Satan, the Super Creature



What Is Idolatry?
Tower of Babel
Astrological Idolatry
Prohibitions Against Idolatry
Israel's Background  of Idolatry
Rachel's Teraphim
The Golden Calf
Jeroboam's Golden Calves
Idolatry in Judah Before the Fall
Eating Food Sacrificed to Idols
Idolatry in the Church Age


Tower of Babel (Gen 11:4), Rachel (Gen 31:19), Chaldeans (Josh 24:2, 15) Prohibition (Ex 20:4; 34:17; Deut 12:3; 16:21-22; Psa 95:3), Golden calf (Ex 32), Micah's images (Judg 17:4; 18:18, 31), Jeroboam (1 Ki 12:28); gods of Egypt (Jer 44:8), idols demons (Isa 44:9-20; 1 Cor. 8:4; 10:19–20); man made (Isa 40:18–20; 41:6–7; 44:9–20), BOS H/H (Isa 44:18-20), makers (Psa 115:8; Hos 9:10), abomination (Deut 7:25; 29:17), worship (Dt. 31:16; Jdg. 2:17; Ho. 1:2), helpless (Is. 41:5-7; 46:1–2), Lord history (Is. 40:22–25; 41:1–2, 25; 43:14–15), Church (1 Cor. 8:1; 10:7, 14, 20-21; Col 3:5; 1 Jn 5:21), (Matt 6:24; 2 Cor 6:16; 1 Jn 5:21; Rev 9:20)

In the beginning God created the heavens and the Earth (Gen 1:1).  Before that the Word existed (Jn 1:1).  The name of the Lord God, who revealed Himself to man in the Garden was JHVH ELOHIM, where JHVH means the self existing one and ELOHIM mans God, thus, the eternally existing God.  God always existed.  Time did not begin until the Universe was created.  It is a variable associated with mass and motion.  The Lord Jesus Christ (the Word) is the Creator of all things (Jn 1:1-3; Col 1:16).  He spoke the Universe into existence (Psa 33:6; Heb 11:3; 2 Pet 3:5).  Then He created the angels (Job 38:7; Psa 33:6; Col 1:16).  He refashioned the Earth and the Heavens for man (Gen 1:2-31; 2:1).  The Lord is Sovereign over all Creation (Psa 33:8-12; 103:19; 148:1-5).  There is no God beside Him (Isa 44:6, 8; 45:5-7, 18; Jer 10:6-7).  He is the only one who deserves to be worshipped or praised (Psa 47:2; Dan 4:37).  Man and angels should worship and praise the Lord (Deut 6:13; Psa 148:2; Matt 4:10; Heb 1:6).

Since there is only one Sovereign God, who created all things, and is over all things, He is the only one worthy of praise and worship (2 Sam 22:4; Neh 9:6; Psa 18:3; Heb 3:3; Rev 4:11).  All Creation and all created beings are inferior to God.  He is the Potter; they are the clay (Isa 29:16; 45:9; 64:8; Jer 18:1–6; Rom 9:19–21).  The Sun, Moon, and stars are created.  They will cease to exist (Isa 34:4; Matt 24:35; 2 Pet 3:10, 12; Rev 21:1).  The angels are created beings.  Satan is a created being (Ezek 28:15).  Man is a created being (Gen 1:27).  They are all inferior to God, and none of them should be worshipped (Ex 20:4, 5; 34:17; Deut 4:19; 5:8, 9; 8:19; 12:3; 16:21-22; 17:3, 5).  The Lord is Sovereign above all gods (Ex 18:11; Psa 95:3; 96:4; 97:9; 135:5).  All other gods are idols (1 Chron 16:26; Psa 96:5).  The gods who did not make the heavens will perish (Jer 10:11-16).  The Lord Jesus Christ, who paid for the sins of the world, is worthy to be worshipped, honored, and praised (Rev 5:9, 12).

What Is Idolatry?

Idolatry is the worship of anything other than God.  It is the worship of anything in Creation other than God, including people, animals, heavenly bodies, angels, and objects of wood, stone, and metal.  An idol is simply an image.  Although there is obviously no power in an image, the image is assumed to symbolize something with power, such as a god.  The god may be an angel or a mythological being.  The idol could be an good-luck charm, a symbol of spiritual power, or an emblem of protection.

Explanations of idolatry quickly become convoluted, but two things should be kept in mind.  First, God permits it, and secondly, Satan invented it.  As with demon influence, God must first deliver the idolater into Satan's power before he will fall into it.  Before a person falls into idolatry, he must have Hardness of the Heart and Blackout of the Soul.  Then God must deliver him over into Reverse Process Reversionism, or spiritual adultery.  Reverse Process Reversionism (RPR) is a stage of Reversionism in which the idolater rejects God and turns to a substitute god, or idol.  This corresponds to actual adultery, which is another form of RPR in which the adulterer rejects his wife and turns to a paramour.Reverse Process Reversionism

Romans 1:18
For the wrath from God is being revealed from Heaven against all non-godliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness,
God's wrath is an anthropopathism for God's disapproval.  God punishes sins against Him.  "Non-godliness" is the Greek ajsevbeia (asebeia), which is often translated ungodliness, for the lifestyle of a person who has rejected God.  It is the opposite of eujsevbeia (eusebeia), which refers to the Spiritual life.  God punishes non-godliness and unrighteousness in men.  These are sins of rejection of God.

These men "suppress the truth in unrighteousness."   This refers to rejecting the truth of the Gospel after the Holy Spirit has made it understandable or to rejecting God at God consciousness.  God consciousness is when a person becomes aware of the existence of God.  At that point in life the person must decide whether he wants to know God.  If he does, God will give him the Gospel.  If he does not, God will punish him by hardening his heart.

Romans 1:19  God Consciousness
because what is known about God is revealed to them; for God has revealed Himself to them.
Knowledge about God is revealed at God consciousness to unbelievers.  They may gaze into the Universe and wonder about the God who made it, or they may think about life and wonder about their maker.
Romans 1:20
For since the creation of the world, His invisible attributes are clearly perceived, being perspicuous through things He has created, namely, both His eternal power and His divine nature, so that they are without excuse.
The existence of Creation demands a Creator.  God has left enough clues for everyone to come to awareness of the existence of God.
Romans 1:21
Because when they knew God, they did not honor Him as God, nor did they feel obligated to thank Him; not only this, but they received worthless thoughts in their evil deliberations and their foolish heart was darkened.
These are the people who rejected God after reaching God consciousness.  They did not honor God or feel obligated to thank Him for all that He had done.  Consequently, God punished them.  He had given them Divine enlightenment to recognize His existence.  He turned off the Light and left them in darkness in their mentality, which is called Blackout of the Soul.  Consequently, their thoughts were worthless in their evil deliberations.  God also hardened their heart (right lobe of the soul) and left it darkened.  In this state of degeneracy, the hearts and minds of these people were open to the Cosmic System and Satanic influence.
Romans 1:22
Although they claim to be wise, they became fools,
These Reversionists were proud of their worldly wisdom, but they became spiritual fools (1 Cor 1:20).  They rejected God's wisdom, which can only be understood through Spiritual regeneration.
Romans 1:23 Reverse Process Reversionism (Idolatry)
and they exchanged the glory of the incorruptible God for an image in the form of mortal mankind and of birds and quadrupeds and reptiles.
They exchanged the glory of God for an image (idol) in the form of man, birds, quadrupeds, and reptiles.  This is Reverse Process Reversionism.  God was rejected and an idol was substituted.  So idolatry occurs in a stage of Reversionism.  It occurs in Reverse Process Reversionism from rejection of God at God consciousness.
Romans 1:24 Result of Negative Volition at God Consciousness
Therefore God gave them over in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, that their bodies might be dishonored among themselves.
"God gave them over" means God demoted them lower into Reversionism.  In this stage of Reversionism:
  1. The body is dishonored through illicit sex.
  2. The body suffers from demotion.
  3. The decrease of light in the heart (right lobe of the soul) (from the Spirit of human life) through impurity results in suffering in the body.
Romans 1:25 RPR
For they exchanged the doctrine of God for the lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.
In Reverse Process Reversionism, they rejected God and worshipped and served the creature rather than the Creator.  God pursues us in Love with Bible Doctrine, but the reversionist makes the truth into a lie.  Arrogance is believing a lie.

