What are graven images?

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“You shall not make for yourselves any graven image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. You shall not bow down to them, nor worship them; for I, Yahweh your Father, Am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation of those who hate Me. And showing mercy to thousands of those that love Me, and keep My commandments.” Exodus 20:4-6

You saw no form of any kind the day Yahweh spoke to you at Horeb out of the fire. Therefore watch yourselves very carefully. So that you do not become corrupt and make for yourselves an idol, an image of any shape, whether formed like a man or a woman. Or like any animal on earth or any bird that flies in the air, or like any creature that moves along the ground or any fish in the waters below.” Deuteronomy 4:16-18

Most of us know that graven images are idols of pagan gods. However, the term includes a broad number of subjects (see Shroud of Turin, Sun worship, Spiritual Dangers of Martial Arts, and Movies and Magic).

Graven images are anything in the form of anything on earth, heaven, or in the waters — seas, oceans, rivers and lakes; such as pictures, paintings, carvings, engravings, drawings, posters, sculptures, stuffed animals, toys, statues, statuettes, puppets, dolls, etc.

We have already discussed pagan gods (see Pagan gods, Pagan feasts, Ganesha, the god of Nakumatt, Apis, the god of New York City and Oscar, god of the Academy Awards), so let us now look at other examples of graven images:

North Koreans bowing to statues of Kim Il-sung and Kim Jong-il in Pyongyang, North Korea

North Koreans bowing to statues of Kim Il-sung and Kim Jong-Il in Pyongyang, North Korea

Catholics kneeling before statue of Mary

Catholics kneeling before statue of Mary

Cow worship in temple

Cow worship in Hindu temple

A 30-foot statue of Nelson Mandela at the Union Buildings in Pretoria, South Africa

A 30-foot statue of Nelson Mandela at the Union Buildings in Pretoria, South Africa

The Michael Jordan statue, officially known as 'The Spirit' (and sometimes referred to as Michael Jordan's Spirit), is a bronze sculpture outside the United Center in the Near West Side community area of Chicago

The Michael Jordan statue, officially known as ‘The Spirit’ (and sometimes referred to as Michael Jordan’s Spirit), is a bronze sculpture outside the United Center in the Near West Side community area of Chicago

A life size statue of Pope John Paul II in Pietrasantre, Italy

A life-size statue of Pope John Paul II in Pietrasantre, Italy

Statue of Winston Churchill in Parliament Square, London

Statue of Winston Churchill in Parliament Square, London

Statue of Vladimir Lenin located in the Fremont, Seattle, Washington neighborhood

Statue of Vladimir Lenin located in the Fremont, Seattle, Washington neighbourhood

Jomo Kenyatta statue in front of the Nairobi International Conference Centre, Nairobi, Kenya

Jomo Kenyatta statue in front of the Nairobi International Conference Centre, Nairobi, Kenya

Statue of an Angel in Rome

Statue of an angel in Rome. Statues of male angels represent fallen angels, while those of female angels are their human wives

Stuffed animals

Stuffed animals

Marionettes or puppets

Marionettes or puppets (see Movies and Magic)

Dolls

Dolls

Poster of boy band One Direction

Poster of boy band One Direction

Robot toy

Robot toy

Robot

Robot (see Transhumanism and Cyborgism)

The Creation of Adam is a fresco painting by Michelangelo, forming part of the Sistine Chapel ceiling, painted circa 1511–1512

The Creation of Adam, a fresco painting by Michelangelo, forming part of the Sistine Chapel ceiling, painted circa 1511–1512 CE. This image is BLASPHEMOUS, as is depicting Angels as women. Angels and Archangels are the Sons of Yahweh

Painting of mermaid circa 1900

Painting of mermaid circa 1900

Animal carvings

Animal carvings

Animals are worshipped as gods:

The Greeks saw their gods in human shape, and as such depicted them in sculpture and painting. In the remote past they were probably conceived as animals or birds, and faint echoes of this survive in Homer’s use of such adjectives as ‘owl-faced’ for Athene and ‘cow-faced’ for Hera, though he himself must have given a different meaning to the words; in the worship of Zeus Meilichios as a snake; in legends in which he took the shape of a bull; in the connection of Apollo with wolves and mice, of Posidon with horses, of Artemis with bears. But though such beliefs were implied in many local rituals, they were not treated literally in the classical age. If a god had once been an animal, he was now revealed in human shape with an animal as his companion or symbol. — The Greek Experience by C.M. Bowra, pp 56-57

Snake worship in India

Snake worship in India

In Karnataka, India, serpent deities are worshipped. The worship of snakes is present in several old cultures and traditions, especially in the Hindu culture, where Lord Shiva wears a Nag (Indian Cobra) around his neck as an ornament. The cobra is the most sacred among the snakes in India, and there is a special festival of snakes called Nag Panchami, where everyone worships snakes and their related deities. It is a festival celebrated all over the country and people offer prayers and milk to snakes.

