.g. Exodus 20:4 2 Chronicles 33:7) of wood or stone, i.e. one cut into shape by a tool; "molten image" (e.g. Exodus 32:4 Leviticus 19:4), i.e. one cast out of melted metal (standing image) (Leviticus 26:1 the King James Version, and see below), etc. However, a few of the Old Testament terms and modes of worship are unusual, or have a more difficult technical meaning, or have been given a new interest by new discoveries, and such deserve a more extended notice.

5. Most Important Technical Terms:

(1) Matstsebhah ("pillar"):

matstsebhah: These were upright stone pillars, often mentioned in the Old Testament, sometimes as abodes (Bethels) or symbols of deity-especially as used by the heathen-but also as votive offerings, memorial and grave stones (Genesis 28:18; Genesis 31:45; Genesis 35:14, 20 Joshua 24:26 1 Samuel 7:12). The reverence for these stones is closely connected with that found among all Semitic peoples for obelisks (Genesis 33:20; Genesis 35:7), cairns (Genesis 28:18 Joshua 4:6), and circles (Joshua 4:3, 5, 20). Rough stone pillars from time immemorial were used in Semitic worship (Kittel, Hist of the Hebrews, II, 84). They were thought of primitively as dwelling-places of deity, and the stones and the spots where they stood were therefore accounted sacred. From very early times the mystery of life pressed itself upon human attention, and these stones were viewed as phallic images. These images were at first rough and undifferentiated, but became later well defined as male organs. At Tell Zakariyah the end of one is sculptured to represent a human face. Some sort of phallicism underlies all early Semitic religion, the form of which is determined by the attention paid to the date palm, to the breeding of flocks, to astrology, and to social life. This phallicism did not always represent coarse thought, but sometimes a very profound spiritual conception; compare GOLDEN CALF, and note Wiedemann's statement, in HDB, V, 180 that in Egypt the gods Hu, "Taste," and Sa, "Perception," were created from the blood of the sun-god's phallus. These images of fertility and reproduction were naturally connected in Canaan with the worship of the Baals or "lords" of each locality, upon whose favor as possessor of the land fertility depended. They were also naturally associated with the cult of Astarte, the female counterpart of all the Baals (see ASTARTE). In the Old Testament the Baalim and Asherim are almost invariably classed together, although the latter were wooden posts dedicated to a particular goddess, while "Baal" was merely a title which could be given to any male Semitic deity, and sometimes even to his female associate. The matstsebhoth were set up in a "high place" (which see), attracting reverence because of its "elevation, isolation and mystery" (Vincent). Originally these pillars were not considered as idols, but were naturally erected to Yahweh (Genesis 28:18; Genesis 31:45; Genesis 35:14 Exodus 24:4), and even Isaiah (19:19) and Hosea (3:4) approve them, though pillars dedicated to idols must of course be destroyed (Exodus 23:24; Exodus 34:13 Jeremiah 43:13 Ezekiel 26:11). Only in late times or by very far-sighted law-givers were the matstsebhoth erected to Yahweh condemned; but after the centralization of the Yahweh-worship in Jerusalem, these pillars were condemned, even when set up in the name of Yahweh, and the older places of worship with their indiscriminate rituals and necessary heathen affiliations were also wisely discarded (Leviticus 26:1 Deuteronomy 16:22; see also GOLDEN CALF Jeremiah 7:18; Jeremiah 44:17, 19; but see).

(2) 'Asherah ("grove"):

'asherah: Perhaps a goddess (see ASHERAH), but as ordinarily used in the Old Testament, a sacred tree or stump of a tree planted in the earth (Deuteronomy 16:21) or a pole made of wood and set up near the altar (Judges 6:26 1 Kings 16:33 Isaiah 17:8).

It has been supposed that these were primarily symbols of a goddess Asherah or Ashtoreth (Kuenen, Baethgen), and they were certainly in primitive thought connected with the tree cult and the sacred groves so universally honored by the Semites (see especially W.R. Smith, Religion of the Semites, 169, 437; Stade, Geschichte, 160; Fraser, Golden Bough, II, 56-117; John O'Neill, Night of the Gods, II, 57); but the tree of life is closely connected in texts and pictures with the human organ of generation, and there can be no doubt that there is a phallic meaning connected with this sacred stake or pole, as with the matstsebhoth described above. See references in HDB under "Asherah," and compare Transactions of the Victoria Institute, XXXIX, 234; Winckler, Keilinschriftliches Textbuch zum AT. As these wooden posts from earliest times represented the ideas of fertility and were connected with the mystery of life, they naturally became the signs and symbols in many lands of the local gods and goddesses of fertility.