In all this, Satan has not yet been mentioned, but he is behind the idol.  He invented idolatry, and the Lord gives him his business.  God turns those in RPR over to Satan, who is waiting to accept them and lead them further astray in idolatry.  Those who go into idolatry must first reject God and have their hearts hardened.  They must first become fools so they will fall for the devil's lie.

Isaiah similarly described the Blackout of the Soul and Hardness of the Heart of idolatry.  He wrote (Isa 44:9) that those who fashion idols are "nothing," which is the Hebrew WhT) (tohu), meaning empty, nothing, vacuum.  Idols are nothing and those who shape them are nothing.  Some shape idols from metal (Isa 44:12) and others from wood (Isa 44:13, 14, 15).  After cutting down a tree and using some of the log to cook and warm himself, a man makes the rest into an idol.

Isaiah 44:17
But the rest of it he makes into a god, his idol. He falls down before it and worships; he also prays to it and says, "Deliver me, for you are my god."
He calls his idol his god.  He worships it and prays to it for deliverance.
Isaiah 44:18 BOS and H/H
They do not perceive, nor do they discern, for He has smeared over their eyes so that they cannot see and their hearts so that they cannot understand.
The idolater is like his idol.  He does not perceive or discern the truth.  He "cannot see."  This is Blackout of the Soul (BOS).  And his heart cannot understand.  This is Hardness of the Heart.  BOS and Hardness of Heart are stages of Reversionism.  The idolater is in Reverse Process Reversionism, which is due to Divine punishment before Satan even enters the picture.
Isaiah 44:19
No one considers, nor is there knowledge or understanding to say, "I have burned half of it in the fire and also have baked bread over its coals. I roasted meat and have eaten. Then the rest of it I shall make into an abomination; I shall fall down before a block of wood."
The idolater is irrational.  He should know the block of wood is not able to help him, but in BOS and H/H he is inept.
Isaiah 44:20
He feeds on ashes; a deceived heart has led him astray.  And he cannot deliver himself, nor say, "Is there not a lie in my right hand?"
In RPR, the idolater is easily deceived by Satan, who is the god behind the idol.  However, the idolater is stuck in RPR and hopelessly enslaved to Satan.  He cannot deliver himself.  And he doesn't recognize the lie in his right hand.

Tower of Babel

Within a hundred years after the Flood, idolatry was already a centerpiece of the culture.  It was the heart of Satan's attack on the human race through Ecumenical Babylon.  The centerpiece of the city of Babel was the Tower of Babel, which was a ziggurat for practicing the state religion through idolatry.  People were no longer satisfied with worshipping the invisible God of Noah.  They fell for Satan's lie of worshipping visible gods, which were the heavenly bodies.
Genesis 11:4 Tower of Babel
They said, "Come, let us build for ourselves a city, and a tower with its top reaching into heaven and let us make for ourselves a name, lest we be scattered abroad over the face of the whole Earth."
The Tower of Babel, which reached into heaven, was for worshipping the heavens through Satan's version of astrology.  Satan named the Sun, Moon, and planets after his demon gods.  The names were counterfeits for their true names which honored and glorified their Creator.2  The god who was worshipped in the Tower of Babel was Bel, the chief god of Babylon, who was called the king of heaven, as Satan's name for the Almighty God Planet (Jupiter).  At the Tower of Babel the people were worshipping the king of heaven, and their king would be the king of the Earth, the Antichrist.   There would be no need for Christ to come to Earth to fulfill the Adamic Covenant because everyone on Earth would belong to Satan.

Bel later became Baal, meaning lord.  Babel was a contracted form of the Hebrew ll^B* (balal), to confuse.  Before God confused the languages at the Tower of Babel, Satan had confused the definitions of Creation by naming the heavenly bodies after his gods.  Thus, Bel is also known as the confounder.

Satan called himself the Morning Star (Lucifer), and he invented a mythology to explain the signs of the Zodiac.  At the Tower of Babel , he wasted no time in taking credit for Creation and offering himself as a counterfeit god to be worshipped.  Those who had fallen into reversionism from rejection of the true God were vulnerable to his deception.  After rejecting God, they fell for Satan's brilliant counterfeit.

Satan made idols of Creation in order to keep men from honoring the Creator (Rom 1:25).  The astrology of Babel, which later became Babylonian astrology, was based on Satan's false definitions.  The truth is that the heavens glorify their Creator.  The Sun symbolizes Jesus Christ, the Light of the world.  The Moon symbolize His Bride, the Church.  And the planets are the names of Jesus Christ, the Creator.  The constellations are the chapters of the history of mankind in relation to God.2  Satan could not endure this truth; so he changed the definitions and invented a myth about them.  Then Satan and his demons set out to convince men to accept his lie.  He even invented a counterfeit religion to get people to worship the Creation rather than the Creator.  The Tower of Babel was Satan's alternative to the worship of the one true God and Creator of all things.

The whole Universe stands as a powerful testimony of the Sovereign, Almighty God, who is omnipotent, omnipresent, and infinite.  It draws attention to the Creator and brings man to God consciousness.  God's testimony of Himself stands supreme.  No created being could ever have such awesome magnificence.  All creatures are nothing compared to God, just as anything compared to infinity is zero.  The existence of the Universe demands a Creator.  To deny the existence of the Creator requires strong arrogance from a hardened heart.  Those with hearts that are hard enough to deny the Creator are foolish enough to accept some far-fetched lie, which Satan provides.  God lets Satan deceive such fools because they deserve him.

The Satanic astrology that began at Babel culminated in Babylonian astrology.  The Babylonian astrologers were the most advanced in history at propagating Satan's lie.  Satan's false definitions were so profound that the predictions were believable.  For example, he named the Red Planet after the god of war.  It was therefore a prediction of suffering albeit for the wrong reason.  Consequently, the truth about the shedding of blood for the remission of sin was hidden.

Astrological Idolatry

Satanic astrology was the basis for idolatry associated with the worship of the heavenly bodies.  Therefore, astrological idolatry was strongly prohibited by the Mosaic Law.  Astrological idolatry is the worship of the heavenly bodies rather than their Creator.
Deuteronomy 4:19 Prohibition Against Astrological Idolatry
Beware lest you lift up your eyes toward the heavens and see the Sun, Moon, and stars, all the host of the heavens, and be torn away and bow down to them and serve them which the LORD your God has allotted to all the people under all of the heavens.
Satan named the Sun, Moon, and stars after his demon gods.  Whatever he called them is now lost in confusion.  He started with lies that led to mythical convolutions, resulting in confusion.  Every culture used different names and different myths.  Furthermore, idolatry was based more on the king and queen than the stars.  Satan reveals himself as the god of war and the goddess of love, corresponding to the king and the queen.  The king god is associated with ruling and war, while the queen goddess is the prostitute and mistress for sexual promiscuity.  While it would be logical for the Sun to symbolize the king and the Moon the queen, that is generally not the case.  For example in Babylon Bel (Jupiter) was the king, and Inanna or Ishtar (Venus) was the queen.  Similarly Baal, the king, was linked to his sister/lover Anat, and he was worshipped in Canaan along side Astarte (or equivalent Asherah).

Satan was revealed as Baal to the Canaanites.  Baal-Moloch symbolized purification by fire.  He was worshipped by burning children in a pit (2 Chron 28:1-2, 3; 2 Ki 16:3; Ezek 16:21; Jer 7:31).  Baal was not known as the Sun god, but as lord.  He was also called Baal-melech, where melech means king.  Bel, the forerunner of Baal was worshipped in Babylon as the King of Heaven (Jupiter).  The Queen of Heaven was Inanna or Astarte (Jer 7:18; 44:19).  Asherah (borrowed from the Assyrians) was the female goddess of fertility who later became Ashtoreth, a Moon goddess.  The worship of Baal included an altar for sacrificing animals or children, a sacred pillar to symbolize Baal, and a wooden pole to symbolize the female goddess, such as Asherah.  Sacrifices were made to the male god, and the female goddess was worshipped with sexual orgies.

