Idolatry in the Bible

WICKED PRACTICES OF

Human sacrifices

  • Leviticus 18:21 And thou shalt not let any of thy seed pass through the fire to Molech, neither shalt thou profane the name of thy God: I am the LORD.
  • Leviticus 20:2-5 Again, thou shalt say to the children of Israel, Whosoever he be of the children of Israel, or of the strangers that sojourn in Israel, that giveth any of his seed unto Molech; he shall surely be put to death: the people of the land shall stone him with stones. 3 And I will set my face against that man, and will cut him off from among his people; because he hath given of his seed unto Molech, to defile my sanctuary, and to profane my holy name. 4 And if the people of the land do any ways hide their eyes from the man, when he giveth of his seed unto Molech, and kill him not: 5 Then I will set my face against that man, and against his family, and will cut him off, and all that go a whoring after him, to commit whoredom with Molech, from among their people.
  • Also Deuteronomy 12:31; 18:10; 2 Kings 3:26-27; 16:3; 17:17-18; 21:6; 23:10; 2 Chronicles 28:3; 33:6; Psalms 106:37-38; Isaiah 57:5; Jeremiah 7:31; 19:4-7; 32:35; Ezekiel 16:20-21; 20:26,31; 23:37,39; Micah 6:7.

Bible Encyclopedia for IDOLATRY.

Practices of, relating to the dead

  • Deuteronomy 14:1 Ye are the children of the LORD your God: ye shall not cut yourselves, nor make any baldness between your eyes for the dead.

Definition of idolatry

Licentiousness of

  • Exodus 32:6 And they rose up early on the morrow, and offered burnt offerings, and brought peace offerings; and the people sat down to eat and to drink, and rose up to play.
  • Exodus 32:25 And when Moses saw that the people were naked; (for Aaron had made them naked unto their shame among their enemies:)
  • Numbers 25:1-3 And Israel abode in Shittim, and the people began to commit whoredom with the daughters of Moab. 2 And they called the people unto the sacrifices of their gods: and the people did eat, and bowed down to their gods. 3 And Israel joined himself unto Baalpeor: and the anger of the LORD was kindled against Israel.
  • Also 1 Kings 14:24; 15:12; 2 Kings 17:30; 23:7; Ezekiel 16:17; 23:1-44; Hosea 4:12-14; Amos 2:8; Micah 1:7; Romans 1:24,26-27; 1 Corinthians 10:7-8; 1 Peter 4:3-4; Revelation 2:14,20-22; 9:20-21; 14:8; 17:1-6.

"Idolatry" Bible Outline

OTHER CUSTOMS OF

See also McClintock and Strong Cyclopedia for Idolatry.

Offered burnt offerings

  • Exodus 32:6 And they rose up early on the morrow, and offered burnt offerings, and brought peace offerings; and the people sat down to eat and to drink, and rose up to play.
  • 1 Kings 18:26 And they took the bullock which was given them, and they dressed it, and called on the name of Baal from morning even until noon, saying, O Baal, hear us. But there was no voice, nor any that answered. And they leaped upon the altar which was made.
  • Acts 14:13 Then the priest of Jupiter, which was before their city, brought oxen and garlands unto the gates, and would have done sacrifice with the people.

Libations

  • Isaiah 57:6 Among the smooth stones of the stream is thy portion; they, they are thy lot: even to them hast thou poured a drink offering, thou hast offered a meat offering. Should I receive comfort in these?
  • Isaiah 65:11 But ye are they that forsake the LORD, that forget my holy mountain, that prepare a table for that troop, and that furnish the drink offering unto that number.
  • Jeremiah 7:18 The children gather wood, and the fathers kindle the fire, and the women knead their dough, to make cakes to the queen of heaven, and to pour out drink offerings unto other gods, that they may provoke me to anger.
  • Also Jeremiah 19:13; 32:29; 44:17,19,25; Ezekiel 20:28.

Libations of wine

  • Deuteronomy 32:38 Which did eat the fat of their sacrifices, and drank the wine of their drink offerings? let them rise up and help you, and be your protection.

Libations of blood

  • Psalms 16:4 Their sorrows shall be multiplied that hasten after another god: their drink offerings of blood will I not offer, nor take up their names into my lips.
  • Zechariah 9:7 And I will take away his blood out of his mouth, and his abominations from between his teeth: but he that remaineth, even he, shall be for our God, and he shall be as a governor in Judah, and Ekron as a Jebusite.