Astarte was by far the most popular deity of ancient Palestine. See ASHTORETH. The figures of Astarte from the 12th to the 9th century B.C., as found at Gezer, have large hips, disclosing an exaggerated idea of fecundity. In close connection with the Astarte sanctuaries in Palestine were found numberless bodies of little children, none over a week old, undoubtedly representing the sacrifice of the firstborn by these Canaanites (R.A.S. Macalister, Excavation of Gezer, 3 vols). These Asherim were erected at the most sacred Hebrew sanctuaries, at Samaria (2 Kings 13:6), Bethel (2 Kings 23:15), and even in the Temple of Jerusalem (2 Kings 23:6). The crowning act of King Josiah's reformation was to break down these images (2 Kings 23:14). As the astrological symbol of Baal was the sun, Astarte is often thought of as the moon-goddess, but her symbol was really Venus. She was, however, sometimes called "Queen of Heaven" (Jeremiah 7:18; Jeremiah 44:17, 19; but see Zeitschrift fur alttestamentliche Wissenschaft, VI, 123-30).

(3) Chamman ("sun-image"):

chamman, the King James Version "images," "idols"; the Revised Version (British and American) "sun-images" (Leviticus 26:30 2 Chronicles 14:5; 2 Chronicles 34:4, 7 Isaiah 17:8; Isaiah 27:9 Ezekiel 6:4, 6): This worship may originally have come from Babylonia, but the reverence of the sun under the name Baal-hamman had long been common in Palestine before Joshua and the Israelites entered the country. These sun-images were probably obelisks or pillars connected with the worship of some local Baal. The chariot and horses of the sun, mentioned (2 Kings 23:11) as having an honored place at the western entrance of the Jerusalem Temple, represented not a local but a foreign cult. In Babylonian temples, sacrifices were made to the sun-chariot, which seems to have had a special significance in time of war (Pinches, HDB, IV, 629; see also CHARIOTS OF THE SUN).

6. Obscure Bible References:

(1) Golden Calf and Jeroboam's Calves:


(2) Brazen Serpent:

Brazen Serpent (Numbers 21:4-9 2 Kings 4).-The serpent, because of its strange, lightning-like power of poisonous attack, its power to shed its skin, and to paralyze its prey, has been the most universally revered of all creatures. Living serpents were kept in Babylonian temples. So the cobra was the guardian of royalty in Egypt, symbolizing the kingly power of life and death. In mythology, the serpent was not always considered a bad demon, enemy of the Creator, but often appears as the emblem of wisdom, especially in connection with health-giving and life-giving gods, such as Ea, savior of mankind from the flood, and special "god of the physicians" in Babylon; Thoth, the god of wisdom in Egypt, who healed the eye of Horus and brought Osiris to life again; Apollo, the embodiment of physical perfection, and his son, Aeseulapius, most famous giver of physical and moral health and curer of disease among the Greeks. Among the Hebrews also a seal (1500-1000 B.C.) shows a worshipper before a horned serpent raised on a pole (Wm. Hayes Ward). In Phoenician mythology the serpent is also connected with wisdom and long life, and it is found on the oldest Hebrew seals and on late Jewish talismans (Revue biblique internationale, July, 1908, 382-94); at Gezer, in Palestine, a small "brazen serpent" (a cobra) was found in the "cave of oracles," and in early Christian art Jesus the Lord of Life is often represented standing triumphantly upon the serpent or holding it in His fist. In the Hebrew narrative found in Numbers 21, the serpent evidently appears as a well-known symbol representing the Divine ability to cure disease, being erected before the eyes of the Israelites to encourage faith and stop the plague. It was not a totem, for the totem belongs to a single family and is never set up for the veneration of other families (Ramsay, Cities of Paul, 39). Hezekiah destroyed it because it was receiving idolatrous worship (2 Kings 18:4), though there is no hint that such worship was ever a part of the official temple cult (Benzinger); for if this had been done, the earlier prophets could hardly have remained silent. The above explanation seems preferable to the one formerly offered that the serpent was merely a copy of the disease-bearer, as the images offered by the Philistines were copies of the ulcers that plagued them (1 Samuel 6:4).

See further NEHUSHTAN.

(3) Teraphim:

Teraphim (teraphim).-These are usually considered household gods, but this does not necessarily include the idea that they were images of ancestors, though this is not improbable (Nowack, Hebrew Archaeology, II, 23; HDB, II, 190); that they were images of Yahweh is a baseless supposition (see Kautzsch, HDB, V, 643). Sometimes they appear in the house (1 Samuel 19:13, 16); sometimes in sanctuaries (Judges 17:5; Judges 18:14); sometimes as carried by travelers and armies (Genesis 31:30 Ezekiel 21:21). They are never directly spoken of as objects of worship (yet compare Genesis 31:30), but are mentioned in connection with wizardry (2 Kings 23:24), and as a means of divination (Ezekiel 21:21 Zechariah 10:2), perhaps not necessarily inconsistent with Yahweh-worship (Hosea 3:4). They were sometimes small and could be easily hidden (Genesis 31:34); at other times larger and in some way resembling a human being (1 Samuel 19:13). Jewish commentators thought the teraphim were in early times mummified human heads which were represented in later centuries by rude images (Moore, Crit. and Exeg. Commentary on Judges, 1895, 382; see especially Chwolsohn, Die Ssabier u. der Ssabismus, II, 19, 150). Customs of divination by means of such heads were not unknown. In Israel the teraphim were sometimes certainly used in consulting Yahweh (Judges 17:5; Judges 18:14), though their use was later officially condemned (2 Kings 23:24). The teraphim in the home doubtless correspond in use to the EPHOD (which see) in the sanctuary, and therefore these are frequently connected. Certain small rude images have lately been uncovered in Palestine by Bliss, at Tell el-Hesy, and by Sellin, at Tell Ta`annuk, which are supposed to be teraphim.