The Moon was associated with the Assyrian-Persian Tanais and Artemis, who was the Phoenician Astarte, corresponding to the Babylonian Sîn and Assyrian  Selene, and Virgo caelestis, who was companion to Baal-Moloch.

The Sun, Moon, and five visible planets were used in Babylonian astrology.  These were the seven stars in the hand of Christ (Rev 1:16).  The names were different in different languages to further confuse.  Here is a summary of how Satan redefined the names of the planets:

Savior Planet – Nebo (Babylonian) (Isa 46:1), Mercury (Roman), Hermes (Greek) (Acts 14:12).
Nebo, as the King of Heaven, was the deity of the Chaldean royal family.  Many kings had the name (e.g., Mabonassar, Nabo-polassar).

Morning Star – Ishtar (Babylonian, Assyrian), Venus (Roman), Aphrodite (Greek)
Arabic, yn!m+ (Meni), same as Manât = the goddess of destiny; bestower of good fortune and the distributor of fate (Isa 65:11); called "little luck" by the Arabs and "the star" in Arian for the Morning Star.3

Isaiah 65:11
But you who forsake the LORD,
Who forget My holy mountain,
Who set a table for Fortune (Gad),
And who fill cups with mixed wine for the goddess of Destiny (Meni),
Red Planet – Nergal (2 Ki 17:30) (Babylonian), Mars (Roman), Ares (Greek) (Acts 17:22, Areopagus = "hill of Ares")
Nergal means a dunghill cock.

Almighty God – Bel (Isa 46:1) (Babylonian), Jupiter (Roman), Zeus (Acts 14:12-13) (Greek)
Bel - supreme god of Babylon (same as Bel-Merodach, Marduk).
Gad (Isa 65:11) is from the place Baal-Gad, where Baal is the same as Bel as the god of good fortune.3

God of the Covenants – El, Ninurta (Ninib) (Babylonian), Saturn (Roman), Kronos (Greek)

The children of Israel carried shrines for the idols of Egypt around with them in the wilderness.
Amos 5:25-26
25 Did you offer me sacrifices and offerings in the wilderness forty years, O house of Israel?
26 But you carried the booth of your king, and the pedestal of your images, the star of your god, which you made for yourselves.
Instead of offering sacrifices to the Lord in the wilderness, the Israelites were still worshipping the idols of Egypt.  The booth was a small shrine for the idol that symbolized the king, which was the chief god of Egypt, e. g. Osiris.  The shrine sat on a stand, or pedestal.  The shrine housed images, or idols.  The images symbolized "the star" of the god.  "The star" was the planet that symbolized the god, which for Osiris was the Moon or Sun and for the Queen of Heaven was the Morning Star.
Amos 5:27
"Therefore, I will carry you into exile beyond Damascus," says the LORD, the God of the Armies.
The consequence of the idolatry of the Northern Kingdom of Israel is that it would be carried into exile beyond Damascus.  Amos prophesied in Bethel, the center for idolatry in Israel, between 810 and 783 BC.  The Northern Kingdom of Israel was carried into captivity by the Assyrians in 721 BC.

Stoning of Stephen, RembrandtThis passage from Amos was quoted from the Septuagint in Acts 7:42, 43 by Stephen before he was stoned to death.  Satan incited the Jewish religious crowd to stone Stephen as Paul held their coats.  The names, "Moloch" and "Rompha" are corruptions of the original Hebrew.  The word, "king" in the Hebrew does not mean "Moloch," and "Rompha" does not come from the word for pedestal, which is the Hebrew  /WYK! (kijjun).  This was a scribal attempt to make kijjun  into the homonym kaiwan for the Akkadian Kaiwanu, the name of the Babylonian Ninib, or Saturn.9, 10  "Rompha" or its variations in spelling are not the name of any Egyptian god or any other known god.  The use of "Moloch" and "Rompha" in the verse quoted by Stephen does not alter the meaning of his message.  The names of Satan's gods are lies anyway.

The names of the gods in the heavens were not just for astronomers and astrologers.  They were also applied to things on Earth.  Hand readers named the parts of the hands after the gods.  Children were named after the gods.  The king in heaven became the king on Earth who was also worshipped.  Emperor worship was practiced in Babylon and later in Rome.  Hermes, the herald of the gods, became the great communicator and shepherd as well as the locksmith.  He was the counterpart for the Good Shepherd.  Literature was filled with stories about people and their gods.  Greek literature of the Fifth Century BC was based on the lies of mythology and inspired by Satan.  The truth was lost in the lie.  The lie became the norm, and the truth was hidden.  Satan not only ruled the world, he ruled the thinking of the world.  What began with lies about Creation propagated into every part of the culture.

Prohibitions Against Idolatry

The seriousness of idolatry can be seen in the strong prohibitions against it.  The first command of the Ten Commandments prohibits involvement with any god other than the one true God.  And the second commandment expressly prohibits idolatry.
Exodus 2:3 Commandment #1
You shall have no other gods beyond Me.
The First Commandment establishes the Sovereignty of God over all Creation.  Relationships with other gods are prohibited.  There can be no God other than God.
Exodus 2:4 Commandment #2 – Prohibition Against Idolatry
You shall not make for yourself an idol, or any likeness of what is in Heaven above or on the Earth beneath or in the water under the Earth.
Making an idol was prohibited.  "Idol" is the Hebrew ls#p# (pasel), for an idol, image, or a likeness of man or animal.

"Or any likeness of what is in heaven above" - this is a prohibition against making an idol to represent anything in Heaven, i.e. God or the heathen gods or angels or stars.  "Or on the Earth beneath" - this includes idols which represent anything on Earth - man or animals.   Birds are also included either in the previous phrase or this one.  "Or in the water under the Earth" - this refers to fish or other creatures that live in the water.  "Under the Earth" should be taken to mean below ground level.

The first part of this commandment is a prohibition against making idols.  The second part is a prohibition against worshipping or serving idols along with a statement of the Four Generation Curse.

Exodus 20:5
You shall not worship them or serve them; for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children, on the third and the fourth generations of those who hate Me,
Worshipping or serving idols is prohibited. "Worship" is the Hebrew hj*v* (shachah), meaning to bow down (to worship).  This means to bow down to pray or worship.  "Serve" is the Hebrew db^u* (`abad), Hoph'al imperfect, meaning to be led or enticed to serve.  The Hoph'al is the causative passive voice.  This refers to sacrifice and religious ritual.  It refers to being caused to serve, e.g. from an enslaved soul; or to be enticed or led and therefore, to follow.  "Jealous" is an anthropopathism.  It is the Hebrew aN*q^ (qanna'), which means demanding exclusive service; to permit no rival; jealous.  The word can mean jealous or possessive.  Here it refers to the possessiveness of God.

The last half of the verse is a statement of the Four Generation Curse, which means that God will tolerate rejection for four generations, and the fourth generation will result in destruction of the nation.  The Four Generation Curse is placed after the prohibition of idolatry to make the point that idolatry is the worst sin of rejection that can destroy the family and the nation.

The Second Commandment is repeated in Deuteronomy 5:8, 9.

Covenants with Evil Nations

Israel was also prohibited from making a covenant with the nations in the Promised Land, which it was going to possess (Ex 34:12).  The prohibition was because the nations were idolaters.

Exodus 34:13
But rather, you shall tear down their altars, smash their sacred pillars, and cut down their Asherim
Israel was to destroy the alters, sacred pillars, and Asherim of the enemy nations.  The alters were used for sacrificing to gods, such as Baal.  Sacred pillars were stone monuments to Baal.  Nearby was a wooden pole, which symbolized Asherah.  Baal, as the male god, was worshipped with blood sacrifices, and Asherah was worshipped with ritual prostitution and orgies.  In ritual prostitution the women (and the men) cohabited with the demon gods as well as with each other under demonic power.