Meat offerings

  • Isaiah 57:6 Among the smooth stones of the stream is thy portion; they, they are thy lot: even to them hast thou poured a drink offering, thou hast offered a meat offering. Should I receive comfort in these?
  • Jeremiah 7:18 The children gather wood, and the fathers kindle the fire, and the women knead their dough, to make cakes to the queen of heaven, and to pour out drink offerings unto other gods, that they may provoke me to anger.
  • Jeremiah 44:17 But we will certainly do whatsoever thing goeth forth out of our own mouth, to burn incense unto the queen of heaven, and to pour out drink offerings unto her, as we have done, we, and our fathers, our kings, and our princes, in the cities of Judah, and in the streets of Jerusalem: for then had we plenty of victuals, and were well, and saw no evil.
  • Also Ezekiel 16:19.

Peace offerings

  • Exodus 32:6 And they rose up early on the morrow, and offered burnt offerings, and brought peace offerings; and the people sat down to eat and to drink, and rose up to play.

Incense burned on altars

  • 1 Kings 12:33 So he offered upon the altar which he had made in Bethel the fifteenth day of the eighth month, even in the month which he had devised of his own heart; and ordained a feast unto the children of Israel: and he offered upon the altar, and burnt incense.
  • 2 Chronicles 30:14 And they arose and took away the altars that were in Jerusalem, and all the altars for incense took they away, and cast them into the brook Kidron.
  • 2 Chronicles 34:25 Because they have forsaken me, and have burned incense unto other gods, that they might provoke me to anger with all the works of their hands; therefore my wrath shall be poured out upon this place, and shall not be quenched.
  • Also Isaiah 65:3; Jeremiah 1:16; 11:12,17; 44:3; 48:35; Ezekiel 16:18; 23:41; Hosea 11:2.

Prayers to idols

  • Judges 10:14 Go and cry unto the gods which ye have chosen; let them deliver you in the time of your tribulation.
  • Isaiah 44:17 And the residue thereof he maketh a god, even his graven image: he falleth down unto it, and worshippeth it, and prayeth unto it, and saith, Deliver me; for thou art my god.
  • Isaiah 45:20 Assemble yourselves and come; draw near together, ye that are escaped of the nations: they have no knowledge that set up the wood of their graven image, and pray unto a god that cannot save.
  • Also Isaiah 46:7; Jonah 1:5.

Praise

  • Judges 16:24 And when the people saw him, they praised their god: for they said, Our god hath delivered into our hands our enemy, and the destroyer of our country, which slew many of us.
  • Daniel 5:4 They drank wine, and praised the gods of gold, and of silver, of brass, of iron, of wood, and of stone.

Singing and dancing

  • Exodus 32:18-19 And he said, It is not the voice of them that shout for mastery, neither is it the voice of them that cry for being overcome: but the noise of them that sing do I hear. 19 And it came to pass, as soon as he came nigh unto the camp, that he saw the calf, and the dancing: and Moses' anger waxed hot, and he cast the tables out of his hands, and brake them beneath the mount.

Music

  • Daniel 3:5-7 That at what time ye hear the sound of the cornet, flute, harp, sackbut, psaltery, dulcimer, and all kinds of musick, ye fall down and worship the golden image that Nebuchadnezzar the king hath set up: 6 And whoso falleth not down and worshippeth shall the same hour be cast into the midst of a burning fiery furnace. 7 Therefore at that time, when all the people heard the sound of the cornet, flute, harp, sackbut, psaltery, and all kinds of musick, all the people, the nations, and the languages, fell down and worshipped the golden image that Nebuchadnezzar the king had set up.

Cutting the flesh

  • 1 Kings 18:28 And they cried aloud, and cut themselves after their manner with knives and lancets, till the blood gushed out upon them.
  • Jeremiah 41:5 That there came certain from Shechem, from Shiloh, and from Samaria, even fourscore men, having their beards shaven, and their clothes rent, and having cut themselves, with offerings and incense in their hand, to bring them to the house of the LORD.

Kissing

  • 1 Kings 19:18 Yet I have left me seven thousand in Israel, all the knees which have not bowed unto Baal, and every mouth which hath not kissed him.
  • Hosea 13:2 And now they sin more and more, and have made them molten images of their silver, and idols according to their own understanding, all of it the work of the craftsmen: they say of them, Let the men that sacrifice kiss the calves.
  • Job 31:27 And my heart hath been secretly enticed, or my mouth hath kissed my hand:

Bowing

  • 1 Kings 19:18 Yet I have left me seven thousand in Israel, all the knees which have not bowed unto Baal, and every mouth which hath not kissed him.
  • 2 Kings 5:18 In this thing the LORD pardon thy servant, that when my master goeth into the house of Rimmon to worship there, and he leaneth on my hand, and I bow myself in the house of Rimmon: when I bow down myself in the house of Rimmon, the LORD pardon thy servant in this thing.

