Isaiah 44:9

Hebrew Bible

7 Who is like me? Let him make his claim! Let him announce it and explain it to me—since I established an ancient people— let them announce future events. 8 Don’t panic! Don’t be afraid! Did I not tell you beforehand and decree it? You are my witnesses! Is there any God but me? There is no other sheltering rock; I know of none. 9 All who form idols are nothing; the things in which they delight are worthless. Their witnesses cannot see; they recognize nothing, so they are put to shame. 10 Who forms a god and casts an idol that will prove worthless? 11 Look, all his associates will be put to shame; the craftsmen are mere humans. Let them all assemble and take their stand. They will panic and be put to shame.

Wisdom of Solomon 13:14


12 and burn the cast-off pieces of his work to prepare his food, and eat his fill. 13 But a cast-off piece from among them, useful for nothing, a stick crooked and full of knots, he takes and carves with care in his leisure, and shapes it with skill gained in idleness; he forms it in the likeness of a human being, 14 or makes it like some worthless animal, giving it a coat of red paint and coloring its surface red and covering every blemish in it with paint; 15 then he makes a suitable niche for it, and sets it in the wall, and fastens it there with iron. 16 He takes thought for it, so that it may not fall, because he knows that it cannot help itself, for it is only an image and has need of help.

 Notes and References

"... Wisdom of Solomon 13:10-14:2 ... The description of the carpenter constructing wooden idols is based on Isaiah 44:9–20 supplemented by a few other Old Testament references such as Jeremiah 10:1–16. As in the Old Testament polemics against idolatry, the material is for internal consumption only, reinforcing a Jewish sense of superiority over the Gentiles. It cannot be addressed to non-Jews since it takes no account of Gentile explanations of what they thought they were doing when worshiping images. The point of 13:13 seems to be that the idol maker is not a professional sculptor. He is doing this in his spare time, in contrast to the picture presented in Isaiah 44:13. Less well attested readings for the words “leisure” and “idleness” make him seem more of a professional. 14:1 obviously draws on Jonah 1:5, though the point being made in 14:1–2 is not immediately clear. Verse 2 emphasizes the professional intent and high level of skill which goes into shipbuilding, so much so that the author “apparently credits Sophia (like Isis) with the invention of the maritime trades”. Yet, by contrast, sailors in distress call upon a wooden idol made from offcasts in the carpenter’s spare time! ..."

Hayman, A. Peter Eerdmans Commentary on the Bible: Wisdom of Solomon (p. 62) William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 2019

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