(4) Image of Jealousy:

Image of jealousy (cemel).-It is not certain what this statue was which was set up by the door of the inner gate of the Jerusalem temple (Ezekiel 8:3). It was no doubt some idol, perhaps the image of the Asherah (2 Kings 21:7; 2 Kings 23:6), which certainly. had previously been set up in the temple and may have been there again in this day of apostasy. "Jealousy" is not the name of the idol, but it was probably called "image of jealousy" because in a peculiar manner this particular image seems to have been drawing the people from the worship of Yahweh and therefore provoking Him to jealousy.

(5) Chambers of Imagery:

Chambers of imagery (chadhre maskitho).-Does Ezekiel mean that in his heart every man in his chambers of imagery was an idol-worshipper, or does this refer to actual wall decorations in the Jerusalem Temple (Ezekiel 8:11, 12)? Most expositors take it literally. W.R. Smith has been followed almost if not quite universally in his supposition that a debased form of vermin-worship is described in the "creeping things and abominable beasts" (Ezekiel 8:10). But while this low and ignorant worship was an ancient cult, it had been banished for centuries from respectable heathen worship, and it seems inconceivable that these Israelites who were of the highest class could have fallen to these depths, or if they had done so that the Tammuz and sun-worship should have been considered so much worse (Ezekiel 8:13, 14). To the writer it seems more probable that the references are to Egyptian or Greek mysteries which would be described by a Hebrew just as Ezekiel describes this secret chamber. It is now known that the Greek mysteries experienced a revival at exactly this era, and it was probably this revival which was making itself felt in Jerusalem, for Greek influence was at this time greatly affecting Palestine (see Duruy, Hist of Greece, II, 126-80, 374; Cobern, Commentary on Ezekiel and Daniel, 80-83, 280-82; and separate articles, CHAMBERS OF IMAGERY; IMAGERY).

(6) Ephod:

Ephod ('ephodh).-There is no doubt that this was the name of a vestment or ritual loin cloth of linen worn by common priests and temple servants and on special occasions by the king (1 Samuel 2:18; 1 Samuel 22:18 2 Samuel 6:14). The ephod of the high priest was an ornamental waist coat on the front of which was fastened the holy breastplate containing the pocket in which were the Urim and Thummim (Exodus 28:6, 30;

Read Complete Article...

2712. kateidolos -- full of idols
... full of idols. Part of Speech: Adjective Transliteration: kateidolos Phonetic Spelling:
(kat-i'-do-los) Short Definition: full of images of idols Definition ...
// - 6k

5179b. tupos -- the mark (of a blow), an impression, stamp (made ...
... from tupto Definition the mark (of a blow), an impression, stamp (made by a die)
NASB Word Usage example (3), examples (2), form (2), images (1), imprint (1 ...
// - 5k

Strong's Hebrew
6816. tsaatsuim -- things formed, images
... 6815, 6816. tsaatsuim. 6817 . things formed, images. Transliteration: tsaatsuim
Phonetic Spelling: (tsah-tsoo'-ah) Short Definition: sculptured. ...
/hebrew/6816.htm - 6k

6456. pasil -- an idol, image
... Word Origin from pasal Definition an idol, image NASB Word Usage carved images
(6), engraved images (1), graven images (7), idols (8), images (1). ...
/hebrew/6456.htm - 6k

4906. maskith -- a showpiece, figure, imagination
... 4905b, 4906. maskith. 4907 . a showpiece, figure, imagination. Transliteration:
maskith Phonetic Spelling: (mas-keeth') Short Definition: images. ...
/hebrew/4906.htm - 6k

8655. teraphim -- (a kind of idol) perhaps household idol
... idolatry, images, teraphim. Plural from rapha'; a healer; Teraphim (singular or
plural) a family idol -- idols(-atry), images, teraphim. see HEBREW rapha'. ...
/hebrew/8655.htm - 6k

4541a. massekah -- a libation, molten metal or image
... 4541, 4541a. massekah. 4541b . a libation, molten metal or image.
Transliteration: massekah Short Definition: images. Word Origin ...
/hebrew/4541a.htm - 5k