Idolatry was not only rejection of God, but also a rejection of Marriage.

Exodus 34:14
—for you shall not worship any other god; for the LORD, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God—
The relationship between the believer and the Lord is sacred, just as Marriage is a sacred relationship.  Worshipping a god other than the true God is spiritual adultery, just as having sex outside of Marriage is adultery.  Israel must not make covenants with idolaters because idolaters are the enemies of the true God.
Exodus 34:15
lest you make a covenant with the inhabitants of the Land when they practice prostitution after their gods and sacrifice to their gods, and one invites, and you eat of his sacrifice,
If Israel made covenants with the other nations, its people could be lured into idolatry.  A person might invite one of them to eat meat that had been sacrificed to Baal.  Thus, the person could be lured into idolatry, which was expressly forbidden by God.
Exodus 34:16
and you take his daughters for your sons in marriage, and his daughters practice prostitution after their gods and cause your sons to practice prostitution after their gods.
Being friends with the heathen nations would open the door for intermarriage.  Marriage is a covenant.  Marrying into the idolatrous culture would lead the sons of Israel into idolatry.
Exodus 34:17
You shall not make for yourself molten gods.
Molten gods are idols.  People must not make idols.  Satan is the inventor idols, and those who make them are following him.
Deuteronomy 12:2
You shall utterly destroy all the places where the nations whom you shall dispossess serve their gods, on the high mountains, on the hills, and under every green tree.
After destroying the evil nations, Israel was to destroy the places where they practiced idolatry.  Their favorite places included the mountains and hills and under the shade of green trees.  The mountains were considered sacred because the high places were nearer to heaven.  Green trees (full of foliage) afforded shade for outdoor activities and also symbolized Asherah, the goddess of nature and fertility.  Green trees also symbolized luxuriant phallic reversionists (Job 8:16; Psa 37:35; Isa 57:5) and widespread idolatry in the land (Jer. 2:20; 3:6; 17:2; 2 Kings 16:4; 17:10; Ezek. 6:13; 20:28; Hos. 4:13).
Deuteronomy 12:3
You shall tear down their altars, smash their sacred pillars, and burn their Asherim with fire, and you shall cut down the engraved images (idols) of their gods and obliterate their name from that place.
Here again, Israel was commanded to destroy places the evil nations practiced idolatry (Ex 34:13).  They were to cut down their engraved images, their idols, and obliterate their names.  Obliterating their names meant destroying any trace of them (Deut 7:24).

Warning Against Israel

Israel was solemnly warned not to engage in idolatry like the nations around them.

Deuteronomy 8:19-20
19  It shall come about if you ever forget the LORD your God and go after other gods and serve them and worship them, I solemnly warn you today that you shall surely perish.
20  Like the nations that the Lord makes to perish before you, so you shall perish; because you would not obey the voice of the LORD your God.
If Israel practiced idolatry like the other nations, the Lord solemnly warned them that He would destroy the nation.  This happened to the Northern Kingdom in 721 BC and to the Southern Kingdom in 586 BC.

Any individual in Israel who practiced idolatry was to be given a trial and if found guilty, executed (Deut 17:2-5).  Israel was a theocracy and idolatry was not to be tolerated within the nation.  Further, Israel was prohibited from setting up an Asherah or planting any tree beside the Brazen Alter in the Tabernacle (Deut 16:21).  That would be idolatry.  And there was a prohibition against setting up a sacred pillar for idolatry in the Land (Deut 16:22).

Sacrifices to Satyrs

Israel was prohibited from offering sacrifices to satyr demons.

Leviticus 17:7
They shall no longer sacrifice their sacrifices to the satyr demons after whom they commit prostitution.  This shall be to them a statute for ever throughout their generations.
"Satyr demons" is the Hebrew ryu!c* (sa`ir), meaning satyr demon (Isa. 13:21, 34:14; Lev. 17:7; 2 Chron. 11:15).  The worship of this idol included ritual prostitution, which made the women (and the men) into the Prostitute of Babylon.  Apparently this practice was widespread, which is why the specific prohibition was issued against it.  The satyr was an ancient symbol of Satan.

Israel had brought the worship of satyr demons with its ritual prostitution with them from Egypt (Josh. 24:14; Ezek. 20:7; 23:3, 8, 19, 21, 27).  The Egyptians worshipped goats, including Pan, who was called Mendes.4

To prevent offering to satyr demons, anyone who did not bring his sacrifices to the Tabernacle to be offered to God was to be "cut off" from Israel, which means executed (Leviticus 17:8, 9).  Anyone who practiced idolatry with Molech was also to be cut off (Lev 20:5).

Mediums and Wizards

Leviticus 20:6
And the person who turns to mediums and to wizards, to commit prostitution after them, I will also set My face against that person and will cut him off from among his people.
Those who turned to mediums and wizards to commit ritual prostitution were also considered idolaters, who must be executed.  "Mediums" is the Hebrew boa ('ob), meaning a necromancer or wizard; a soothsaying demon.  And "wizards" is the Hebrew yn!u{D+y! (jide`oni), meaning a familiar spirit; a wizard, a spirit of divination.  These are people who communicate with demons, which gives them the demon spirit of the Prostitute of Babylon.  Regardless of how they applied their trade, whether necromancers, soothsayers, or mediums, they were all in the same class as idolaters.  And those who visited them were also considered idolaters.  All must be "cut off," executed.

Israel's Background  of Idolatry

Terah, the father of Abraham and Nahor, was an idolater in Ur of the Chaldees (Josh 24:2).   He left Ur with his family before its destruction and settled in Haran.  He took with him household idols called teraphim.  Teraphim were figurines in human form.  They were not necessarily vulgar  or lewd images.  They were consulted for divination for receiving an oracle.  They were consulted by Micah  (Judg 17:5; 18:18, 31) and Babylonian kings (Ezek 21:21).   Josiah abolished them, but the people were attached to them (2 Ki 23:24).  The owner of teraphim was also implied to be the leader of the family.  The teraphim were passed down as the right to the family inheritance.5
Joshua 24:2
Joshua said to all the people, "Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel, 'From ancient times your fathers lived beyond the (Euphrates) River, namely, Terah, the father of Abraham and the father of Nahor, and they served other gods.
Terah, the father of Abraham and Nahor, worshipped idols when they lived in Ur of the Chaldees beyond the Euphrates River.  Whether Abraham was an idolater before he became a believer is not known, but Terah took the family teraphim with him when he left Ur and settled in Haran.  The family teraphim were passed down to Nahor and to Laban, even though they were believers.  Abraham left the idols behind when God told him to separate and move to Canaan.

Joshua at Josh. 24:14-28Before the tribes of Israel received their inheritance in the Promised Land, Joshua commanded them to serve the Lord and put away their idolatry.

Joshua 24:14
Now, therefore, fear the LORD and serve Him by means of integrity and doctrine; and put away the gods which your fathers served beyond the River and in Egypt, and serve the LORD.
Joshua commanded the people to serve the Lord by means of integrity and doctrine.  Integrity is the Hebrew<ym!T* (tamim), meaning integrity, which corresponds to the Integrity Envelope (or Edification Complex of the Soul).  "Doctrine" is the Hebrew tm#a#('emeth), for truth or doctrine, corresponding to Bible Doctrine.

