Home‎ > ‎Quotations and Illustrations‎ > ‎~I‎ > ‎Idolatry‎ > ‎

Not Idol, But Image

Clearly, if 'no other god' has any real power and, therefore, any real, substantive existence, it is grossly inappropriate that Israel should invest such an object with ultimacy. The [Hebrew] word...however, need not be rendered 'idol.' It is more properly rendered 'image,' a visible representation of Yahweh. The temptation, then, is not the creation of a rival that detracts from Yahweh, but an attempt to locate and thereby domesticate Yahweh in a visible, controlled object. This latter reading, which is the more probable, is also more subtle. It does not fear a rival but a distortion of Yahweh's free character by an attempt to locate Yahweh and so diminish something of Yahweh's terrible freedom.

- Walter Brueggemann, The New Interpreters' Bible, vol. 1 (Abingdon, 1994).
Comments