6754. tselem -- an image
... 6753, 6754. tselem. 6755 . an image. Transliteration: tselem Phonetic
Spelling: (tseh'-lem) Short Definition: images. Word Origin ...
/hebrew/6754.htm - 6k

5262b. nesek -- molten image
... 5262a, 5262b. nesek. 5263 . molten image. Transliteration: nesek Short
Definition: images. Word Origin from nasak Definition molten ...
/hebrew/5262b.htm - 5k

6459. pesel -- an idol, image
... Word Origin from pasal Definition an idol, image NASB Word Usage carved image (2),
graven image (14), graven images (1), idol (10), idols (3), image (1). ...
/hebrew/6459.htm - 6k

5257a. nasik -- a libation, molten image
... Word Origin from nasak Definition a libation, molten image NASB Word Usage drink
offering (1), metal images (1). 5257, 5257a. nasik. 5257b . Strong's Numbers
/hebrew/5257a.htm - 5k

6091. atsab -- an idol
... Word Origin from atsab Definition an idol NASB Word Usage idols (13), images (4).
idol, image. From atsab; an (idolatrous) image -- idol, image. ...
/hebrew/6091.htm - 6k


Concerning Images .
... Book IV. Chapter XVI."Concerning Images . ... Moreover the divine Scripture blames those
who worship graven images, but also those who sacrifice to demons. ...
/.../john/exposition of the orthodox faith/chapter xvi concerning images.htm

Here Also the Advocates of Images are Wont to Say this Also...
... Book VI. 24 Here also the advocates of images are wont to say this also?
Here also the advocates of images are wont to say this ...
/.../the seven books of arnobius against the heathen/24 here also the advocates.htm

Of their Images.
... XVII."Of Their Images. A few wicked and empty poets delude you; while
they seek with difficulty to procure their living, they ...
/.../commodianus/the instructions of commodianus/xvii of their images.htm

Of Images, and the Ornaments of Temples, and the Contempt in which ...
... Book II. Of the Origin of Error. Chap. iv."of images, and the ornaments of temples,
and the contempt in which they are held even by the heathens themselves. ...
/.../lactantius/the divine institutes/chap iv of images and the.htm

Of the Worship of Images and Earthly Objects.
... the divine institutes. Book II. Of the Origin of Error. Chap. XIX."Of the
Worship of Images and Earthly Objects. Whoever, therefore ...
/.../lactantius/the divine institutes/chap xix of the worship of.htm

Destruction of Idol Temples and Images Everywhere.
... Chapter LIV."Destruction of Idol Temples and Images everywhere. ... With regard to those
images which were of gold, he dealt with them in a different manner. ...
/.../pamphilius/the life of constantine/chapter liv destruction of idol temples.htm

Of the Golden Age, of Images, and Prometheus, who First Fashioned ...
... Chap. XXV."Of the Golden Age, of Images, and Prometheus, Who First Fashioned
Man. ... And he indeed was the inventor of earthenware images. ...
/.../lactantius/the divine institutes/chap xxv of the golden age.htm

But Whether by Images or No, who Can Readily Say? Thus...
... Book X Chapter XV But whether by images or no, who can readily say?
Thus? But whether by images or no, who can readily say? ...
/.../augustine/the confessions of saint augustine/chapter xv but whether by.htm

Of the Perverse Images of Dreams, which He Wishes to have Taken ...
... Book X. Chapter XXX."Of the Perverse Images of Dreams, Which He Wishes
to Have Taken Away. 41. Verily, Thou commandest that I ...
/.../the confessions and letters of st/chapter xxx of the perverse images.htm

Are Images Then not at all to be Made?
... Lord's Day 35 Question 97 Are images then not at all to be made? Are images
then not at all to be made? God neither can, nor may ...
/.../various/the heidelberg catechism /question 97 are images then.htm

Images (158 Occurrences)
...IMAGES. ... These images may be shapeless blocks, or symmetrically carved figures,
or objects of Nature, such as animals, sun, moon, stars, etc. ...
/i/images.htm - 70k

Sun-images (6 Occurrences)
Sun-images. Sunimages, Sun-images. Sun-jewels . Int. Standard Bible
Encyclopedia SUN-IMAGES. See IMAGES. Multi-Version Concordance ...
/s/sun-images.htm - 8k

Ashe'rim (19 Occurrences)
... shall ye deal with them: ye shall break down their altars, and dash in pieces their
pillars, and hew down their Asherim, and burn their graven images with fire ...
/a/ashe'rim.htm - 12k

Groves (32 Occurrences)
... Multi-Version Concordance Groves (32 Occurrences). Exodus 34:13 But ye shall destroy
their altars, break their images, and cut down their groves: (KJV WBS). ...
/g/groves.htm - 16k

Pictured (26 Occurrences)
... Leviticus 26:1 Do not make images of false gods, or put up an image cut in stone
or a pillar or any pictured stone in your land, to give worship to it; for I ...
/p/pictured.htm - 15k

