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English Bible Dictionary

Teraphim

 

This word occurs only in the plural, and denotes images connected with magical rites. The derivation of the name is obscure. In one case-- (1 Samuel 19:13,16)--a single statue seems to be intended by the plural. The teraphim, translated "images" in the Authorized Version, carried away from Laban by Rachel were regarded by Laban as gods, and it would therefore appear that they were used by those who added corrupt practices to the patriarchal religion, and you can find more about that here on st-takla.org on other commentaries and dictionary entries. Teraphim again are included among Micah's images. (Judges 17:3-5; 18:17,18,20) Teraphim were consulted for oracular answers by the Israelites, (Zechariah 10:2) comp. Judg 18:5,6; 1Sam 15:22,23; 19:13,16, LXX., and 2Kin 23:24 And by the Babylonians in the case of Nebuchadnezzar. (Ezekiel 21:19-22)

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