The art of carving or modeling in relief or in the round. The second commandment’s prohibition of graven (carved) images (Exod 20:4) is thought to have inhibited development of this art among the Hebrews. Most standing images were understood as idols representing foreign gods (including Aaron’s golden calf (Exod 32) and Jeroboam’s calves (1Kgs 12:28-30), but the cherubim in the inner sanctuary of the Temple (1Kgs 6:23-28) were a notable exception. The “sculptured stones” near Gilgal (Judg 3:19; Judg 3:26) may represent memorial stones or carved images in an open-air sanctuary (Josh 2:20).

Exod 20:4

4You shall not make for yourself an idol, whether in the form of anything that is in heaven above, or that is on the earth beneath, or that is in the water unde ... View more

Exod 32

The Golden Calf
1When the people saw that Moses delayed to come down from the mountain, the people gathered around Aaron, and said to him, “Come, make gods for ... View more

1Kgs 12:28-30

28So the king took counsel, and made two calves of gold. He said to the people, “You have gone up to Jerusalem long enough. Here are your gods, O Israel, who br ... View more

1Kgs 6:23-28

The Furnishings of the Temple
23In the inner sanctuary he made two cherubim of olivewood, each ten cubits high.24Five cubits was the length of one wing of the c ... View more

Judg 3:19

19But he himself turned back at the sculptured stones near Gilgal, and said, “I have a secret message for you, O king.” So the king said, “Silence!” and all his ... View more

Judg 3:26

26Ehud escaped while they delayed, and passed beyond the sculptured stones, and escaped to Seirah.

Josh 2:20

20But if you tell this business of ours, then we shall be released from this oath that you made us swear to you.”

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