What is idolatry?

   Idolatry is the worship of idols. An idol is usually a carved figure resembling the figure of a person. The ruder the people, the ruder its idols. There are two sorts of idol worship; the worship of the idol by reason of godlike qualities which it is believed to possess, and the worship of idols as a means of approaching the deity or deities they are supposed to represent. A statue of a noted man, on the other hand, is an entirely different thing. While the erection of the statue is, no doubt, an outgrowth of idolatry, the statue is erected merely as a mark of respect and to keep in mind one whose qualities commend him. Idolatry appears to have prevailed among all savage nations. Idols were set up in groves and in temples more or less elabo­rate.
   Although the Hebrews have given to the world a religion which is especially severe upon idolatry, the families of the Hebrew patriarchs themselves were not entirely free from idolatry or image worship. We learn that Rachel, Jacob's wife, had stolen "the images that were her father's," and that she put them in the camel's furniture and sat thereon that Laban might not find them. The idolatry of the surrounding people gave the prophets of Israel much trouble.
   The worship of idols has ever been accompanied by bowing down in front of them, making presents, and offering sacrifices.