Yahweh was going to do away with false worship (Mic 5:12-5:14)

“I will cut off

Sorceries

From your hand.

You shall have no more soothsayers.

I will cut off

Your images.

I will cut off

Your pillars

From among you.

You shall bow down no more

To the work of your hands.

I will uproot

Your sacred poles

From among you.

I will destroy

Your towns.”

Yahweh was going to do away with all forms of false worship.  He wanted the pure worship of Yahweh at his temple in Jerusalem.  He was going to do away with all sorceries and soothsayers.  He was going to tear down all their false images and pillars.  They were not going to bow down before any more man-made images.  Yahweh was going to root out their sacred totem poles, and even destroy some of these idol worshipping towns.

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The useless idols (Jer 10:14-10:16)

“Everyone is stupid

Without knowledge.

Goldsmiths are put to shame

By their idols.

Their images are false.

There is no breath in them.

They are worthless.

They are a work of delusion.

At the time of their punishment,

They shall perish.

Not like these is Yahweh.

He is the portion of Jacob.

He formed all things.

Israel is the tribe of his inheritance.

Yahweh of hosts is his name.”

Jeremiah contends that the idols are useless because the people who made them were stupid without any kind of knowledge. These goldsmiths will be put to shame because they have created false images without any breath in them. They are worthless works of delusion that will perish at the time of punishment. Yahweh, on the other hand, has formed all things. His portion and inheritance is the tribe of Jacob or Israel. He, of course, is called Yahweh of hosts.

How a carpenter makes false idols (Wis 13:11-13:16)

“A skilled woodcutter

May saw down a tree

That is easy to handle.

He skillfully strips off all its bark.

Then with pleasing workmanship

He makes a useful vessel

That serves life’s needs.

He burns the castoff pieces of his work.

Thus he prepares his food.

He eats his fill.

But he takes a castoff piece

From among them,

That is useful for nothing,

A crooked stick,

Full of knots.

He carves with care in his leisure.

He shapes it with skill gained in idleness.

He forms it in the likeness of a human being.

He makes it like some worthless animal.

He gives it a coat of red paint.

He colors its surface red.

He covers every blemish in it with paint.

Then he makes a suitable niche for it.

He sets it in the wall.

He fastens it there with iron.

He takes thought for it.

Thus it may not fall.

Because he knows

That it cannot help itself.

It is only an image.

It has need of help.”

This is a satirical description of how these false images were made by a skilled woodcutter or carpenter. Obviously this carpenter makes some useful vessels for eating and other purposes. He takes a tree and strips the bark. He then burns the left over wood for cooking. However, he may take some of this useless crooked knotted wood and carve some images in his spare time. He will probably make an image of a human (εἰκόνι ἀνθρώπου) or an animal. Then he will paint it red to cover all the blemishes. After that, he will fasten it with iron on a wall niche in an area so that it will not fall off. He knows that his carved image needs help to sit on a wall. Clearly there is nothing divine about this process or the resulting useless image (εἰκὼν).

Heavenly Yahweh above all gods (Ps 97:6-97:9)

“The heavens proclaim his righteousness.

All the peoples behold his glory.

All worshipers of images are put to shame.

They make their boast in worthless idols.

All gods bow down before him.

Zion hears.

Zion is glad.

The towns of Judah rejoice,

Because of your judgments.

O God!

Yahweh!

You are most high

Over all the earth.

You are exalted far above all gods.”

The heavens proclaim the righteousness of God. Everybody sees his glory. All the worshipers of false images and worthless idols are put to shame since their gods bow down before Yahweh. Mount Zion and all Judah are glad and rejoice. The judgments of Yahweh are most high over all the earth. Yahweh is exalted over the other gods. This seems like some kind of contest between the various gods where Yahweh is the clear winner.