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Graven Images... a no-no..

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posted on Jun, 27 2004 @ 03:47 PM
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Most muslims still follow the Graven Image rule, and apply it to a much greater extent. For them it applies to the making of any likeness to anything.. (i.e. anything in heaven, on earth, or in the sea).

You very rarely see decorative pictures of things and places in Muslim homes. Decoration is normally abstract patterns and designs, and text. I think they allow certain pictures, like views of Mecca, and possibly family portraits, but not much else. That's one of the reasons Muslim art is the way it is.


That is the most absurd thing I've ever heard, and it's incorrect.

In Islam, the skies and the clouds and the grass are signs of God's existence. Muslims don't bow down to portraits of a tree and pray for its guidance. Be careful of what you say.

Muslims don't even have a portrait of the Prophet Muhammad because Islam is very strict about the images that include suffering and any prophet of God.


I fail to see where you think he was implying any of that.. it seems more like he was saying exactly what you are saying about the use of images in Muslim homes.




posted on Jun, 27 2004 @ 03:57 PM
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Originally posted by Illmatic67

Most muslims still follow the Graven Image rule, and apply it to a much greater extent. For them it applies to the making of any likeness to anything.. (i.e. anything in heaven, on earth, or in the sea).

You very rarely see decorative pictures of things and places in Muslim homes. Decoration is normally abstract patterns and designs, and text. I think they allow certain pictures, like views of Mecca, and possibly family portraits, but not much else. That's one of the reasons Muslim art is the way it is.


That is the most absurd thing I've ever heard, and it's incorrect.

In Islam, the skies and the clouds and the grass are signs of God's existence. Muslims don't bow down to portraits of a tree and pray for its guidance. Be careful of what you say.


No, you misunderstand me. Of course muslims don't pray to pictures of trees!!

I'm talking about the representation of God's creation in images, not the worshipping of the image as an idol. that's a whole different issue. I'm talking about Commandment 8, not 9


8 ¶ Thou shalt not make thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the waters beneath the earth:
9 thou shalt not bow down thyself unto them, nor serve them:





[edit on 27-6-2004 by muppet]

[edit on 27-6-2004 by muppet]



posted on Jun, 27 2004 @ 04:09 PM
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Originally posted by mithras
You have to be careful about what is called Islamic art. Art by a Muslim could be called "Islamic" but is not necessarily Islamic; for example the images made of Saddam.
[edit on 27-6-2004 by mithras]


thanks for the correction.. I'll remember that!. I guess I'm talking about art or decoration that would be approved of by Islam. (my area is about 20 percent muslim so most of this stuff I've just picked up in conversation with muslims rather than any real study. I'm going to look into it a bit more now though.. it's very interesting)



posted on Jun, 27 2004 @ 05:59 PM
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Originally posted by muppet


I'm talking about the representation of God's creation in images, not the worshipping of the image as an idol. that's a whole different issue. I'm talking about Commandment 8, not 9


8 ¶ Thou shalt not make thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the waters beneath the earth:
9 thou shalt not bow down thyself unto them, nor serve them:




huh? I noticed this was wrong at the beginning, but didnt say anything about it. Unless you really are stating you are talking about stealing, not giving false testimony.

the ten commandments:

1. You shall have no other God before me (verse 3)
2. You shall not make for yourself an idol... (verses 4-6)
3. You shall not misuse the name of the LORD your God...(verse 7)
4. Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy...(verses 8-11)
5. Honor your father and mother...(verse 12)
6. You shall not murder(verse 13)
7. You shall not commit adultery(verse 14)
8. You shall not steal(verse 15)
9. You shall not give false testimony...(verse 16)
10. You shall not covet...(verse 17)
(Exodus 20:3-17)

At least I'm talking about the list in the Christian bible...are there other versions?

---pineapple

[edit on 27-6-2004 by pineappleupsidedown]



posted on Jun, 27 2004 @ 06:10 PM
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Originally posted by pineappleupsidedown
huh? I noticed this was wrong at the beginning, but didnt say anything about it. Unless you really are stating you are talking about stealing, not giving false testimony.


That's intersting..I was just quoting the commandments mentioned at the start of the thread. They sounded familiar, so I didn't question them, though as you point out number 8 and 9 is different in your list. I never realized there might be different versions!!