Joshua commanded the people to fear the Lord and put away the idols which their ancestors served in Mesopotamia and in Egypt.  Their ancestor Terah and his family worshipped the gods of the Chaldeans, e. g. fire, light, and the Sun.  In Egypt they worshipped the gods of the  Egyptians, including Apis, Anubis, serpents, vegetables, and satyr demons (Lev. 17:7 (satyrs), Ezek. 20:7 ff., 23:3, 8, Amos 5:26).6

Joshua 24:15
If it is disagreeable in your sight to serve the LORD, choose for yourselves today whom you will serve: whether the gods which your fathers served which were beyond the (Euphrates) River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you are living; but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.
Joshua  (Josh. 24:14-28)Joshua pressed the Israelites to decide if they would serve the Lord or the gods of their ancestors beyond the Euphrates River or the gods of the Amorites in the Promised Land.  In the Land they must stop serving the gods of the Amorites, Moabites, and Canaanites, such as Baal, Molech, Asherah, and Astarte.
The people answered that they would serve the Lord and reject the other gods (Josh 24:16-22, 24).  Only after the people had sworn allegiance to the Lord and rejected their idols did Joshua give the people their inheritance of the Promised Land (Josh 24:27, 28). For Israel to be the Client Nation to God in the Land, it must serve the Lord and reject idolatry.

Rachel's Teraphim

When Jacob sneaked out on Laban to return to Canaan, Rachel stole Laban's teraphim (household idols) and took them with her (Gen 31:19).  There is no indication that Laban or Rachel worshipped the idols or used them for divination because both were believers.  The idols had obviously been brought out of Ur of the Chaldees by Terah and passed down through Nahor to Laban.  The owner of the teraphim may have been the person designated to receive the family inheritance.  Thus, having the idols would have given Rachel's children a claim to the inheritance from Laban.

Jacob along with his wives and cattle had been gone for three days before Laban found out that Jacob had left (Gen 31:22).  Laban gathered his kinsmen and pursued Jacob for seven days before he overtook him in the mountains of Gilead (Gen 31:23).  God warned Laban in a dream the night before not speak anything to Jacob "either good or bad," i. e. not to be decisive and bold and try to turn things around (Gen 31:24).

Laban expressed his disapproval of Jacob slipping away without giving him an opportunity to say goodbye (Gen 31:26-28).  Of course, Jacob had beaten Laban at his own game.  They were both alike.  Then Laban accused Jacob of stealing his gods (Gen 31:30).  Apparently this was a real sore point.  Not only had Jacob left with his herds, his wives, and Laban's grandchildren, but he had also taken the household idols.

Jacob replied to Laban:

Genesis 31:32
"The one with whom you find your gods shall not live; before our kinsmen point out what is yours among my belongings and take it for yourself."  Now Jacob did not know that Rachel had stolen them.
Because Jacob did not know that Rachel had stolen the idols, he gave her a death sentence.  He said the one with whom the gods are found "shall not live."  He invited Laban to search for the idols.

Laban searched for the idols but did not find them.  He entered Rachel's tent to search for them, and she said she could not rise because the manner of women was upon her (Gen 31:35).  She had hidden the idols in the camel's saddle upon which she was sitting. It was unthinkable to Laban that she would so desecrate the idols.  So, he didn't press the issue, and he didn't discover the idols.

When Laban failed to find the idols, Jacob went into a tirade.  Then Laban demanded a formal separation ceremony.  They set up a stone marker in the mountains of Gilead.  Laban would stay on his side of the marker (North), and Jacob would stay on his side (South) (Gen 31:50, 52).  The next day they parted ways.

After Jacob had been living in Canaan about 10 years, he was forced to leave Shechem after his sons killed the tribe of Hamor over the Dinah incident (Gen 34).  God told him to go to Bethel.  This was all a test for Jacob to qualify for promotion to Spiritual Rapport.

Genesis 35:2 Separation from Idols
So Jacob said to his household and to all who were with him, "Put away the foreign gods that are among you, purify yourselves, and change your clothes."
Before leaving for Bethel, Jacob commanded his household to put away their foreign gods.  The "foreign gods" included Rachel's teraphim (Gen. 31:19).  This was a command to separate from idols, which were Satan's Ecumenical Babylon counterattack.  This was followed by responding to God (Josh 24:23).

They were commanded, "Purify yourselves."  This was a command to use the redemption solution and be sanctified.  The redemption solution for post salvation sins required Rebound.  After Rebound God would forgive their sin and sanctify them.  To symbolize sanctification they washed their bodies and their clothes.  Washing the body symbolized sanctification of the person, Positional Sanctification.  Washing the clothes symbolized the robe of Righteousness, Ultimate Sanctification, Resurrection.

They were commanded, "Change your clothes."  Putting on clean, festal garments symbolized wearing a of the robe of Righteousness (Job 29:14; Isa 61:10), the clothing of a Resurrection body.  This symbolized Positional Sanctification, Resurrection, Spiritual Rapport.

Genesis 35:4 Idols Buried
So they gave to Jacob all the foreign gods which they had and the rings which were in their ears, and Jacob hid them under the terebinth which was near Shechem.
Jacob collected the idols in his company and buried them under the terebinth at Shechem.  This was probably the same tree where Abraham pitched his tent (Gen 12:6) and was a sacred place in Joshua's time (Josh 24:26).  The idols were symbols of Satan.  Whether Rachel ever used her idols, she kept them, which was still evil.  Getting rid of the idols corresponds to sanctification on the way to Spiritual Rapport.  The people purified themselves, which included washing and putting on festal clothes, to symbolize sanctification.  The earrings, which were worn as amulets and charms, were also buried.

Jacob journeyed to Luz (Bethel), which is in the mountains in the region of Benjamin on the border with Ephraim on the highway south of Shechem (Gen 35:6).  He built an altar there to worship the Lord (Gen 35:7).

Genesis 35:9  Promotion to Spiritual Rapport
Then God appeared to Jacob again when he came from Paddan-aram, and He blessed him.
God appeared to Jacob again, and "He blessed him."   This was promotion to Spiritual Rapport.  God appeared in a dream to Jacob 30 years before when he was fleeing to Paddam-Aram (Gen 28:12-15).  This time God appeared by daylight in visible form (Gen 35:13).  Jacob was reminded of his new name, Israel, which had been given earlier (Gen 32:27, 28).  Jacob then received the second confirmation of the Abrahamic Covenant (Gen 35:9-12; 48:3-4).

After Jacob's promotion to Spiritual Rapport and confirmation of the Abrahamic Covenant, he journeyed south toward Ephrath (Bethlehem, house of bread) (Gen 35:16).   Rachel died on the way to Ephrath.

  1. Rachel kept the household idols (Gen 31:34) until Jacob stripped them away and buried them on the way to Bethel.  Thus, Rachel symbolized the Prostitute of Babylon just as Eve had become in the Garden.
  2. Rachel rejected the redemption solution.  She was negative to the Spiritual Life and did not advance Spiritually along with her husband as Sarah had done.
  3. When Jacob reached Spiritual Rapport, his wife, like Job's, did not qualify for blessing.
  4. Instead Jacob's blessing of Spiritual Rapport became the sanctification that condemned his Right Woman, Rachel, who could not be sanctified because she rejected the redemption solution.
  5. Rachel died under the Sin Leading to Death under the curse of childbirth (~age 46) in the wilderness and under the curse that Jacob had unwittingly placed on her for stealing the teraphim (Gen 31:32; 48:7).

The Golden Calf

After Moses went up on Mount Sinai and the Lord gave him the Law verbally, he came back down and explained the Law to the people (Ex 19:20; Ex 20-23).  The people declared, " All the words which the Lord has spoken we will do!" (Ex 24:3).  The Second Commandment prohibited idolatry.  Then the Lord called Moses back up the mountain to receive instruction for building the Tabernacle and to receive an engraved copy of the Ten Commandments (Ex 24:12).  Moses went up on the mountain to meet the Lord and left Aaron in charge (Ex 24:14).  However, when Moses was delayed in returning, the people became impatient, and Satan incited them.
Exodus 32:1
Now when the people saw that Moses delayed to come down from the mountain, the people assembled about Aaron and said to him, "Arise, make us a god who will go before us; as for this Moses, the man who brought us up from the land of Egypt, we do not know what has become of him."
Now Aaron was a weak sister, who was lacking in faith.  The people demanded that Aaron make for them a god to go before them.  They wanted a visible god instead of the invisible God, whom they worshipped.  They were asking for an idol, although they probably didn't think of it that way.  They were asking for something like a national standard and something to remind themselves of God.  Just as the Lord would later dwell above the Cherubim, they may have expected God to meet them through the idol (Ex 25:22; 1 Sam 4:4; 2 Sam 6:2; 2 Ki 19:15; Ps 80:1).

