Abraham’s activities as a maker and seller of idols


Abraham’s activities as a maker and seller of idols, his father Terah being a manufacturer of idols. His doubts as to the justifiable character of the idol-worship are roused especially by an accident that befell the stone image called Merumath, and by a similar accident that happened to “five other gods,” by which they were broken in pieces (chaps. i.-ii.). Reflecting on this, he is led to protest to his father against the unreality of asking a blessing from such helpless images, thereby rousing Terah’s anger (chaps. iii.-iv.). He is led to test further the powers of the idols by placing a wooden god Barisat before the fire, and telling the idol to see that the fire must not be allowed to die down during his absence. On returning he finds Barisat fallen backwards and “horribly burnt” (chap. v.). He again protests to his father against the futility of such worship, sarcastically contrasting the relative merits of gold, silver and wooden idols (chap. vi.). He then proceeds to show that the elements of fire, water, earth, and the heavenly bodies (sun, moon, and stars) are more worthy of honour than the idols, and yet, as each is subjected to some superior force, they can none of them claim to be God (chap. vii.). While he was yet speaking to his father a voice came from heaven bidding him leave his father’s house. He had scarcely left the house when fire descended and consumed all within it.

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