Deuteronomy 4:19

Hebrew Bible

17 any kind of land animal, any bird that flies in the sky, 18 anything that crawls on the ground, or any fish in the deep waters under the earth. 19 When you look up to the sky and see the sun, moon, and stars—the whole heavenly creation—you must not be seduced to worship and serve them, for the Lord your God has assigned them to all the people of the world. 20 You, however, the Lord has selected and brought from Egypt, that iron-smelting furnace, to be his special people as you are today. 21 But the Lord became angry with me because of you and vowed that I would never cross the Jordan nor enter the good land that he is about to give you.

Ezekiel 8:16

Hebrew Bible

14 Then he brought me to the entrance of the north gate of the Lord’s house. I noticed women sitting there weeping for Tammuz. 15 He said to me, “Do you see this, son of man? You will see even greater abominations than these!” 16 Then he brought me to the inner court of the Lord’s house. Right there at the entrance to the Lord’s temple, between the porch and the altar, were about 25 men with their backs to the Lord’s temple, facing east—they were worshiping the sun toward the east! 17 He said to me, “Do you see, son of man? Is it a trivial thing that the house of Judah commits these abominations they are practicing here? For they have filled the land with violence and provoked me to anger still further. Look, they are putting the branch to their nose! 18 Therefore I will act with fury! My eye will not pity them nor will I spare them. When they have shouted in my ears, I will not listen to them.”

 Notes and References

"... The specific activities of astral worship are here described. Practitioners “burn incense,” to the gods of the starry sky. Furthermore, if “to other gods,” is to be read in hendiadys with “to the whole Host of Heaven,” practitioners also “pour out libations,” to them. These activities are, of course, common cultic fare in the ancient Near East. The cultus takes place on the roofs of homes presumably because the astral deities are fully visible from there. These two specific acts of worship are also associated with the Queen of Heaven (Jeremiah 7:18, 44:18) though, interestingly, her worship is never specifically located on rooftops. In any case, this rooftop locus implies that, in some instances at least, the Hosts of Heaven were not depicted in the form of cult images but were, rather, worshiped in their natural state - that is, as actual stars and planets. From exile, Ezekiel (8:16) also describes a group of Judahites facing east while worshiping the sun in what seems to be its natural state rather than by means of an image even within the Temple of Yahweh itself. As previously mentioned, the Deuteronomist considered the worship of the celestial luminaries to be forbidden (Deuteronomy 4:19) and even punishable by death by stoning (Deuteronomy 17:2–5) ..."

Cooley, Jeffrey L. Poetic Astronomy in the Ancient Near East: The Reflexes of Celestial Science in Ancient Mesopotamian, Ugaritic, and Israelite Narrative (p. 249) Eisenbrauns, 2013

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