Asherahs (23 Occurrences)
... thus shall ye deal with them: ye shall break down their altars, and shatter their
statues, and hew down their Asherahs, and burn their graven images with fire. ...
/a/asherahs.htm - 13k

Asherim (20 Occurrences)
... with them like this: you shall break down their altars, and dash their pillars in
pieces, and cut down their Asherim, and burn their engraved images with fire. ...
/a/asherim.htm - 13k

Shrines (40 Occurrences)
... 5 But thus thou dost to them: their altars ye break down, and their standing pillars
ye shiver, and their shrines ye cut down, and their graven images ye burn ...
/s/shrines.htm - 19k

Baalim (18 Occurrences)
... Easton's Bible Dictionary Plural of Baal; images of the god Baal (Judges 2:11; 1
Samuel 7:4). Noah Webster's Dictionary. (n.) Plural of Baal. Int. ...
/b/baalim.htm - 12k

Carved (36 Occurrences)
... you shall drive out all the inhabitants of the land from before you, and destroy
all their figured stones, and destroy all their molten images, and demolish ...
/c/carved.htm - 17k

Do Catholics worship idols / practice idolatry? |

What is a graven image? |

What is iconoclasm? |

Bible ConcordanceBible DictionaryBible EncyclopediaTopical BibleBible Thesuarus
Images (158 Occurrences)

Acts 7:43
Yes, you lifted up Moloch's tent and the Star of the God Rephan--the images which you made in order to worship them; and I will remove you beyond Babylon.'

Acts 17:16
Now while Paul was waiting for them at Athens, his spirit was troubled, for he saw all the town full of images of the gods.

Acts 19:24
For there was a certain man named Demetrius, a silver-worker, who made silver boxes for the images of Diana, and gave no small profit to the workmen;

Romans 1:23
and, instead of worshipping the imperishable God, they worshipped images resembling perishable man or resembling birds or beasts or reptiles.

Romans 2:22
You who say that a man may not be untrue to his wife, are you true to yours? you who are a hater of images, do you do wrong to the house of God?

1 Corinthians 5:10
But I had not in mind the sinners who are outside the church, or those who have a desire for and take the property of others, or those who give worship to images; for it is not possible to keep away from such people without going out of the world completely:

1 Corinthians 6:9
Have you not knowledge that evil-doers will have no part in the kingdom of God? Have no false ideas about this: no one who goes after the desires of the flesh, or gives worship to images, or is untrue when married, or is less than a man, or makes a wrong use of men,

1 Corinthians 8:1
Now about things offered to images: we all seem to ourselves to have knowledge. Knowledge gives pride, but love gives true strength.

1 Corinthians 8:4
So, then, as to the question of taking food offered to images, we are certain that an image is nothing in the world, and that there is no God but one.

1 Corinthians 8:10
For if a man sees you, who have knowledge, taking food as a guest in the house of an image, will it not give him, if he is feeble, the idea that he may take food offered to images?

1 Corinthians 10:19
Do I say, then, that what is offered to images is anything, or that the image is anything?

1 Corinthians 12:2
You are conscious that when you were Gentiles, in whatever way you were guided, you went after images without voice or power.

2 Corinthians 6:16
And what agreement has the house of God with images? for we are a house of the living God; even as God has said, I will be living among them, and walking with them; and I will be their God, and they will be my people.

Galatians 5:20
Worship of images, use of strange powers, hates, fighting, desire for what another has, angry feelings, attempts to get the better of others, divisions, false teachings,

Ephesians 5:5
Being certain of this, that no man who gives way to the passions of the flesh, no unclean person, or one who has desire for the property of others, or who gives worship to images, has any heritage in the kingdom of Christ and God.

1 Thessalonians 1:9
For they themselves give the news of how we came among you; and how you were turned from images to God, to the worship of a true and living God,

1 Peter 4:3
Because for long enough, in times past, we have been living after the way of the Gentiles, given up to the desires of the flesh, to drinking and feasting and loose behaviour and unclean worship of images;

Revelation 9:20
And the rest of the people, who were not put to death by these evils, were not turned from the works of their hands, but went on giving worship to evil spirits, and images of gold and silver and brass and stone and wood which have no power of seeing or hearing or walking:

Revelation 21:8
But those who are full of fear and without faith, the unclean and takers of life, those who do the sins of the flesh, and those who make use of evil powers or who give worship to images, and all those who are false, will have their part in the sea of ever-burning fire which is the second death.

Revelation 22:15
Outside are the dogs, and those who make use of evil powers, those who make themselves unclean, and the takers of life, and those who give worship to images, and everyone whose delight is in what is false.

Genesis 31:19
And Laban went to shear his sheep: and Rachel had stolen the images that were her father's.

Genesis 31:34
Now Rachel had taken the images, and put them in the camel's furniture, and sat upon them. And Laban searched all the tent, but found them not.