Cattle are considered sacred in world religions such as Hinduism, Jainism, Zoroastrianism and others

Cattle are considered sacred in world religions such as Hinduism, Jainism, Zoroastrianism and others

Wax figures of The Beatles at Madame Tussaud's

Wax figures of The Beatles at Madame Tussauds

Sculpture of the Veiled Lady

Sculpture of the Veiled Lady

Gargoyles/demons

Gargoyles/demons

Statue of horse

Statue of horse

Sculpture of fish

Sculpture of fish

Sculptures of Moses, Confucius, and Solon on the East Pediment of the Supreme Court Building in Washington, D.C.

Sculptures of Moses, Confucius, and Solon on the East Pediment of the Supreme Court Building in Washington, D.C.

Coins

Coins engraved with graven images

Statue of Joan of Arc

Statue of Joan of Arc

Mounted deer head

Mounted deer head

Matryoshka

Matryoshka; the word matryoshka is derived from matrikas — a group of Hindu goddesses who are always depicted together

Since they are usually depicted as a heptad, they are called Saptamatrika(s) (Sanskrit: saptamātṝkāh, सप्तमातृका: ‘seven mothers’): Brahmani, Vaishnavi, Maheshvari, Indrani, Kaumari, Varahi, Chamunda and Narasimhi. However, they may sometimes be eight (Ashtamatrika(s): ashtamātṝkāh, अष्टमातृका: ‘eight mothers’)

Shiva (leftmost) with the Matrikas: (from left) Brahmani, Maheshvari, Kaumari, Vaishnavi, Varahi, Indrani, Chamunda

Hindu god Shiva (leftmost) with the Matrikas: (from left) Brahmani, Maheshvari, Kaumari, Vaishnavi, Varahi, Indrani, Chamunda

Figurines

Figurines

Masks

Masks

Tapestry of dogs playing cards

Tapestry of dogs playing cards

Animal costumes

Animal costumes

Sphinx in Egypt

Sphinx in Egypt

Painting of Virgin and Child

Painting/icon of Virgin and Child

Sculpture of birds

Sculpture of birds

Cake shaped like woman

Cake shaped like woman

Sculpture of frog

Sculpture of frog

Framed painting of American President Lincoln

Framed painting of American President Abraham Lincoln

A portrait miniature of John Keats by Joseph Arthur Palliser Severn, 1891

A portrait miniature of John Keats by Joseph Arthur Palliser Severn, 1891

American presidents carved on Mount Rushmore

American presidents carved on Mount Rushmore

Neanderthals in museum

Neanderthal dummies in museum

Mannequins

Mannequins

Snowman

Snowman

IKEA's wolf-like Lufsig doll, Hong Kong's most coveted toy, which is modelled after the antagonist of the Little Red Riding Hood fairytale

IKEA’s wolf-like Lufsig doll, Hong Kong’s most coveted toy, which is modelled after the antagonist of the Little Red Riding Hood fairytale (see Secrets of Fairytales)

Piggy bank

Piggy bank

Carousel

Carousel

Statue of King Shaka Zulu

Statue of King Shaka Zulu

Statue of Ronald MacDonald, the mascot of the MacDonald's fast-food chain

Statue of Ronald MacDonald, the mascot of the MacDonald’s fast-food chain

Comics

Comics

Cartoons

Cartoons

Animated films

Animated films

Drawings, pictures and illustrations for the purpose of educating, informing and enlightening (including pop-up books for children) are permitted, but NOT in the Scriptures and NEVER of Holy Spiritual Beings.

Sarcophagus

Sarcophagus

Statue of Yuri Gagarin

Statue of Yuri Gagarin

Paper cut-outs of people

Paper cut-outs of people

Cardboard cut-out of Austin Powers

Cardboard cut-out of Austin Powers

Hologram

Hologram

Snow Angel

Snow angel

A snow angel is a design, made in fresh snow, by lying on one’s back and moving one’s arms up and down, and one’s legs from side to side, to form the shape of an angel. Making snow angels is a common childhood game.

