The Creation and Use of Figurines and Idols

1275 Words6 Pages
In the days of ancient Israel, Figurines and Idols were very important for the religious aspect of daily life. As evidenced by the findings at sites like Beer Sheba and the Bull site, these idols were very widespread in their use. Likely all the cults that existed at the time used them in one form or another. Therefore, studying their construction and use would be important.

The construction of these idols is interesting on its own. The book details the process of creating a wooden idol, which was taken from Isaiah 44: 12-17. At least for the wooden figurines and idols, the process began with trees. The idol maker would take a block that had been cut and squared from trees that may have been set apart when they were planted. The idol maker then would then mark the rough outline for the figure, and then he would set about the actual sculpting. Interestingly enough, throughout the sculpting process the idol maker would keep all the shavings until after the carving was done. Once the idol was complete, the idol maker would use the shavings to stroke a fire over which he prepared a meal consisting of bread and meat , which may have been a sort of communion meal. Interestingly, the idol maker wouldn't drink water during his labors. After eating his meal, the idol maker would prostrate himself before the idol he had made and say some sort of prayer, likely a prayer meant to empower the idol with the god its was based on.

There are several interesting things about this entire process. For starters, the bible passages mention that the trees were taken from the forest, meaning that they were freshly fallen trees, and hadn't been sitting there dead for a while. This would indicate that dead trees were of no use to the people, that perha...

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...hey were important theologically for the people back then.

Citations

1. (Oppenheim, 1964:184-6; and cf. Hallo, 1983:3; Jacobsen, 1987: 22-8: Horowitz, 1989: 48-73;

2. (Oppenheim, 1964: 187; Mann, 1977: 76-89; Berlejung, 1997: 67-8).

1995b: 339-47; Berlejung, 1996: 146-9; 1997: 45-51,71)

Isaiah 44: 12-17

Isaiah 30:22

Isaiah 40: 18-20

1st Samuel 19:13-16

Exodus 21:6

Ezekiel: 3-4, 7-8

Ezekiel: 14:3-4,

Deuteronomy 6:8, 11:18

Works Cited

Citations

1. (Oppenheim, 1964:184-6; and cf. Hallo, 1983:3; Jacobsen, 1987: 22-8: Horowitz, 1989: 48-73;

2. (Oppenheim, 1964: 187; Mann, 1977: 76-89; Berlejung, 1997: 67-8).

1995b: 339-47; Berlejung, 1996: 146-9; 1997: 45-51,71)

Isaiah 44: 12-17

Isaiah 30:22

Isaiah 40: 18-20

1st Samuel 19:13-16

Exodus 21:6

Ezekiel: 3-4, 7-8

Ezekiel: 14:3-4,

Deuteronomy 6:8, 11:18
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