Satan was behind all this.  He understood the gravity of the situation as the Lord was giving to Moses the specifications for the Tabernacle, which would be the center for worshipping God in Israel.  So Satan counterattacked from Ecumenical Babylon.  He tempted the people who had just left the idols of Egypt.  They were not in their mind rebelling against God, but fulfilling their own desires in the absence of Moses.  They had no love for Moses.  They were like rebellious children when their parents are away.  Aaron, however, was like the substitute teacher, who could be easily manipulated.  He was a public servant and willing to serve the people rather than lead them.

Aaron told the people to tear off their gold earrings and bring them to him (Ex 32:2).  These were the valuables that they were given to leave Egypt.  The people readily parted with their gold (Ex 32:3).  Aaron melted down the gold and fashioned it into a golden calf (Deut 9:16; Neh 9:18).

Exodus 32:4  Golden Calf
He took this from their hand, and fashioned it with a graving tool and made it into a molten calf; and they said, "This is your god, O Israel, who brought you up from the land of Egypt."
The golden calf was unlike the idols of any of the surrounding nations.  The Egyptians worshipped the bull, Apis, as a live animal, not an idol.  There were numerous examples of bull worship among the Eastern countries, but not the golden calf.  Aaron implied that he didn't put much thought into making the golden calf.  He just threw in the gold and out came the calf (Ex 32:24).  Regardless of his pitiful excuse, the golden calf was inspired by Satan.

Golden CalfAfter making the idol, Aaron declared a feast the next day to dedicate it to the Lord (Ex 32:5).  Dedicating an idol to the Lord is blasphemy.  How could Aaron be so stupid?  It indicates his lack of understanding of previous ritual.  The people had simply followed ritual without reality.  Such is the case with those who are not really listening to Bible Doctrine.  They are "always learning but never able to come to an epignosis-knowledge of the truth" (2 Tim 3:7).

Exodus 32:6
So the next day they rose early and offered burnt offerings and brought peace offerings; and the people sat down to eat and to drink, and rose up to play.
Golden CalfThey had the audacity to offer burnt offerings and peace offerings to dedicate the idol to God.  Then they held a feast and rose up "to play."  "To play" is the Hebrew qj^x* (tsachaq) in the Pi'el, meaning to laugh;  to tickle sexually (conjugal caresses); to sport, fondle, or play sexually (Gen 26:8; 39:14, 17).  They had an orgy.  Their legalistic abominable sacrifices were followed by unrestrained lawlessness.  They followed the same protocol for worship as the heathen cults.

Satan incited them to make the idol, to make sacrifices for it, to eat the sacrificial meat, and to celebrate with an orgy.  Their prayers and offerings were only a phony façade of legalism.  They had no Bible Doctrine in the soul with which to honor God.  In spite of all that God had done for them in bringing them out of Egypt with His mighty power, they were putty in the hands of Satan.  The only defense against Satan is Bible Doctrine in the soul.  Satan turned them into holy rollers overnight.  Holy rollers have their roots in the same cults.

Exodus 32:7
Then the LORD commanded Moses, "Go down!  For your people, whom you brought up from the land of Egypt, have acted wickedly."
The Lord cut short His instruction to Moses and commanded him to go down the mountain because the people were acting wickedly.  This is the Hebrew tj^v* (shachath) in the Pi'el (intensive), meaning to act wickedly.  It means they were engaged in reversionism under the power of evil.
Exodus 32:8
"They have quickly turned aside from the way which I commanded them.  They have made for themselves a molten calf, and have worshiped it and sacrificed to it and said, 'This is your god, O Israel, who brought you up from the land of Egypt!' "
The Lord noted that the people had quickly turned aside.  In the 40 days since Moses left them, they had "turned aside" from God and fallen under the power of Satan.  Satan wasted no time in rewriting history.  He gave them a golden calf and claimed that it brought them up from Egypt.  These are the typical lies of the devil in rewriting history.  To appeal to the people, Satan claimed that his idol had brought them up from Egypt.
Exodus 32:9
The LORD said to Moses, "I have seen this people, and behold, they are a stiff-necked people.
"Stiff-necked" is a metaphor for an animal that cannot be guided in a straight line, but turns away and goes in the wrong direction.  It means bull-headed or obstinate and symbolizes hardness of the heart.  The people did not learn Bible Doctrine and went into reversionism because of hardness of the heart.  Actually, God hardened their hearts and let the devil have them.
Exodus 32:10
"Now then, let Me alone, that My anger may burn against them and that I may consume them; but I will make for you a great nation."
The Lord's anger is an anthropopathism for His severe displeasure with the evil of the people.  The only fitting punishment would be to destroy them completely, not for one act of disobedience, but because they would never learn Bible Doctrine.  These people were losers, like the holy rollers.  After all that God had done for them, they turned to worship Satan in 40 days.

However, Moses immediately interceded for the people (Ex 32:11-13).

Exodus 32:14
So the Lord changed His mind about the harm which He planned to do to His people.
"Changed His mind" is the Hebrew  <j^n* (nacham), which means to change the mind, not repent.  The Lord changed His mind about the immediate harm that He would bring to the people, but in the long run they would die in the wilderness.

Ten CommandmentsThen Moses went down the mountain carrying the two tablets of the Law, which the Lord had engraved on the stone with His own writing (Ex 32:15, 16).  When Moses saw the calf and the dancing, he became very angry and threw down the tablets and shattered them at the bottom of the mountain (Ex 32:19).

Exodus 32:20
He seized the calf which they had made and burned it with fire, and ground it to powder, and scattered it over the surface of the water and made the sons of Israel drink it.
Moses seized the calf and burned it such that the inner core of wood was burned to charcoal.  Then he ground it to powder and scattered the gold dust and charcoal over the surface of the water and made the people drink it.  According to Deuteronomy, he threw the gold dust into the brook that came down the mountain (Deut 9:21).

Making the people drink the water was not cruel and unjust punishment designed to humiliate and degrade or even to sicken.  It symbolized a curse.  When the people drank the water, it meant they must bear their guilt.  Drinking the water was part of a curse upon the people like the curse for adultery and jealousy (Nu 5:24).  The bitter water symbolized the water that brings a curse.

Then Moses turned his attention to Aaron, whom he had left in charge.  Moses interrogated Aaron.  He asked Aaron what he had done to bring such a great sin upon the people.  Aaron's answer is a classic of weaving and bobbling, shifting the blame and being the innocent victim.

