Saturday, February 21, 2009

Abraham & Idols

Scripture says Israel's ancestors served other gods when they lived in Mesopotamia. From that, many have concluded that his father Terah was an idol worshiper, perhaps even a priest or idol seller. Here's a story based on that the reflects the idea that Abraham abandoned those idea for monotheistic worship:

Terah was an idolator. Once he went off somewhere and left Abraham to sell [idols] in his place.... Later, a woman came bearing a container of flour. She said to him, "Here, offer this before [the idols]." He took a stick and broke [the idols] and then put the stick into the hand of the biggest of them. When his father came, he said to him, "What happened to these?" He said to him:... "One [idol] said, 'Let me be the first to eat,' another said, 'No, let me be the first to eat,' then the bigger one took the stick and broke [the others]." [Terah responded], "Why are you mocking me--do these idols know anything?" [Abraham] said, "cannot your ears hear the words coming from your own mouth?" (Genesis Rabba 38:13; cited in James L. Kugel, THE BIBLE AS IT WAS, p. 138)

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