Imágenes de páginas

516 $404. STATE of Idol Athy IN THE TIME of christ.

other, while those of the Porch explained the whole on their sys-
tem of Pantheism. The philosophers indeed disputed with much
subtilty respecting the architect of the universe, but they knew
nothing about the CREAtor, the all-wise, and all-powerful Judge of
They worshipped the gods themselves, and threw no obsta-
cles in the way of others rendering them the same worship; but
they had understanding enough at the same time on the subject to
condemn the vices, which had been attributed to them, and to
give them an allegorical interpretation. They still left to them
the government of the world and of men; but they exploded
the idea of the existence of TARTARUs or the Infernal Regions :
although they failed, as it is remarked by Polybius, (Hist. VI. 6. )
to substitute any thing better in its place. The doctrine, which
some of them advanced, respecting the existence of the soul after
death, they found themselves unable to maintain by such argu-
ments, as would be considered proof; and they overlooked alto-
gether the subject of the difference of allotment to the good and
evil, when this life is over, Cicero, Tusc. QUAEs. LIB. I. 11.
The good principles, which some advanced, were controvert-
ed and denied by others, and the people, not being in a condition
to pass an opinion on disputes of this nature, followed the author-
ity of the priests. If indeed, any tenets of the philosophers obtained
circulation among the populace, they were only those of the worst
kind; such as the simultaneous death of the soul and the body, and
the denial of a divine Providence, Pliny, Hist. NAT. Lib. II. 2.
VII. 56.
As respects some of the moral duties, the philosophers may
have made some advance, as to correctness, on former opinions;
but how deficient they were after all, will be seen, when it is re-
marked, that they made the honour, utility, and propriety of ac-
tions the rule of their moral merit or demerit, and permitted the
practice of fornication, the prostitution of boys, the exposure of
children, and the hatred of enemies. The Stoics defended the
practice of suicide, insisted on the sternest apathy, and joined with
the Platonists in recommending a contemplative life. As such a
life did not suit with the feelings and practice of the great bulk
of mankind, the philosophers indulged only in intercourse with
one another. But even if they had been unanimous, in teaching a

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§ 405. of IMAGEs Made for sacred purposes. 517

system of morals, which might be considered perfect, there would have been a want of something still ; there would have been a want of motives, of incitements, to influence them and their disciples, to put it into practice. Whence Cicero complains, that the doctrines of these philosophers were rather the ostentation of learning, than the prompter and law of their conduct, Tuscul. QUAEst. Lib. II. 4.

§ 405. Of IMAGES MADE for sacred PURposes.

Two kinds of these images are mentioned in the Bible, viz. those of Jehovah and those of the false deities; which, especially in the history of the kingdom of Israel, (2 K. 10: 29, 13: 2, 11. 14: 24.) are carefully distinguished from each other. Both were interdicted to the Hebrews, for they were considered as being in danger of attributing some inherent efficacy to those of Jehovah, as well as of the other deities, Exod. 32: 4. Deut. 13: 2, 3. 4: 12 —20.

The images of Jehovah were,

I. The Calf, mentioned in Exod. 32: 4, 5; and the two calves erected by Jeroboam in the cities of Dan and Bethel. They were made in imitation of the two celebrated living bulls in Egypt, viz. Apis at Memphis and Mnevis at Heliopolis. These calves are said to be gold in the same sense, that the Table and Altar are said to be so, i.e. covered with gold.

II. The Ephod of Gideon. This certainly was not the sacerdotal garment, called an Ephod ; for such a garment could not have been made of gold, which is represented to have been the case with the Ephod in question, Judg. 6: 25–33. 8:24–27. It was a piece of wood, sculptured in the likeness of an Ephod, and covered with gold. In confirmation of this view, it may be observed, that the word Hops is used, (Is, 30. 22.) for a covering or superficies of gold.

III. The image of Micah in mount Ephraim; which is expressly said to be an image of Jehovah, Judg. 17:3—13. 18:3, 6, 15–31.

Idols, properly so called, occur under different names, which are sometimes interchanged with each other. The words $25 and Torr, an image or effigy are general terms, which are appli. ed to idols and effigies for sacred purposes of any kind; the words 518 § 406. of the host on ARMY or heaven.

-te and Sote mean properly a sculptured image; H3xx may mean any monument whatever; especially one for superstitious purposes. The word Hoon means a covering of silver and gold, and by synecdoche, the idol itself, which is thus covered; the terms

ax; and as: from the Arabic Coac to cut out or hew, signify an idol, as the etymology of the words intimates, which is hewn out or sculptured. Idols are sometimes denominated to:3:3. The word does not a. * appear to be from the Arabic >, to be large, but from the Hebrew ::: to roll, because the trunks of these idols could be easily rolled; with a contemptuous allusion, at the same time, to the round and voluble excrements of certain brute animals. We also find other contemptuous names for idols, viz. Yoo an abomination and to:*:N, an appellation, applied to idols, on account of their weakness. "Jehovah, on the contrary, is termed *::s the Mighty, sp: -os the Mighty one of Jacob, and sno - as the mighty one of Israel, Gen. 49: 24. Is. 49:26. 60: 16. Ps. 132: 2, 5.

§ 406. Of the Host on ARMY of Heaven.

