ABC:1 Kings 7

From BibleStrength

Verse 15: Can We Make Graven Images?

Dan Barker of FFRF claims there is a contradiction here and makes the following comments (italicized):[1]

The confusion is caused by translation from Hebrew into English. The phrase "graven image" derives from a single Hebrew word, pecel, that should've been translated idol instead, since that is how it is always used throughout the Bible. For that reason Hebrew lexicons consistently define it as "idol."[2]

Furthermore, the context of the passages themselves shows that it is idols being discussed, not merely graven images. (cp. Exodus 20:3,5; Leviticus 26:1) To quote Norman Geisler and Thomas Howe, "The prohibition against making graven images was distinctly set in the context of worshiping idols... there was no chance that the people of Israel would fall down before the cherubim in the most holy place, since they were forbidden to go in the holy place at any time. Even the high priest went only once a year on the Day of Atonement (Lev. 16)... These cherubim were not given to Israel as images of God; they were angels. Nor were they given to be worshiped. Hence, there is no way in which the command to make them violated the commandment in Exodus 20."[3]


  1. Barker, D. (2019). "Bible Contradictions." FFRF.
  2. Brown, Driver, Briggs and Gesenius (2019). "Hebrew Lexicon Entry for Pecel." BibleStudyTools.
    Strong's Hebrew Lexicon (2019). "Lexicon: Strong's H6459 - Pecel." BlueLetterBible.
  3. Geisler, N. & Howe, T. (1992). "Exodus 25:18FF-If it is Wrong to Make Graven Images, Why Did God Command Moses to Make One?" In "When Critics Ask: A Popular Handbook on Bible Difficulties." Defending Inerrancy.