ABC:Deuteronomy 27

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]

Verse 22 claims the Bible is wrong about the following passage, and makes the following comments (italicized):[4] American Atheists also claims the Bible is wrong about the passage.[5]

See also Pre-Flood Longevity

As Romans 5:13 says, "sin is not imputed when there is no law." Before the time of Moses there was no necessity for a law against incest because such vast lifespans made for very different family units, and incest was thus not wrong in the same way it is today. The commandment against incest was not given until the time of Moses because incest was not wrong before that, since people lived such extraordinarily long lives, centuries longer than we do today. Technically it wasn't incest by today's standards since early humans each had lifespans of 900 years (Genesis 5).

Incest was only declared wrong by the time of Moses when people had average lifespans of 70 years (Psalms 90:10) and God when the Flood started began reducing the average lifespan to 120 years (Genesis 6:3). Lifespans did not reach this point until about the time of Moses, who lived exactly the 120 years specified. (Deuteronomy 34:7) Incest today is considered wrong, as it should be, because children who grow up with one another as part of the same family should not have sexual relationships. However, ancient people like Noah's family lived centuries upon centuries and could be born many centuries apart in age from their siblings, old enough by today's standards to be the great, great, great, great, great, great, great grandparents of their brothers and sisters.

In the case of Abraham, he lived to be 175 years old, whereas his half-sister and wife Sarah lived to be 127 years old. (Genesis 25:7, Genesis 23:1-2) Both lived longer lives than anyone today can live. People lived such long lives at the time that Abraham's great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great grandfather, Noah himself, did not die until 18 years after Abraham was born, at the ripe age of 950 years old! Under the Biblical model, such ancient patriarchs could have siblings considerably older and more distant in relation than is seen today, which is why the commandment against incest was not yet given, and incest at the time was not wrong.


  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.
  4. TheThinkingAtheist. Bible Contradictions. Retrieved from
  5. N.a. (2019). "Biblical Contradictions? American Atheists.