Exodus 32:22
Aaron said, "Do not let the anger of my lord burn; you know the people yourself, that they are steeped in evil.
Aaron began by asking Moses to calm down, cool off.  Then he established rapport with his opponent by reminding Moses that he knew himself that the people were full of evil.  Why should this surprise him?
Exodus 32:23
"For they said to me, 'Make a god for us who will go before us; for this Moses, the man who brought us up from the land of Egypt, we do not know what has become of him.' "
Aaron was quick to rat on his friends when it suited his purpose.  He was quite able to accurately testify as to what the people said with their derogatory tone toward Moses, whom they hated.  But, of course, Aaron was Moses' friend.  Aaron is the typical ingratiating politician.
Exodus 32:24
"I said to them, 'Whoever has any gold, let them tear it off.'  So they gave it to me, and I threw it into the fire, and out came this calf."
Now Aaron was just complying with the demands of the people as any good public servant.  He told them to bring him their gold.  And he just threw it in the fire, and out came the calf.  Aaron did not take the blame for anything.  He just threw in the gold, and out came the calf.  Aaron, under duress, threw the gold into the fire, and the calf just happened.
Exodus 32:25
Now when Moses saw that the people were out of control – for Aaron had let them get out of control to be a derision among their enemies –
Moses saw that the people were undisciplined and out of control.  The Hebrew actually says "let loose" or "unrestrained."  The result of their licentiousness would be that the Lord would make them the object of scorn and derision to their enemies and they would be destroyed (Deut 28:37).
Exodus 32:26
then Moses stood in the gate of the camp, and said, "Whoever belongs to the LORD, come to me!"  And all the sons of Levi gathered together to him.
Then Moses called for a show of support.  He called all those who belonged to the Lord to come to him.  All the sons of Levi came to him.  The other tribes held back.  The Levites were the Priesthood.  They had Rebounded and were back in fellowship, but the other tribes were still in sin.  Moses was also from the Tribe of Levi.  But this was not a show of support from Moses, but for the Lord.
Exodus 32:27
He said to them, "Thus says the LORD, the God of Israel, 'Every man put his sword upon his side, and go back and forth from gate to gate (one end to the other) through the camp, and kill every man his brother, and every man his friend, and every man his neighbor.' "
Moses commanded the Levites to gird on their swords and go through the camp from gate to gate (one end to the other) and kill everyone they met.  They were to kill indiscriminately their brother, friend, or neighbor.  This may sound harsh, but Israel was a Theocracy, and under the Law idolatry was a capital offense that carried the death penalty.
Exodus 32:28
So the sons of Levi did as Moses instructed, and about three thousand men of the people fell that day.
The Levites obeyed Moses and killed 3,000 men out of about 600,000.

Next Moses returned to the Lord and confessed the sin of the people and interceded for them.

Exodus 32:32
But now, if You will, forgive their sin; and if not, please blot me out from Your book, which You have written.
Moses knew that the sin of the people for idolatry needed to be forgiven.  He asked the Lord to forgive the sin of the people.  But if the Lord would not forgive the sin, then Moses offered himself to be executed instead of them.  He requested that the Lord blot him out of His book instead.  This is the Book of human life, which contains the time of birth, death, and specifications for human life (Ex 32:32, 33; Psa 56:8; 139:16). Moses was not offering to be blotted out of the Book of Eternal Life.
Exodus 32:33 Sin Leading to Death
But the LORD said to Moses, "Whoever has sinned against Me, I will blot him out of My book.
But the Lord answered Moses that the person who sinned will be blotted out of His book, not Moses.  This is the Sin Leading to Death.  It is the sin for which the Lord sentences death.  The Lord's answer was that the Sin Leading to Death is unforgivable.  Those who commit the Sin Leading to Death will die when the Lord determines.  Moses cannot die as a substitute for the Sin Leading to Death.
Exodus 32:34
But go now, lead the people where I explained to you. Behold, My Angel shall go before you; nevertheless in the day when I punish, I will punish them for their sin.
The Lord sent Moses back to lead the people to the Promised Land.  He would sent the Angel of the Lord before them, but He would punish them at a later time for their sin.  He told them to take off their jewelry (a sign of mourning) until He decided what to do (Ex 33:4-6).  So they quit wearing their jewelry from Mount Horeb onward.  They had used their jewelry to make the golden calf.  The punishment was explained later at Kadesh-barnea when the Lord swore that they would not be allowed to enter the Promised Land but would die in the wilderness the Sin Leading to Death (Num 14:26-38).

Jeroboam's Golden Calves

Jeroboam was the King of the Northern Kingdom of Israel, and Rehoboam was King of the Southern Kingdom.  But Jeroboam had a problem because the Mosaic Law required that sacrifices only be offered in the Temple in Jerusalem.  He realized that if the people had to go to Jerusalem to sacrifice, then their hearts would be turned back to serve Rehoboam.
1 Kings 12:26-27
26 Jeroboam said in his heart, "Now the kingdom will return to the house of David.
27 If this people go up to offer sacrifices in the house of the Lord at Jerusalem, then the heart of this people will return to their lord, to Rehoboam king of Judah; and they will kill me and return to Rehoboam king of Judah."
Because of his fear that the requirements of the Law would lead people back to Rehoboam, Jeroboam came up with a plan to alleviate the problem.
1 Kings 12:28-29
28  So the king consulted, and made two golden calves, and he said to them, "It is too much for you to go up to Jerusalem.  Behold your god, O Israel, that brought you up from the land of Egypt."
29 He set one in Bethel, and the other he put in Dan.
Jeroboam made two golden calves patterned after the golden calf that Aaron had made.  He said the same thing Aaron had said, "Behold your god, O Israel, that brought you up from the land of Egypt."  His statement indicates that he did not consider the golden calves to be idols to be worshiped but as symbols to be used in worshipping the God of Israel.

Jeroboam placed one of the golden calves in Bethel, which was near the southern border and the other in the north in Dan.  The site at Bethel (House of God) was considered sacred because of Jacob's dream, which occurred there (Gen 28:11, 19).  Dan, formerly Laish, was where the Danites worshipped Micah's image (Judg 18:26-30, 31).

Jeroboam's plan to get the people to worship in Bethel and Dan was a sin (1 Ki 12:30) because they were supposed to worship in the place of the Lord's choosing, which was at Shiloh and later at the Temple in Jerusalem (Deut 12:5-7, 11, 13; 2 Chron 7:12).  Jeroboam made temples for the golden calves, and he appointed priests from among all the people, not from the Tribe of Levi (1 Ki 12:31).  According to the Law the priests must come from the Tribe of Levi.  The Levites rejected Jeroboam's choice of priests and moved to Judah (2 Chron 11:13, 14).

Jeroboam also instituted a feast on the eighth month and 15th day (1 Ki 12:32, 33) in lieu of the Feast of Tabernacles on the seventh month and 15th day (Lev 23:34, 39, 41).   Jeroboam also built temples and appointed priests for the worship of satyr demons (2 Chron 11:15).  Those who were obedient to the Law also rejected Jeroboam and moved to Judah (2 Chron 11:15-17).

Prophecy Against Jeroboam

Jeroboam Golden CalfA man of God (a prophet) was sent by the Lord from Judah to Bethel.  While Jeroboam was offering incense on the altar of the golden calf, the prophet cried out against the altar (1 Ki 13:1).

1 Kings 13:2-3
2 He cried against the altar by the word of the LORD, and said, "O altar, altar, thus says the LORD, 'Behold, a son shall be born to the house of David, Josiah by name; and upon you he shall sacrifice the priests of the high places who burn incense upon you, and human bones shall be burned on you.' "
3 Then he gave a sign the same day, saying, "This is the sign that the LORD has spoken, 'Behold, the altar shall be split apart and the ashes that are on it shall be poured out.' "
This was a curse upon the altar and the idolatry associated with it.  In the future a King of Judah named Josiah would sacrifice the priests on the altar.  As a sign (miracle) that the Lord had spoken through the prophet, the altar would be split apart and the ashes upon it would be poured out.

When Jeroboam heard the prophecy, he yelled out, "Seize him!"  But his hand that he stretched out dried up, and he couldn't draw it back (1 Ki 13:4).  The altar also split apart, and the ashes poured out (1 Ki 13:5).  Then Jeroboam requested that the prophet entreat the Lord to restore his hand.  The prophet did so, and the king's hand was restored (1 Ki 13:6).  The king then invited the prophet to come with him and have refreshments and receive a reward (1 Ki 13:7).  But the prophet refused because the Lord had commanded him not to eat or drink or return by the way he came (1 Ki 13:8, 9).  Then the prophet left to return to Judah.

When an old prophet in Bethel heard about this from his sons, he left immediately on his donkey in pursuit.  He found the prophet sitting under a terebinth tree and invited him to eat with him (1 Kin 13:11-15).  When the prophet refused, the old prophet lied to him and said that an angel had appeared and said to bring back the prophet so he may eat bread and drink water (1 Kin 13:18).

The prophet returned and ate with the old prophet (1 Kin 13:19).  While they were sitting at the table the word of the Lord came to the old prophet and he prophesied that because the prophet had disobeyed the Lord his body would not come to the grave of his fathers – i. e. he would meet with a violent death (1 Kin 13:20, 21, 22).

