Thursday, 12 May 2011

Abraham: Mocker of Idols

The following is a complete copy of Brian LePort's post at Near Emmaus. Thanks to him!


I was reading an article by Craig A. Evans (“Abraham in the Dead Sea Scrolls” in The Bible at Qumran: Text, Shape, and Interpretation, pp. 149-158) when I came across this funny story about Abraham taken from Gen.Rab 38.13:

Terah [Abraham's father] was a manufacturer of idols. He once went away somewhere and left Abraham to sell them in his place. A man came and wished to buy one. ‘How old are you?’ Abraham asked him. ‘Fifty years’, was the reply. ‘Woe to such a man!’ he exclaimed, ‘you are fifty years old and you worship a day-old object?’ At this he became ashamed and departed.

On another occasion a woman came with a plateful of flower and requested him, ‘Take this and offer it to them.’ So he took a stick, broke them [the idols], and put the stick in the hand of the largest.

When his father returned he demanded, ‘What have you done to them?’ ‘I cannot conceal it from you,’ he [Abraham] rejoined. ‘A woman came with a plateful of fine meal and requested me to offer it to them. One claimed, ‘I must eat first.’ Thereupon the largest arose, took the stick, and broke them.’

‘Why do you make sport of me,’ he [Terah] cried out, ‘have they any knowledge?’

‘Should not your ears listen to what your mouth is saying?’ he [Abraham] retorted.

I laughed when I read this imaginative piece. Abraham’s father, Terah, makes idols. He trust Abraham to sell them yet Abraham makes a fool of the pagans by pointing out how ridiculous their worship of these idols is. When Terah comes home very upset Abraham tells a story that assumes the life of the idols, yet Terah knows this is foolishness because the idols have no life. This allows Abraham to point out the obvious foolishness of the situation.


Till Next Time!