Tithes and gifts

  • 2 Kings 23:11 And he took away the horses that the kings of Judah had given to the sun, at the entering in of the house of the LORD, by the chamber of Nathanmelech the chamberlain, which was in the suburbs, and burned the chariots of the sun with fire.
  • Daniel 11:38 But in his estate shall he honour the God of forces: and a god whom his fathers knew not shall he honour with gold, and silver, and with precious stones, and pleasant things.
  • Amos 4:4-5 Come to Bethel, and transgress; at Gilgal multiply transgression; and bring your sacrifices every morning, and your tithes after three years: 5 And offer a sacrifice of thanksgiving with leaven, and proclaim and publish the free offerings: for this liketh you, O ye children of Israel, saith the Lord GOD.

ANNUAL FEASTS

  • 1 Kings 12:32 And Jeroboam ordained a feast in the eighth month, on the fifteenth day of the month, like unto the feast that is in Judah, and he offered upon the altar. So did he in Bethel, sacrificing unto the calves that he had made: and he placed in Bethel the priests of the high places which he had made.
  • Ezekiel 18:6 And hath not eaten upon the mountains, neither hath lifted up his eyes to the idols of the house of Israel, neither hath defiled his neighbour's wife, neither hath come near to a menstruous woman,
  • Ezekiel 18:11-12 And that doeth not any of those duties, but even hath eaten upon the mountains, and defiled his neighbour's wife, 12 Hath oppressed the poor and needy, hath spoiled by violence, hath not restored the pledge, and hath lifted up his eyes to the idols, hath committed abomination,
  • Also Ezekiel 18:15; 22:9; Daniel 3:2-3.

OBJECTS OF

Sun, moon, and stars

  • Deuteronomy 4:19 And lest thou lift up thine eyes unto heaven, and when thou seest the sun, and the moon, and the stars, even all the host of heaven, shouldest be driven to worship them, and serve them, which the LORD thy God hath divided unto all nations under the whole heaven.
  • 2 Kings 17:16 And they left all the commandments of the LORD their God, and made them molten images, even two calves, and made a grove, and worshipped all the host of heaven, and served Baal.
  • 2 Kings 21:3 For he built up again the high places which Hezekiah his father had destroyed; and he reared up altars for Baal, and made a grove, as did Ahab king of Israel; and worshipped all the host of heaven, and served them.
  • Also 2 Kings 21:5; 2 Chronicles 33:3,5; Job 31:26-28; Jeremiah 7:17-20; 8:2; Ezekiel 8:15-16; Zephaniah 1:4-5; Acts 7:42.

Images of angels

  • Colossians 2:18 Let no man beguile you of your reward in a voluntary humility and worshipping of angels, intruding into those things which he hath not seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind,

Animals

  • Romans 1:23 And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things.

Gods of Egypt

  • Exodus 12:12 For I will pass through the land of Egypt this night, and will smite all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both man and beast; and against all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgment: I am the LORD.

Golden calf

  • Exodus 32:4 And he received them at their hand, and fashioned it with a graving tool, after he had made it a molten calf: and they said, These be thy gods, O Israel, which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt.

Brazen serpent

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

Net and drag

  • Habakkuk 1:16 Therefore they sacrifice unto their net, and burn incense unto their drag; because by them their portion is fat, and their meat plenteous.

Pictures

  • Numbers 33:52 Then ye shall drive out all the inhabitants of the land from before you, and destroy all their pictures, and destroy all their molten images, and quite pluck down all their high places:
  • Isaiah 2:16 And upon all the ships of Tarshish, and upon all pleasant pictures.

Pictures on walls

  • Ezekiel 8:10 So I went in and saw; and behold every form of creeping things, and abominable beasts, and all the idols of the house of Israel, pourtrayed upon the wall round about.

Earrings

  • Genesis 35:4 And they gave unto Jacob all the strange gods which were in their hand, and all their earrings which were in their ears; and Jacob hid them under the oak which was by Shechem.