The old prophet gave the prophet his donkey for the return trip.  When the prophet left, a lion attacked him and killed him (1 Kin 13:24).  His body was lying on the road with the donkey standing beside it, and the lion standing beside the body.  People passed by and saw the lion standing beside the body (1 Ki 13:25).  Since the lion didn't eat the man or the donkey, the people who saw it marveled.  When word got back to the old prophet, he retrieved the body and buried it (1 Ki 13:27-29).  He held a solemn funeral and buried the prophet in his own grave (1 Ki 13:30).  And he requested that his body be buried next to the prophet when he died (1 Ki 13:31).

Thus, the prophet who disobeyed the Lord died the Sin Leading to Death.  The prophet failed to separate from the world, namely the nation of Israel, which was practicing idolatry.  Satan was in control of Israel, and it was with great difficulty that the Elect Angels provided safe passage to insert the prophet into the hostile land and to extract him.  When the prophet was deceived by one of Satan's servants, the old prophet, the Lord sentenced him to death.  The prophecy of his death came from the mouth of one of Satan's servants, the old prophet.

The prophet was killed by a lion.  And the lion, the prophet's body, and the donkey were in the road in parallel as a sign of Cosmic, Political, and Ecumenical Babylon.

  1. Lion – Cosmic Babylon
  2. Body of the prophet – Political Babylon
  3. Jackass – Ecumenical Babylon.
This was a sign that the prophet had died in the Cosmic System of Satan.  The prophet was in Political Babylon when he had fellowship with the old prophet.  The donkey, or jackass, symbolized Ecumenical Babylon because the old prophet rode a donkey and the other prophet had eaten with him in Ecumenical Babylon.  Eating with the old prophet was a rejection of Logistical Grace provision.

The prophet was used by the Lord to prophesy the destruction of the Northern Kingdom of Israel for idolatry.  After the prophecy Jeroboam did not turn from his idolatry (1 Kin 13:33).  The event also became a prophecy to blot out the house of Jeroboam from the Land (1 Kin 13:34).

Curse of Jeroboam

When Jeroboam continued his evil ways in practicing idolatry, his son Abijah became very sick (1 Ki 14:1).  He asked his wife to disguise herself and go to the prophet Ahijah at Shiloh to inquire of the fate of the son.  Ahijah was old and could not see.  His eyes were staring upward unable to see light or detect movement around him (e.g. from cataracts) (1 Ki 14:4).  The Lord told Ahijah that Jeroboam's wife was coming in disguise to inquire of her sick son and what to tell her (1 Ki 14:5).  So, when he heard her footsteps coming, he greeted her as the wife of Jeroboam and proceeded to prophesy the destruction of the house of Jeroboam (1 Ki 14:6-9).  He said the Lord would cut off every male in the house of Jeroboam.  Then he uttered the curse of Jeroboam.

1 Kings 14:11 Curse of Jeroboam
Anyone belonging to Jeroboam who dies in the city the dogs will eat, and anyone who dies in the country the birds of the sky will eat, for the LORD has spoken it.
The curse upon Jeroboam was for his idolatry (1 Ki 14:9).  He was an Evil King.  The curse was fulfilled within two years of Jeroboam's death.  Jeroboam ruled for 22 years, and he died.  The number, 22, stands for cursing.  Jeroboam's son Nadab became king after him and was killed within two years by Baasha, who reigned in his place and killed all of the household of Jeroboam and did not leave any alive (1 Ki 15:27, 28, 29).

The Curse of Jeroboam is also known as the curse of the Evil King, or Baal.  The curse is notorious because the kings who died under it included:  Jeroboam, Nadab, Baasha, Elah, Ahab, Joram, and Ahaziah.8

Ahijah continued by telling the wife of Jeroboam that when her feet entered the city, the child would die (1 Ki 14:12).  He further prophesied the destruction of the Northern Kingdom of Israel because of the Asherim (female idols) in the land (1 Ki 14:15).  This was fulfilled by the Assyrians, who destroyed Israel almost 200 years later in 721 BC.  When Jeroboam's wife entered the threshold of her house, the child died (1 Ki 14:17).

War with Judah

In the eighteenth year of King Jeroboam, he amassed his army of 800,000 to fight the army of Judah of 400,000 (2 Chron 13:1-3).  Before the battle, Abijah, King of Judah, stood on a mountain in Ephraim and prophesied against Jeroboam for his rebellion and idolatry in contrast to the nation of Judah, which worshipped the Lord (2 Chron 13:4-12).  In the battle which followed Jeroboam attacked the Army of Judah in the front and set an ambush in the rear.  When the Army of Judah realized they were boxed in, they cried to the Lord and the priests blew the trumpets (a sign of judgment) (2 Chron 13:14).  Then God routed Jeroboam before the Army of Judah (2 Chron 13:15).  The Army of Judah routed Jeroboam's Army and killed 500,000 (2 Chron 13:17).

Jeroboam reigned four more years, and the Lord struck him with the Sin Leading to Death and he died after reigning 22 years (1 Ki 14:20; 2 Chron 13:20).

Josiah Destroys the Idols

When Josiah became King of Judah, he read the Law, which gave him the mandate to destroy idols (2 Ki 23:2).  He began by cleaning out the Temple in Jerusalem of the vessels used for worshipping Baal (2 Ki 23:4).  He executed the idolatrous priests (2 Ki 23:5).  Then he destroyed the idols which were in Judah as well as those in Samaria.  He destroyed the idols, the  temples, and the altars.  He cut down the Asherim, smashed the altars, and destroyed the idols.  He killed the priests of the high places and burned their bones on the high places to defile the ground.

When he came to the altar of Jeroboam in Bethel, he destroyed the altar and the temple.

2 Kings 23:15
Furthermore, the altar that was at Bethel, the high place, which Jeroboam the son of Nebat, who made Israel sin, had erected, even that altar and the high place he broke down. Then he (Josiah) burned the buildings of the high place, crushing them to dust, and burned the Asherah.
He tore down the altar, which is also called the high place. He burned the temple (the buildings of the high place).  He crushed the stones and ground to powder the metal idols.  And he burned the Asherah.  This indicates that the place had also been used for worshipping Asherah.
2 Kings 23:16
Now when Josiah turned, he saw the graves that were there on the mountain, and he sent and took the bones from the graves and burned them on the altar and defiled it according to the word of the Lord which the man of God proclaimed, who had predicted these things.
Josiah took human bones from nearby graves and burned them on the altar to defile it as predicted by the former prophet from Judah (1 Ki 13:2).  But when Josiah saw the monument on the grave of the former prophet and the old prophet from there, he left their bones undisturbed (2 Ki 23:17, 18).



1.  Larry Wood.  "Control Room in Heaven," Mar. 28, 2008.
2.  Larry Wood.  Biblical Astrology, Sept. 1, 2012.
3.  Gesenius, W., & Tregelles, S. P. (2003). Gesenius' Hebrew and Chaldee lexicon to the Old Testament Scriptures (120). Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software.
4.  Josephus, F., & Whiston, W. (1987). The works of Josephus: Complete and unabridged. Against Apion II, 7, Peabody: Hendrickson.
5.  Merrill Unger, R. K. Harrison ed. The New Unger's Bible Dictionary, (Chicago: Moody Press, Chicago, IL 60610), 1988, p. 1270.
6.  The treasury of scripture knowledge : Five hundred thousand scripture references and parallel passages. 1995 (Jos 24:14). Oak Harbor: Logos Research Systems, Inc.
7.  Larry Wood. "God's Books," April 11, 2009.
8.  Larry Wood. "Curses," Nov. 12, 2012.
9.  Keil, C. F., & Delitzsch, F. (1996). Commentary on the Old Testament. Peabody, MA: Hendrickson.
10.  Merrill Unger, R. K. Harrison ed. The New Unger's Bible Dictionary, (Chicago: Moody Press, Chicago, IL 60610), 1988, p. 488.

Author:  Larry Wood,   Released - May 1, 2013 - Revised May 1, 2014

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