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Responses to Idols and Their Worshipers

Chapters 13 through 15 of the Wisdom of Solomon contain a discussion of idolatry, its origins and consequences. As to its origins, three possibilities are mentioned. People misconstrued the elements of creation (fire, wind, stars, water) as gods (13:1-3). Another possible origin of idolatry is the image of a deceased child made by a bereaved father.

And he now honored as a god what was once a dead human being, and handed on to his dependents secret rites and initiations. Then the ungodly custom, grown strong with time, was kept as a law, and at the command of monarchs graven images were worshiped. Wisdom of Solomon 14:15c-16

The final alternative suggested for the origin of idolatry is that a statue of an absentee monarch may have been set up to honor the king. Artists, however, made the statues as attractive and flattering as possible in order to curry favor with their patron.

And the multitude, attracted by the charm of his work, now regarded as an object of worship the one whom shortly before they had honored as a man. Wisdom of Solomon 14:20

Although the Wisdom of Solomon is unable to settle on a single origin for idolatry, no doubt exists about its consequences. It is "the beginning (arxh) and cause

(aitia) of every evil" (14:27b). The list of vices which

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