[edit on 27-6-2004 by muppet]



posted on Jun, 28 2004 @ 11:10 AM
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Hey there, Pineapple (upside-down):

You wrote: “…yes, King Solomon did those things…but Solomon has also been guilty of breaking other commandments such as Murder and Adultery…”

First off, it was DAVID and NOT his illegitimate half Jebusite son (through Bath-Shebiti, the Jebusite Princess) nicknamed “Solomon” (i.e. Jedediah) who did all that Adultery (bathSheba/Bath-Shebiti) and Murder (of Uriah) in II Samuel (yet still could be called a Man after YHWH’s own heart!_ , so be a little more careful with your facts…

But back to the Numbers 21:5 pericope in the TORAH regarding Moses’ Bronze Snake Idol Thingy on a Pole, grammatically linked to the cultic Burning of Incense in many other places in the Old Testament:

Looks like you’ve opened a big can of snakes…er… worms…. with this one ! But I will try to be brief…the text of Numbers 21:5-9 is corrupt in the MSS (LXX, MT, Qumran, SamPent and Targums), and the Rebbes throughout the centuries were clearly embarrassed by this little episode of Moses which was so ancient, they couldn’t just toss out…

Take a look at some of the the “incense burning” cognate links to the to the Bronze-Snake-Idol- that YHWH commands “Mosheh” to smelt into an Idol as the writer of 2 Kings 18:4) understood the story:

“And Hezekiah demolished all the high places, and smashed all the idols, and cut down all the groves, and ground to powder the brass serpent (idol) that Moses had made: for in those days the sons of Israel burned incense to it: and [Hezekiah] nicknamed it “Nehushtan”.--2 Kings 18:4.
Remember the old silver screen classic film Mutiny on the Bounty with Clark Gable (1935)?

The made-up character of “Roger Byrham” asks Hiti-Hiti the King of the Tahitians: “Why does your language have so many words for “look”, Hiti-Hiti?? There’s a word for the downcast look, a different word for surprised look, a different word for the come hither look…”etc.

To which Hiti-hiti replies swiftly pointing to his eye: “Well… many-kinda- look!”

It is very much the same thing with ancient languages especially Hebrew, made even more difficult because the Paleo Hebrew text in the book of Numbers has no vowels, and it is difficult to know what actual words are being meant here.

Context may help a little here. In the Hezekiah periscope, clearly you can see that the “sons of Israel” had taken to the burning of incense to the Nahash --- they were not merely just “looking upon it”.

But what did YHWH command Mosheh to tell the people to “actually do” with the Molten Image/Idol he made him smelt and “stick up on a pole” besides merely gazing upon it to be saved from snake bite?

Seems like most of the original cultic meaning has been obscured over the centuries (under the heading “Things in the Torah Embarassing to Moses”)
In other OT books, there is a curious link between “looking upon” and “burning incense” (i.e. worshipping) in Hebrew cultic technical language (perhaps the writer of John’s gospel had this kind of thing in the back of his mind when he included the Son of Man hanging from a Pole story in his gospel, linked to his quotation of a later verse from Zechariah, “and they shall “Look Upon Him” whom they have Pierced, and shall mourn as though for an Only Son in that Day…)

See Amos 5:22 "Even though you offer up to Me burnt offerings and your grain offerings, I will not smell them : I will not look at the peace offerings of your fatlings.

(“look upon” in parallelism with “smell” (KJV = “accept”) = the cultic sense of “smelling a sacrifice” e.g. is cultically incense related to “looking” in the older pre-Exilic Hebrew of Amos)

Or see another early pre-Exilic Hebrew verse:= same parallelism with word INCENSE spelled out clearly :

=proto-Isaiah 17:8 =

He will not “smell” the altars, the work of his hands, Nor will he “look upon” that which his fingers have made, Even the Asherim and the incense stands.

Notice how the word “regard” is in poetic parallelism to “look upon” : and the term “regard” is a technical cultic term for burning incense among other things, so the two are related in purely cultic setting in this case


Here are some other ancient usages for “ra’ah” =see, look upon)

Numbers 15:39 (look in the sense of “study intently”) = It shall be a tassel for you to look upon and remember all the commandments of YHWH…
Psalms 119”6 (look in the sense of meditate intently upon)
In that Day I shall not be ashamed When I look upon all Your commandments

Psalms 123:2 (look in the sense of look up to in worship, although the verb missing in some MSS) = As the eyes of a maid to the hand of her mistress, so our eyes shall look to our god YHWH, Until He is gracious to us.
Hezekiah’s cute pejorative nickname for the Midianite Snake Idol Fetish “Nehushtan” comes from the Hebrew “nahash” (“snake” or even “omen-diviner”) and “[na]tan/[yi’ten] = “dedicated to) therefore, “dedicated to Nahash”,

i.e. a Cult Object dedicated in the Jerusalem Temple of YHWH [and Ashereah] in pre Exilic Israel.