The Host of Hearen, bon six, which are represented as being made the objects of worship, are the stars. As early as the time of Moses, we find, that these heavenly bodies were not only worshipped themselves, but also images of them, Exod. 20: 4. Deut. 17: 3. Hence, through a failure of distinguishing between second and original causes, or what may be termed the permission of God in his Providence and his immediate agency, which is common among Oriental writers, the stars are said in Deut. 4: 19, to be distributed among the nations, as objects of their worship, while God has selected the people of Israel for his own, that they might worship Him. The Mehestani, (the disciples of Zoroaster,) not only worshipped the stars, but paid their homage likewise to the innumerable spirits, with which, in their opinion, they were peopled. These spirits they believed to be their guardian defenders against the evil Ahrimanius and his demons, Dan. 4: 23.

Notwithstanding the worship of the stars, a practice, which was very widely spread, was interdicted to the Hebrews, they

§ 407, of the sun And the God BAAL. 519

very often, especially during the seventy years immediately preceding the Captivity, adored them, erected altars, and burnt incense to them in their houses, 1 K. 22:19. 2 Chron. 18:18. 33:8. 2 K. 17: 16. 21: 3. 23: 4, 5. Jer. 8: 2. 19:13. Zeph. 1:5.

Note. The phrase, noso; Hono, Jehovah of hosts, or rather when fully written, nix-x "rios Hon. Jehovah, the Lord of hosts, which occurs first in the book of Psalms and the books of Samuel, is not to be rendered the God of the stars nor the God of the gods; for, however frequently the singular Nox may be thus used, it is certain, that the plural, viz. nisos, is never employed in reference to the stars. Nor is another rendering, which is sometimes given, viz. the God of armies, a correct one. It is true, that, at a very ancient period, the Hebrews were donominated the armies or hosts of Jehovah, HoHo nisis; but we never find, at the early period to which we allude, the converse of these expressions, viz. non-s Hyn, the God of armies. We prefer, therefore, the rendering of the Septuagint, which translates the phrase in question, tavroxgarwg, the ruler of all things or the omnipotent. Indeed both the singular Nix and the plural nisos, which are from the verb Nax to arise, are applied to every thing, which arises or makes its appearance either in earth or heaven, Gen. 2: 1.

§ 407. Of the SUN, AND The god BAAL.

The Sun, or, as an object of worship, is always mentioned by Moses, in connexion with the moon and stars, to all of which, as it would seem from his representations, effigies or images were erected, Exod. 20:4. Deut. 4: 19. 17: 13. The sect of the Arabians, called Nabataeans, erected altars to the Sun, on the tops of houses, and worshipped him with libations and with the burning of incense, Strabo, p. 784. comp. Jer. 19:13. Zeph. 1: 5. We find, that a city was consecrated to the Sun in Egypt, in the time of Joseph, and that men of distinguished rank were set apart to his service, Gen. 41:45, 50. 46:20. The city, to which we allude, viz. Heliopolis, (in Hebrew 1°N and js,) was a place of note, so late as the time of Jeremiah, (see chap. 43: 13,) in consequence of the obelisks, wo no nias”, which were erected in honour of 520 § 407. OF THE SUN AND The God BAAL.

that luminary. One of these obelisks is still remaining upon its
base; the others are prostrated and broken, Niebuhr's Travels, I.
98, 99. Strabo, p. 805. Abdollatif in Jahn's Arabic Chrestomathy,
p. 139 et seq.
It is these monuments of superstition, (obelisks,) although per-
haps smaller in size, which are meant by the word poor, and
which, although they were interdicted by Moses, (Lev. 26: 30.)
were, notwithstanding, at a subsequent period erected by his coun-
trymen, Is. 17: 8. 27: 9. Ezek. 6: 4, 6. 2 Chron. 14: 5.
We learn from 2 Chron. 34: 4–7, that these obelisks were
erected on the altars of Baal ; they were of course consecrated
to the Sun, since Baal, especially when it is read in connexion
with Astarte or Ashtaroth, i. e. the moon, means the Sun, for in-
stance in Judg. 2: 13. 10:6. 1 Sam. 7:4. 12: 10. also in 2 K. 23:
5. where the expressions too; Foz, the sun Baal, are coupled to-
gether. Baal Gad, 13 ozz, moreover, which is mentioned, Josh. 11:
17. 12; 7. 13:5. is evidently the same with that City of the sun,
which formerly existed in Syria, and was called by the Greeks
Heliopolis; where at this day amid its ruins, which now bear the
name of Baalbek, are found the remains of a most magnificent
temple. -
Baal Samen, a deity of the Phenicians, eulogized in the frag-
ments of Sanconiathon, is no other than too ::: the Lord of
heaven, i. e. the sun. It is stated by Macrobius, (Saturnal. I, 23.)
that the Sun in his character of deity was represented, in the
cities named Heliopolis both in Syria and Egypt, by the image of
an unbearded youth. His right hand, like that of a charioteer,
was in an elevated posture, and sustained a whip; his left hand
grasped the thunderbolt. This idolatrous effigy was covered
throughout with gold.
The hieroglyphical characters, which can be traced on the
obelisks, of which we have already spoken, and likewise on the
remains of other ancient monuments in Egypt, are denominated,
in the writings of Moses, n"zipp tas, also ni-zog; and are forbid-
den by him, on account of their having been made objects of su-
perstitious worship, Lev. 26:1. Num. 33:52, comp. Ezek. S. 7–18.
There is no doubt, that the men, mentioned in Ezek. 8: 7–18.
worshipped hieroglyphical representations.
The Mehestani considered the Sun to be the eye of Ormuz,

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