Genesis 31:35
And she said to her father, Let it not displease my lord that I cannot rise up before thee; for the custom of women is upon me. And he searched but found not the images.

Exodus 23:24
Thou shalt not bow down to their gods, nor serve them, nor do after their works: but thou shalt utterly overthrow them, and quite break down their images.

Exodus 34:13
But ye shall destroy their altars, break their images, and cut down their groves:

Leviticus 19:4
Do not go after false gods, and do not make metal images of gods for yourselves: I am the Lord your God.

Leviticus 26:1
Do not make images of false gods, or put up an image cut in stone or a pillar or any pictured stone in your land, to give worship to it; for I am the Lord your God.

Leviticus 26:30
And I will destroy your high places, and cut down your images, and cast your carcasses upon the carcasses of your idols, and my soul shall abhor you.

Numbers 33:52
then you shall drive out all the inhabitants of the land from before you, and destroy all their figured stones, and destroy all their molten images, and demolish all their high places:

Deuteronomy 4:23
Take care that you do not let the agreement of the Lord your God, which he has made with you, go out of your mind, or make for yourselves images of any sort, against the orders which the Lord your God has given you.

Deuteronomy 7:5
But you shall deal with them like this: you shall break down their altars, and dash their pillars in pieces, and cut down their Asherim, and burn their engraved images with fire.

Deuteronomy 7:25
You shall burn the engraved images of their gods with fire. You shall not covet the silver or the gold that is on them, nor take it for yourself, lest you be snared in it; for it is an abomination to Yahweh your God.

Deuteronomy 12:3
and you shall break down their altars, and dash in pieces their pillars, and burn their Asherim with fire; and you shall cut down the engraved images of their gods; and you shall destroy their name out of that place.

Deuteronomy 29:17
And you have seen their disgusting doings, and the images of wood and stone and silver and gold which were among them:)

Judges 3:19
But he himself, turning back from the stone images at Gilgal, said, I have something to say to you in secret, O king. And he said, Let there be quiet. Then all those who were waiting before him went out.

Judges 3:26
But Ehud had got away while they were waiting and had gone past the stone images and got away to Seirah.

1 Samuel 6:4
Then they said, What sin-offering are we to send to him? And they said, Five gold images of the growths caused by your disease and five gold mice, one for every lord of the Philistines: for the same disease came on you and on your lords.

1 Samuel 6:5
Therefore you shall make images of your tumors, and images of your mice that mar the land; and you shall give glory to the God of Israel: perhaps he will lighten his hand from off you, and from off your gods, and from off your land.

1 Samuel 6:8
And put the ark of the Lord on the cart, and the gold images which you are sending as a sin-offering in a chest by its side; and send it away so that it may go.

1 Samuel 6:11
and they put the ark of Yahweh on the cart, and the coffer with the mice of gold and the images of their tumors.

1 Samuel 6:15
Then the Levites took down the ark of the Lord and the chest in which were the gold images, and put them on the great stone: and the men of Beth-shemesh made burned offerings and gave worship that day before the Lord.

1 Samuel 6:17
Now these are the gold images which the Philistines sent as a sin-offering to the Lord; one for Ashdod, one for Gaza, one for Ashkelon, one for Gath, one for Ekron;

1 Samuel 15:23
For to go against his orders is like the sin of those who make use of secret arts, and pride is like giving worship to images. Because you have put away from you the word of the Lord, he has put you from your place as king.

2 Samuel 5:21
They left their images there; and David and his men took them away.

1 Kings 14:9
but have done evil above all who were before you, and have gone and made you other gods, and molten images, to provoke me to anger, and have cast me behind your back:

1 Kings 14:15
And even now the hand of the Lord has come down on Israel, shaking it like a river-grass in the water; and, uprooting Israel from this good land, which he gave to their fathers, he will send them this way and that on the other side of the River; because they have made for themselves images, moving the Lord to wrath.

1 Kings 14:23
For they also built them high places, and images, and groves, on every high hill, and under every green tree.

1 Kings 15:12
Those used for sex purposes in the worship of the gods he sent out of the country, and he took away all the images which his fathers had made.

2 Kings 10:25
Then when the burned offering was ended, straight away Jehu said to the armed men and the captains, Go in and put them to death; let not one come out. So they put them to the sword; and, pulling the images to the earth, they went into the holy place of the house of Baal.

2 Kings 10:26
And they brought forth the images out of the house of Baal, and burned them.

2 Kings 11:18
All the people of the land went to the house of Baal, and broke it down; his altars and his images broke they in pieces thoroughly, and killed Mattan the priest of Baal before the altars. The priest appointed officers over the house of Yahweh.

2 Kings 17:10
And they set them up images and groves in every high hill, and under every green tree:

2 Kings 17:16
They forsook all the commandments of Yahweh their God, and made them molten images, even two calves, and made an Asherah, and worshiped all the army of the sky, and served Baal.