In Numbers, the words used are: “and Mosheh made a “nachash-necheshet” and set it “upon on a pole…”

“Nechoshet” can mean “bronze or copper ore” to make “bronze armor plate” (i.e. like snakeskin is kind of plated with scales):
Necheshet can also mean “shiny, moist or slinky” i.e. “lustful, erotic, alluring”

This particular Midianite Snake Idol Fetish of Moses must have been from an extremely early period for the socalled Hebrew “monotheists” to allow such a pagan Idol in the Temple of YHWH to be worshipped alongside YHWH for so many centuries !

There is also a curious linkage with the cognates for“burning” (seraphim) with this Snake Idol of Moses.

The original command placed into YHWH’s mouth to Moses was to make “a seraph (“burning”) serpent because the “people” were being “bitten” by “ha nechashim seraphim” = “burning snakes” =dragons (?)” or is the mangled Hebrew text supposed to say “nechashim ha sheraphim” (lit “swarming snakes”)?

Either way, you still have Moses making a Snake Idol and sticking it on a pole and the command was placed into the mouth of a clan god who later “detested” idols.

YOU'D NEVER KNOW IT BY READING NUMBERS 21:5-9 !!

Also, try to notice the curious linkage of the phrase “murmuring against “Mosheh” in the desert in this periscope in Numbers 21: the last time they “murmured” against Mosheh was “because Mosheh had married a Midianite woman…” so clearly “murmuring against Mosheh” and something about “Midian” have been consciously tied together by the writer here.

And the Midianite Snake Fetish Idols are well known to archaeology (although many other near eastern temple cults worshipped snakes of all metals, even the Egyptians.._)


The verb “to look upon” in the original story in Numbers 21:5-9 (Heb “Ra’ah”) is cognate with other verbs and nouns in paleo Hebrew that have a cultic connotation: cf other “seer” words (e.g. to “divine the future” e.g. a “Roeh” was “the old pejorative word for Prophet-Seer” in the Book of Amos “and Jereboam said, Thou, Seer, get thee back from whence thou came…”) or in the Elisha periocopes.

So there is a cultic link for “see the future, look upon” and “divination”.
There is also the thorny issue of the Hebrew word for snake (nachash) which is also is cognate with “divination into the future (nechash), again, seems to be related in some way to a kind of cultic usage of the word, which the Hezekiah story certainly understood it to be.



posted on Jun, 28 2004 @ 01:58 PM
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i left a link to the online bible i got it from.. you can go back and check their numbering system.



posted on Jun, 29 2004 @ 12:17 AM
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Originally posted by Amadeus

First off, it was DAVID and NOT his illegitimate half Jebusite son , so be a little more careful with your facts…


Yes, that was an undeniable mistake on my part.



But back to the Numbers 21:5 pericope in the TORAH regarding Moses’ Bronze Snake Idol Thingy on a Pole, grammatically linked to the cultic Burning of Incense in many other places in the Old Testament:


See, i was refering to the Christian Bible. You are obviously making a distinction between the Old testament and the Torah, and as i have not had a chance to read the Torah, I can not prepare a rebuttle to your arguement.



“And Hezekiah demolished all the high places, and smashed all the idols, and cut down all the groves, and ground to powder the brass serpent (idol) that Moses had made: for in those days the sons of Israel burned incense to it: and [Hezekiah] nicknamed it “Nehushtan”.--2 Kings 18:4.


I think i said this in my previous post, but I want to mention that WHEN they started worshiping it, it was destroyed...nothing wrong there?



Context may help a little here. In the Hezekiah periscope, clearly you can see that the “sons of Israel” had taken to the burning of incense to the Nahash --- they were not merely just “looking upon it”.


yes, i am agreeing with you here.



See Amos 5:22 "Even though you offer up to Me burnt offerings and your grain offerings, I will not smell them : I will not look at the peace offerings of your fatlings.

(“look upon” in parallelism with “smell” (KJV = “accept”) = the cultic sense of “smelling a sacrifice” e.g. is cultically incense related to “looking” in the older pre-Exilic Hebrew of Amos)

Or see another early pre-Exilic Hebrew verse:= same parallelism with word INCENSE spelled out clearly :

=proto-Isaiah 17:8 =

He will not “smell” the altars, the work of his hands, Nor will he “look upon” that which his fingers have made, Even the Asherim and the incense stands.

