BIBLE CUSTOMS & CURIOSITIES (HELPLESS PAGAN GODS)

One of Isaiah’s favorite themes was that the pagan gods of his time were powerless, while Yahweh, the supreme God of the Israelites, was all-powerful. Here the prophet portrayed two gods of the Assyrians and Babylonians as so weak and helpless that they had to be carried around by oxen and horses.

Bel, also known as Marduk (Jer 50:2 NIV) and Merodach (Jer 50:2 KJV), was the main god of the Babylonians. Known as the god of war, he was considered the deity who protected the city of Babylon.

Nebo was worshiped by both the Assyrians and the Babylonians as the god of wisdom, science, and the arts. His popularity is verified by the combination of his name with the names of Assyrian and Babylonian kings, such as Nebuchadnezzar of Babylonia.

ISAIAH 46:1 – Bel boweth down, Nebo stoopeth, their idols were upon the beasts, and upon the cattle [their idols are borne by beasts of burden, NIV].

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