2 Kings 17:41
So these nations feared Yahweh, and served their engraved images. Their children likewise, and their children's children, as their fathers did, so they do to this day.

2 Kings 18:4
He removed the high places, and brake the images, and cut down the groves, and brake in pieces the brazen serpent that Moses had made: for unto those days the children of Israel did burn incense to it: and he called it Nehushtan.

2 Kings 23:14
And he brake in pieces the images, and cut down the groves, and filled their places with the bones of men.

2 Kings 23:24
Moreover the workers with familiar spirits, and the wizards, and the images, and the idols, and all the abominations that were spied in the land of Judah and in Jerusalem, did Josiah put away, that he might perform the words of the law which were written in the book that Hilkiah the priest found in the house of the LORD.

1 Chronicles 14:12
And the Philistines did not take their images with them in their flight; and at David's orders they were burned with fire.

2 Chronicles 3:10
And in the most holy place he made images of two winged beings, covering them with gold.

2 Chronicles 11:15
And he himself made priests for the high places, and for the images of he-goats and oxen which he had made.

2 Chronicles 14:3
For he took away the altars of the strange gods, and the high places, and brake down the images, and cut down the groves:

2 Chronicles 14:5
Also he took away out of all the cities of Judah the high places and the sun images: and the kingdom was quiet before him.

2 Chronicles 23:17
All the people went to the house of Baal, and broke it down, and broke his altars and his images in pieces, and killed Mattan the priest of Baal before the altars.

2 Chronicles 24:18
And they gave up the house of the Lord God of their fathers, and became worshippers of pillars of wood and of the images; and because of this sin of theirs, wrath came on Judah and Jerusalem.

2 Chronicles 28:2
but he walked in the ways of the kings of Israel, and made also molten images for the Baals.

2 Chronicles 31:1
Now when all this was finished, all Israel that were present went out to the cities of Judah, and brake the images in pieces, and cut down the groves, and threw down the high places and the altars out of all Judah and Benjamin, in Ephraim also and Manasseh, until they had utterly destroyed them all. Then all the children of Israel returned, every man to his possession, into their own cities.

2 Chronicles 33:19
His prayer also, and how God was entreated of him, and all his sin and his trespass, and the places in which he built high places, and set up the Asherim and the engraved images, before he humbled himself: behold, they are written in the history of Hozai.

2 Chronicles 33:22
He did that which was evil in the sight of Yahweh, as did Manasseh his father; and Amon sacrificed to all the engraved images which Manasseh his father had made, and served them.

2 Chronicles 34:3
For in the eighth year of his reign, while he was yet young, he began to seek after the God of David his father; and in the twelfth year he began to purge Judah and Jerusalem from the high places, and the Asherim, and the engraved images, and the molten images.

2 Chronicles 34:4
They broke down the altars of the Baals in his presence; and the incense altars that were on high above them he cut down; and the Asherim, and the engraved images, and the molten images, he broke in pieces, and made dust of them, and strewed it on the graves of those who had sacrificed to them.

2 Chronicles 34:7
He broke down the altars, and beat the Asherim and the engraved images into powder, and cut down all the incense altars throughout all the land of Israel, and returned to Jerusalem.

Psalms 78:58
For they provoked him to anger with their high places, and moved him to jealousy with their engraved images.

Psalms 97:7
Let all them be shamed who serve engraved images, who boast in their idols. Worship him, all you gods!

Psalms 106:36
And they gave worship to images; which were a danger to them:

Psalms 106:38
And gave the blood of their sons and their daughters who had done no wrong, offering them to the images of Canaan; and the land was made unclean with blood.

Psalms 115:4
Their images are silver and gold, the work of men's hands.

Psalms 135:15
The images of the nations are silver and gold, the work of men's hands.

Isaiah 2:8
Their land is full of images; they give worship to the work of their hands, even to that which their fingers have made.

Isaiah 2:18
And the images will never be seen again.

Isaiah 2:20
In that day men will put their images of silver and of gold, which they made for worship, in the keeping of the beasts of the dark places;

Isaiah 10:10
As my hand has found the kingdoms of the idols, whose engraved images exceeded those of Jerusalem and of Samaria;

Isaiah 10:11
So, as I have done to Samaria and her images, I will do to Jerusalem and her images.

Isaiah 17:8
And he shall not look to the altars, the work of his hands, neither shall respect that which his fingers have made, either the groves, or the images.

Isaiah 21:9
Behold, here comes a troop of men, horsemen in pairs." He answered, "Fallen, fallen is Babylon; and all the engraved images of her gods are broken to the ground.

Isaiah 27:9
By this therefore shall the iniquity of Jacob be purged; and this is all the fruit to take away his sin; when he maketh all the stones of the altar as chalkstones that are beaten in sunder, the groves and images shall not stand up.