Notice how the word “regard” is in poetic parallelism to “look upon” : and the term “regard” is a technical cultic term for burning incense among other things, so the two are related in purely cultic setting in this case


I disagree here. Yes, they are used in the same sentence, speaking about the same thing, but that does not mean they mean the same thing.


I also would like to apologize.I don't know if you have noticed, but many people on this forum post without knowing much about what they are saying, they just want to bash christians and dont really know what they are saying. Because of this, I dont listen as well as i should. You have proven me wrong though, since obviously you have done your research. I am sorry if I came off harsh or cold in any way, you did not deserve it. You make a very good arguement, i have to say, and It gets my way-above vote this month, if only for totally shocking me by actually knowing what you are talking about-although i still disagree.

---pineapple

edit: heh, i guess ill be voting for you NEXT month...i forgot i already used mine already. Its the thought that counts though, right?


[edit on 29-6-2004 by pineappleupsidedown]



posted on Jun, 29 2004 @ 12:34 AM
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Originally posted by pineappleupsidedown

Yes, but some ppl go overboard on the objects. Not saying everyone does, but it happens.


Unfortunately you are correct. Some Catholics take the veneration of relics too far and actually begin to worship them. I have a relic of St. Philomena (who I respect) but I don't worship the relic or even Philomena herself (not that she would want to be worshipped anyway). The problem is that some people do worship images and relics as if they were deity - and that distracts from the true reason for them.



posted on Jun, 29 2004 @ 11:50 AM
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There is a massive difference between regarding an idol as a symbol of God and worshipping an idol as the reality of God.
The human mind and eye needs somewhere to focus in the process of worshipping a deity and as the deity of Judaism, Islam and Christianity is so ambiguous and un-knowable, it is only natural that symbology has been interspersed within religion.

The argument regarding David and the worship of idols is an interesting one. It should be remembered that the god of the Bible is not one entity - when you look at Moses' god, he is an entirely different god from Abraham's. Abraham himself probably worshipped the Canaanite high god called El. We see that he calls his god El-ohim. This god itself was a development of the earlier Babylonian high god.

We also see a strange paradox in Jewish faith with Abraham's god. This god appears to Abraham in human form (as deities did in many pagan religions) yet the later Judaic authorities found it impossible to believe that god could manifest himself in another human-being - Jesus.
Abraham probably had no problem with effigies - El was regularly symbolised with the image of the bull. Abraham's god also seems to be a much more personal god. He talks to Abraham, eats dinner with him and does not have the aloofness of the later Biblical god.

It's only when Moses' god appears that the deity becomes a tribal war god - Yahweh-Sabaoth, the god of armies. He sets himself apart from his creations and becomes "jealous". He threatens, cajoles and declares that he is the only god to be worshipped. He states that none may go near him or look upon him - he even tells Moses to mind his own business when asked who he is. He bans the making of images to cement his postion. It's quite obvious that Moses' god is aware that there are other gods and that he is jealous of them. He even goes to a council of gods in Psalm 82. There he deposes the Canaanite god El and assumes the mantle of supreme deity. Time and time again, the Bible has this god stating that he is the same god as Moses' fathers - yet why would he have to keep protesting so much if this were true? He is a jealous god, but jealousy is an emotion based on fear. Why would an all-knowing, all-powerful deity have to fear other gods or their images?

It should be remembered that the Jews were worshipping other gods for nearly all of their history BCE. Many of their kings reverted to pagan worship and had to be reminded of the covenant made with Yaweh. The Temple contained many idols to different gods and it wasn't until Josiah came along that they were destroyed. Even more important is the widespread Jewish belief up until that time, that Yaweh had a wife - Asherah. Effigies to her were commonplace and seem to point to a totally different Jewish faith than the one that we have been led to believe existed in the early days. It seems to me that the destruction of the effigies was a destruction of the true history of early Judaism much as the book-burning in the Dark Ages and the supression of heretics was by the Catholic church to the Christian faith.

Effigies and idols are only evil in the eyes of a god who has to fight for worship. It is plain that Yaweh sees them as a threat to his power - or at least those who promoted him in the Bible saw them this way.
Ask yourself: if he has to fight for your worship, is he really a god at all?

[edit on 29-6-2004 by Leveller]



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