teraphim (Tair´uh-fim)

Statues or figurines representing household gods. They were common in Syria and Palestine, even among Israelites, throughout the preexilic period (to 586 BCE). In (Gen 31:19), Rachel stole her father’s teraphim. Laban’s angry reaction suggests their importance. In (Judg 17:5 and Judg 18:4, Judg 18:17, Judg 18:20), teraphim are cultic objects, mentioned as symbols of a private priesthood. In (1Sam 19:13-16), Michal aided David’s escape from Saul by filling a bed with large teraphim, disguised as David bedridden. Prophets generally inveighed against teraphim as wanton superstition (1Sam 15:23; Zech 10:2), but Hos 3:4) depicts them as integral to Israel’s royal and priestly institutions. Josiah’s reform banned them (2Kgs 23:23).

Gen 31:19

19Now Laban had gone to shear his sheep, and Rachel stole her father's household gods.

Judg 17:5

5This man Micah had a shrine, and he made an ephod and teraphim, and installed one of his sons, who became his priest.

Judg 18:4

4He said to them, “Micah did such and such for me, and he hired me, and I have become his priest.”

Judg 18:17

17the five men who had gone to spy out the land proceeded to enter and take the idol of cast metal, the ephod, and the teraphim. The priest was standing by the ... View more

Judg 18:20

20Then the priest accepted the offer. He took the ephod, the teraphim, and the idol, and went along with the people.

1Sam 19:13-16

13Michal took an idol and laid it on the bed; she put a net of goats' hair on its head, and covered it with the clothes.14When Saul sent messengers to take Davi ... View more

1Sam 15:23

23For rebellion is no less a sin than divination,
and stubbornness is like iniquity and idolatry.
Because you have rejected the word of the Lord,
he has also re ... View more

Zech 10:2

2For the teraphim utter nonsense,
and the diviners see lies;
the dreamers tell false dreams,
and give empty consolation.
Therefore the people wander like sheep; ... View more

Hos 3:4

4For the Israelites shall remain many days without king or prince, without sacrifice or pillar, without ephod or teraphim.

2Kgs 23:23

23but in the eighteenth year of King Josiah this passover was kept to the Lord in Jerusalem.

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