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English Dictionary: idolatry by the DICT Development Group
3 results for idolatry
From WordNet (r) 3.0 (2006) [wn]:
  1. religious zeal; the willingness to serve God [syn: idolatry, devotion, veneration, cultism]
  2. the worship of idols; the worship of images that are not God
    Synonym(s): idolatry, idol worship
From Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913) [web1913]:
   Idolatry \I*dol"a*try\, n.; pl. {Idolatries}. [F. idol[83]trie,
      LL. idolatria, L. idololatria, Fr. Gr. [?]; [?] idol + [?]
      1. The worship of idols, images, or anything which is not
            God; the worship of false gods.
                     His eye surveyed the dark idolatries Of alienated
                     Judah.                                                --Milton.
      2. Excessive attachment or veneration for anything; respect
            or love which borders on adoration. --Shak.

From Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary [easton]:
      image-worship or divine honour paid to any created object. Paul
      describes the origin of idolatry in Rom. 1:21-25: men forsook
      God, and sank into ignorance and moral corruption (1:28).
         The forms of idolatry are, (1.) Fetishism, or the worship of
      trees, rivers, hills, stones, etc.
         (2.) Nature worship, the worship of the sun, moon, and stars,
      as the supposed powers of nature.
         (3.) Hero worship, the worship of deceased ancestors, or of
         In Scripture, idolatry is regarded as of heathen origin, and
      as being imported among the Hebrews through contact with heathen
      nations. The first allusion to idolatry is in the account of
      Rachel stealing her father's teraphim (Gen. 31:19), which were
      the relics of the worship of other gods by Laban's progenitors
      "on the other side of the river in old time" (Josh. 24:2).
      During their long residence in Egypt the Hebrews fell into
      idolatry, and it was long before they were delivered from it
      (Josh. 24:14; Ezek. 20:7). Many a token of God's displeasure
      fell upon them because of this sin.
         The idolatry learned in Egypt was probably rooted out from
      among the people during the forty years' wanderings; but when
      the Jews entered Palestine, they came into contact with the
      monuments and associations of the idolatry of the old
      Canaanitish races, and showed a constant tendency to depart from
      the living God and follow the idolatrous practices of those
      heathen nations. It was their great national sin, which was only
      effectually rebuked by the Babylonian exile. That exile finally
      purified the Jews of all idolatrous tendencies.
         The first and second commandments are directed against
      idolatry of every form. Individuals and communities were equally
      amenable to the rigorous code. The individual offender was
      devoted to destruction (Ex. 22:20). His nearest relatives were
      not only bound to denounce him and deliver him up to punishment
      (Deut. 13:20-10), but their hands were to strike the first blow
      when, on the evidence of two witnesses at least, he was stoned
      (Deut. 17:2-7). To attempt to seduce others to false worship was
      a crime of equal enormity (13:6-10). An idolatrous nation shared
      the same fate. No facts are more strongly declared in the Old
      Testament than that the extermination of the Canaanites was the
      punishment of their idolatry (Ex. 34:15, 16; Deut. 7; 12:29-31;
      20:17), and that the calamities of the Israelites were due to
      the same cause (Jer. 2:17). "A city guilty of idolatry was
      looked upon as a cancer in the state; it was considered to be in
      rebellion, and treated according to the laws of war. Its
      inhabitants and all their cattle were put to death." Jehovah was
      the theocratic King of Israel, the civil Head of the
      commonwealth, and therefore to an Israelite idolatry was a state
      offence (1 Sam. 15:23), high treason. On taking possession of
      the land, the Jews were commanded to destroy all traces of every
      kind of the existing idolatry of the Canaanites (Ex. 23:24, 32;
      34:13; Deut. 7:5, 25; 12:1-3).
         In the New Testament the term idolatry is used to designate
      covetousness (Matt. 6:24; Luke 16:13; Col. 3:5; Eph. 5:5).
No guarantee of accuracy or completeness!
©TU Chemnitz, 2006-2019
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