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26 As you can now see and hear, not only in Ephesus but throughout most of the province of Asia this Paul has persuaded and misled a great number of people by saying that gods made by hands are not gods at all.(A)

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18 To whom can you liken God?(A)
    With what likeness can you confront him?
19 An idol? An artisan casts it,
    the smith plates it with gold,
    fits it with silver chains.[a](B)
20 Is mulberry wood the offering?
    A skilled artisan picks out
    a wood that will not rot,
    Seeks to set up for himself
    an idol that will not totter.(C)

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Footnotes

  1. 40:19 Chains: needed to hold the idol steady when carried in processions; cf. v. 20; Jer 10:4.

10 Who would fashion a god or cast an idol,
    that is of no use?
11 Look, all its company will be shamed;
    they are artisans, mere human beings!
They all assemble and stand there,
    only to cower in shame.
12 The ironsmith fashions a likeness,
    he works it over the coals,
Shaping it with hammers,
    working it with his strong arm.
With hunger his strength wanes,
    without water, he grows faint.(A)
13 The woodworker stretches a line,
    and marks out a shape with a stylus.
He shapes it with scraping tools,
    with a compass measures it off,
Making it the copy of a man,[a]
    human display, enthroned in a shrine.
14 He goes out to cut down cedars,
    takes a holm tree or an oak.
He picks out for himself trees of the forest,
    plants a fir, and the rain makes it grow.
15 It is used for fuel:
    with some of the wood he warms himself,
    makes a fire and bakes bread.
Yet he makes a god and worships it,
    turns it into an idol and adores it!
16 Half of it he burns in the fire,
    on its embers he roasts meat;
    he eats the roast and is full.
He warms himself and says, “Ah!
    I am warm! I see the flames!”
17 The rest of it he makes into a god,
    an image to worship and adore.
He prays to it and says,
    “Help me! You are my god!”

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Footnotes

  1. 44:13 Copy of a man: in the biblical view human beings are made in the image of God; here gods are made in the image of human beings.

22 While claiming to be wise,(A) they became fools 23 and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for the likeness of an image of mortal man or of birds or of four-legged animals or of snakes.(B)

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