Comparative value of these false idols (Bar 6:59-6:59)

“So it is better

To be a king

Who shows

His courage

Than to be

These false gods.

It is better to be

A household utensil

That serves

Its owner’s need,

Than to be

These false gods.

It is better to be

Even the door

Of a house

That protects its contents,

Than to be

These false gods,

It is better to be

Also a wooden pillar

In a palace,

Than to be

These false gods.”

This author draws a sense of the comparative value of these false idol gods. He explains that it is better to be a courageous king than a false god. That is pretty simple. It is better to be a household utensil that at least serves its owner’s needs than be a false god. It was even better to be a door in a house that protects its contents than be a false god. It was also better to be a wooden pillar in a palace than be false god. You are better off being a practical wooden item than a useless impractical false wooden god.

The mute persons at the temple for Bel (Bar 6:40-6:41)

“Besides,

Even the Chaldeans themselves

Dishonor these gods.

When they see

Someone who cannot speak,

They bring Bel.

They pray to Bel

That the mute

May speak,

As though Bel

Were able

To understand.

Yet they themselves

Cannot perceive this.

They abandon them.

They have no sense.”

The Chaldeans dishonored their own gods. Whenever they saw a mute person, they would bring the god Bel to them. Then they would pray to Bel to make him speak, as if this false god could understand. But then they would leave him or her there with Bel with no response, because these worshipers of Bel had no sense themselves.   Bel was the term used for the Babylonian god Marduk, or Lord. It also was used for many gods in the region. This may have been the start of the use of Lord for the God of Israel, Yahweh.