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Bible Encyclopedias

Kitto's Popular Cyclopedia of Biblical Literature

Teraphim

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Ter´aphim were tutelar household gods, by whom families expected, for worship bestowed, to be rewarded with domestic prosperity, such as plenty of food, health, and various necessaries of domestic life.

We have most remarkable proofs that the worship of teraphim co-existed with the worship of Jehovah even in pious families; and we have more than one instance of the wives of worshippers of Jehovah not finding full contentment and satisfaction in the stern moral truth of spiritual worship, and therefore carrying on some private symbolism by fondling the teraphim.

We find in , that Rachel stole the images (teraphim) belonging to her father without the knowledge of her husband, who, being accused by his father-in-law of having stolen his gods, answered, 'With whomsoever thou findest thy gods, let him not live.' Laban searched, but found not the images (teraphim).

Among the ancient Israelites the worship of Jehovah was frequently blended with that of a graven image or teraphim, but on every revival of the knowledge of the written revelation of God the teraphim were swept away together with the worse forms of idolatry ().

The teraphim were consulted by persons on whom true religion had no firm hold, in order to elicit some supernatural omens similar to the auguries of the Romans (; ).

 

 

 

 

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Bibliography Information
Kitto, John, ed. Entry for 'Teraphim'. "Kitto's Popular Cyclopedia of Biblical Literature". https://www.studylight.org/encyclopedias/eng/kbe/t/teraphim.html.

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