Dragon-shaped ship

Dragon-shaped ship

People dressed as Disney characters Mickey and Minnie Mouse

People dressed as Disney characters Mickey and Minnie Mouse

Terry Fator with his ventriloquist puppet

Terry Fator with his ventriloquist dummy

A ventriloquist is a person who can speak or utter sounds so that they seem to come from somewhere else, especially an entertainer who makes their voice appear to come from a dummy of a person or animal.

Etymology of ventriloquist:

Mid 17th century: from modern Latin ventriloquium (from Latin venter ‘belly’ + loqui ‘speak’) + -ist.

Hence the name ‘ventriloquist’, which literally means ‘belly speaker’ in Latin.

Ventriloquists perform with the help of demons. It is impossible to speak without moving one’s lips — the speech from the dummy, allegedly projected from the ventriloquist, is actually that of a demon.

In Saducismus Triumphatus: Or, Full and Plain Evidence Concerning Witches and Apparitions (1681), Joseph Glanvill marvelled at those so possessed by the devil that they became his mouthpiece: “For Ventriloquy, or speaking from the bottom of the Belly, ’tis a thing I think as strange and difficult to be conceived as any thing in Witchcraft, nor can it, I believe, be performed in any distinctness of articulate sounds, without such assistance of the Spirits, that spoke out of the Daemoniacks.”

Lamp shaped like a woman

Lamp shaped like a woman

Joseph and his brothers depicted on the stained glass window of a church

Joseph and his brothers depicted on the stained glass window of a church

Hot air balloon shaped like a bird

Hot air balloon shaped like a bird

Mugs with faces

Mugs with faces

Plaster casting

Plaster casting

Hard Rock Cafe, Helsinki

Hard Rock Cafe, Helsinki. These cafés are shrines to celebrities, or Satan’s ‘stars’ (see Movies and Magic)

A life-sized wax statue of Catholic 'saint' Don Bosco lying in state inside of a glass urn. Inside the was figure are bones and tissue of his right hand and arm

A life-size wax statue of Catholic ‘saint’ Don Bosco lying inside a glass urn. Inside the wax figure are bones and tissue of his right hand and arm

Food shaped like animals

Food shaped like animals

Ice sculptures shaped like animals of people

Ice sculptures shaped like animals or people

Scarecrows

Scarecrows

Kinshasa's humanoid traffic robocop

Kinshasa’s humanoid traffic robocop

Totem poles

Totem pole

Animal topiary

Animal topiary

Human topiary

Human topiary

Bear-shaped sleeping bag

Bear-shaped sleeping bag

Baby cradle mobile

Baby cradle mobile

Bouncy castle shaped like elephant

Bouncy castle shaped like elephant

Animal-shaped hat

Animal-shaped hat

Slippers shaped like animals

Slippers with animal faces

Candles shaped like animals

Candles shaped like animals

3D-printed model of unborn child

3D-printed model of unborn child. An image taken from a 3D scan of baby in the womb is sent off to a firm to be rendered into 360 degree form and printed in 3D. This can either be presented in a box or mounted in a frame for the wall

Tattoos

Tattoos

Napkin shaped like a swan

Napkin shaped like a swan

Fox napkin ring

Fox napkin ring

Many people also keep and revere pictures, posters and statues/statuettes of their gods, celebrities, man-made ‘saints’, religious and political leaders, and Angels. This is WRONG.

You may think it perfectly innocent to buy and keep any of these items, but remember: It is FORBIDDEN. If you have any graven images in your homes, offices or other business premises: BURN THEM WITH FIRE.
Dishes, coasters, table mats, calendars, cards, postcards and knick knacks that depict these graven images should also be destroyed.

It is alright to embellish clothes, cushion covers, bedcovers, oven mitts, potholders, tea cosies, aprons, table linen, table mats, wall hangings, rugs, curtains, carpets, decorative coverings, etc, with animals, birds, fish, flowers, trees, etc, and take and keep pictures of loved ones — family and friends — as long as we do NOT idolise them.

Obsession with celebrities (e.g. the extreme fascination people have with Elvis Presley and Michael Jackson, to the point of getting plastic surgery to look like them) and collecting and keeping of their paraphernalia, is IDOLATRY.

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