Isaiah 30:22
You shall defile the overlaying of your engraved images of silver, and the plating of your molten images of gold. You shall cast them away as an unclean thing. You shall tell it, "Go away!"

Isaiah 31:7
For in that day they will all give up their images of silver and of gold, the sin which they made for themselves.

Isaiah 41:29
Behold, all of them, their works are vanity and nothing. Their molten images are wind and confusion.

Isaiah 42:8
"I am Yahweh. That is my name. I will not give my glory to another, nor my praise to engraved images.

Isaiah 42:17
"Those who trust in engraved images, who tell molten images,'You are our gods' will be turned back. They will be utterly disappointed.

Isaiah 45:16
All those who have gone against him will be put to shame; the makers of images will be made low.

Isaiah 46:1
Bel is bent down, Nebo is falling; their images are on the beasts and on the cattle: the things which you took about have become a weight to the tired beast.

Isaiah 46:2
They are bent down, they are falling together: they were not able to keep their images safe, but they themselves have been taken prisoner.

Isaiah 48:5
For this reason I made it clear to you in the past, before it came I gave you word of it: for fear that you might say, My god did these things, and my pictured and metal images made them come about.

Jeremiah 7:30
For the children of Judah have done what is evil in my eyes, says the Lord: they have put their disgusting images in the house which is named by my name, making it unclean.

Jeremiah 8:19
Behold, the voice of the cry of the daughter of my people from a land that is very far off: isn't Yahweh in Zion? Isn't her King in her? Why have they provoked me to anger with their engraved images, and with foreign vanities?

Jeremiah 10:14
Brutish is every man by knowledge, Put to shame is every refiner by a graven image, For false 'is' his molten image. And there is no breath in them.

Jeremiah 16:18
First I will recompense their iniquity and their sin double, because they have polluted my land with the carcasses of their detestable things, and have filled my inheritance with their abominations.
(See NIV)

Jeremiah 32:34
But they put their disgusting images into the house which is named by my name, making it unclean.

Jeremiah 43:13
He shall break also the images of Bethshemesh, that is in the land of Egypt; and the houses of the gods of the Egyptians shall he burn with fire.



Related Terms

Sun-images (6 Occurrences)

Ashe'rim (19 Occurrences)

Groves (32 Occurrences)

Pictured (26 Occurrences)

Asherahs (23 Occurrences)

Asherim (20 Occurrences)

Shrines (40 Occurrences)

Baalim (18 Occurrences)

Carved (36 Occurrences)

Imagery (5 Occurrences)

Molten (41 Occurrences)

Engraved (62 Occurrences)

Quarries (4 Occurrences)

Graven (61 Occurrences)

Hewed (22 Occurrences)

Poles (58 Occurrences)

Altars (55 Occurrences)

Teraphim (14 Occurrences)

Baals (18 Occurrences)

Ba'als (19 Occurrences)

Sun-pillars (3 Occurrences)

Asherah (40 Occurrences)

Brake (80 Occurrences)

Metal (69 Occurrences)

Likenesses (4 Occurrences)

Takers (4 Occurrences)

Tumors (8 Occurrences)

Rats (5 Occurrences)

Emerods (8 Occurrences)

Mice (5 Occurrences)

Pillar (72 Occurrences)

Chopped (3 Occurrences)

Streweth (1 Occurrence)

Statues (7 Occurrences)

Jonathan (109 Occurrences)

Powder (14 Occurrences)

Idols (186 Occurrences)

Idolatry (14 Occurrences)

Chest (15 Occurrences)

Tore (59 Occurrences)

Smashed (22 Occurrences)

Writing (194 Occurrences)

Sacrificing (39 Occurrences)

Nebuchadrezzar (31 Occurrences)

Ornament (23 Occurrences)

Untrue (50 Occurrences)

Powers (43 Occurrences)

Worshipping (49 Occurrences)

Ten (234 Occurrences)

Pillars (132 Occurrences)

Shamed (91 Occurrences)

Ba'al (55 Occurrences)

Commandments (181 Occurrences)

Pulled (84 Occurrences)

Beaten (73 Occurrences)

Oak-tree (11 Occurrences)

Overlaying (4 Occurrences)

Jewelry (18 Occurrences)

Living-places (17 Occurrences)

Lighten (19 Occurrences)

Gold-plated (1 Occurrence)

Growths (2 Occurrences)

Idol (56 Occurrences)

Figure (19 Occurrences)

Confounded (64 Occurrences)

Twelfth (20 Occurrences)

Ravage (9 Occurrences)

Resting-places (27 Occurrences)

Rubbed (10 Occurrences)

Dispossess (44 Occurrences)

Dropping (33 Occurrences)

Menstrual (9 Occurrences)

Mar (7 Occurrences)

Mattan (3 Occurrences)

Menstruous (4 Occurrences)

Pictures (5 Occurrences)

Plating (13 Occurrences)

Payments (7 Occurrences)

Branching (12 Occurrences)

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