Paul is too successful in Ephesus-at least as far as the idol-making lobbyists are concerned. There are Seven Wonders of the World. But the most beautiful, according to one writer who said he saw all seven, is a temple in Ephesus dedicated to the Greek goddess Artemis. Romans call her Diana.
“I have seen the walls and hanging gardens of ancient Babylon, the statue of Olympian Zeus, the Colossus of Rhodes, the mighty work of the high pyramids, and the tombs of Mausolus,” wrote the Greek scientist Philon in the 200s BC. “But when I saw the temple at Ephesus rising to the clouds, all these other wonders were put in the shade.”
While object representing deities were common in the ancient world, only statues created under carefully prescribed conditions and with proper rituals were regarded as real images that the deity inhabited. Some images were made of stone, cast of solid metal or molded from clay; however, the primary statues of deities that dominated the temples were usually carved of wood and covered with a thin layer of gold or silver and adorned with precious stones and elegant clothing. The Assyrian king Esarhaddon commissioned a major restoration of temples and images.
This verse is a guideline, not a rule without exception. Peter and John paid no heed to governments edicts in Acts 4. The Old Testament’s preeminent statesman, Daniel, refused to comply with government strictures on prayer (Daniel 6). When civil law clearly contravenes divine command, biblical precedent calls for appropriate civil disobedience.
In a vision the prophet Ezekiel saw the temple of the Jewish people in Jerusalem. He was shocked to see on its walls paintings or sculptures of unclean animals that God’s people were not supposed to eat (Leviticus 11:1-19).
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.
Hairy, demonic figure with the appearance of a goat, translating a Hebrew term otherwise translated “hairy” or “male goat.” Bible students differ in interpreting passages as to whether a demonic figure or a normal animals is meant. Israelites apparently sacrificed to such desert-dwelling demons, since they had to have a law forbidding such sacrifice (Lev 17:7). Some have even interpreted the scapegoat rites (Lev 16:20-22) as sending Israel’s sin back to their author, a desert demon with a different name from that Continue reading DEFINITION OF THE DAY (SADITE)→
Elevate site, usually found on the top of a mountain or hill; most high places were Canaanite places of pagan worship.
HEATHEN WORSHIP AT THE HIGH PLACE: The average high place would have an altar (2 Kings 21:3; 2 Chron 14:3), a carved wooden pole that depicted the female goddess of fertility (Asherah), a stone pillar symbolizing the male deity (2 Kings 3:2), other idols (2 Kings 12:31; 13:32; 16:32-33). At these places of worship the people sacrificed animals (at some high places children were sacrificed according to Jer 7:31), burned incense to their gods, prayed, ate sacrificial meals, and were involved with male or female cultic Continue reading DEFINITON OF THE DAY (HIGH PLACE)→
Cattle were primarily a measure or symbol of wealth in biblical times. They were both familiar and significant, good characteristics for symbolic use. Among his livestock, the wealthy Job had a thousand oxen (Job 1:3). Cattle not only provided meat, milk, leather, and other by-products, they were the main animal workforce in ancient agricultural societies. Oxen (castrated bulls) pulled plows as well as wagons. Continue reading SIGNS AND SYMBOLS OF THE BIBLE (BULL/CALF)→
During the exodus, the people of Israel repeatedly rebelled against God and didn’t trust his Word, so God sent “poisonous snakes” (Num 21:6) into the camp as a punishment for their sin. Some translation call them “fiery serpents.” When the Israelites repented and begged for deliverance, God told Moses to create a bronze serpent and put