See SHRINE

DENUNCIATIONS AGAINST

  • Genesis 35:2 Then Jacob said unto his household, and to all that were with him, Put away the strange gods that are among you, and be clean, and change your garments:
  • Exodus 20:3-6 Thou shalt have no other gods before me. 4 Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth: 5 Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me; 6 And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments.
  • Also Exodus 20:23; 23:13; 34:17; Leviticus 19:4; 26:1,30; Deuteronomy 4:15-23,25-28; 5:7-9; 11:16-17,28; 12:31; 16:21-22; 27:15; 28:15-68; 30:17-18; 31:16-21,29; 32:15-26; 1 Samuel 15:23; 1 Kings 9:6-9; Job 31:26-28; Psalms 16:4; 44:20-21; 59:8; 79:6; 81:9; 97:7; Isaiah 42:17; 45:16; Joel 3:12; Jonah 2:8; Micah 5:15; Habakkuk 1:16; Acts 15:20,29; 17:16; Romans 1:25; 1 Corinthians 6:9-10; 8; 10:7,14,20-22; 1 John 5:21; Revelation 21:8; 22:15.

See ICONOCLASM

WARNINGS AGAINST, AND PUNISHMENTS OF

  • Deuteronomy 17:2-5 If there be found among you, within any of thy gates which the LORD thy God giveth thee, man or woman, that hath wrought wickedness in the sight of the LORD thy God, in transgressing his covenant, 3 And hath gone and served other gods, and worshipped them, either the sun, or moon, or any of the host of heaven, which I have not commanded; 4 And it be told thee, and thou hast heard of it, and inquired diligently, and, behold, it be true, and the thing certain, that such abomination is wrought in Israel: 5 Then shalt thou bring forth that man or that woman, which have committed that wicked thing, unto thy gates, even that man or that woman, and shalt stone them with stones, till they die.
  • Also 2 Chronicles 28:23; Nehemiah 9:27-37; Psalms 78:58-64; 106:34-42; Isaiah 1:29-31; 2:6-22; 30:22; 57:3-13; 65:3-4; Jeremiah 1:15-16; 3:1-11; 5:1-17; 7; 8:1-2,19; 13:9-27; 16; 17:1-6; 18:13-15; 19; 22:9; 32:35; 44; 48:8; Ezekiel 6; 7:19; 8:5-18; 9; 14:1-14; 16; 20; 22:4; 23; 44:10-12; Hosea 1:2; 2:2-5; 4:12-19; 5:1-3; 8:5-14; 9:10; 10; 11:2; 12:11-14; 13:1-4; 14:8; Amos 3:14; 4:4-5; 5:5; Micah 1:1-9; 5:12-14; 6:16; Zephaniah 1; Malachi 2:11-13.

PROPHECIES RELATING TO

  • Exodus 12:12 For I will pass through the land of Egypt this night, and will smite all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both man and beast; and against all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgment: I am the LORD.
  • Numbers 33:4 For the Egyptians buried all their firstborn, which the LORD had smitten among them: upon their gods also the LORD executed judgments.
  • Isaiah 2:18 And the idols he shall utterly abolish.
  • Also Isaiah 2:20; 17:7-8; 19:1; 21:9; 27:9; 31:7; Jeremiah 10:11,15; 51:44,47,52; Ezekiel 43:7-9; Hosea 10:2; Micah 5:13; Zephaniah 2:11; Zechariah 13:2.

FOLLY OF

  • Exodus 32:20 And he took the calf which they had made, and burnt it in the fire, and ground it to powder, and strawed it upon the water, and made the children of Israel drink of it.
  • Deuteronomy 4:28 And there ye shall serve gods, the work of men's hands, wood and stone, which neither see, nor hear, nor eat, nor smell.
  • Deuteronomy 32:37-38 And he shall say, Where are their gods, their rock in whom they trusted, 38 Which did eat the fat of their sacrifices, and drank the wine of their drink offerings? let them rise up and help you, and be your protection.
  • Also Judges 6:31; 10:14; 1 Samuel 5:3-4; 12:21; 1 Kings 18:27; 2 Kings 3:13; 19:18; 2 Chronicles 25:15; 28:22-23; Psalms 96:5; 106:20; 115:4-5,8; 135:15-18; Isaiah 2:8; 16:12; 36:18; 37:19; 40:12-26; 41:23-24,26-29; 43:9; 44:9-20; 45:20; 46:1-2,6-7; 47:12-15; 57:13; Jeremiah 2:28; 10:3-16; 11:12; 14:22; 16:19-20; 48:13; 51:17; Daniel 5:23; Hosea 8:5-6; Habakkuk 2:18-19; Zechariah 10:2; Acts 14:15; 17:22-23,29; Romans 1:22-23; 1 Corinthians 8:4-5; 10:19; 12:2; Galatians 4:8; Revelation 9:20.
 
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