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12 The earth brought forth vegetation: plants yielding seed according to their own kinds and trees bearing fruit in which was their seed, each according to its kind. And God saw that it was good (suitable, admirable) and He approved it.
13 And there was evening and there was morning, a third day.
14 And God said, Let there be lights in the expanse of the heavens to separate the day from the night, and let them be signs and tokens [of God's provident care], and [to mark] seasons, days, and years, [Genesis 8:22.]
15 And let them be lights in the expanse of the sky to give light upon the earth. And it was so.
16 And God made the two great lights the greater light (the sun) to rule the day and the lesser light (the moon) to rule the night. He also made the stars.
17 And God set them in the expanse of the heavens to give light upon the earth,
18 To rule over the day and over the night, and to separate the light from the darkness. And God saw that it was good (fitting, pleasant) and He approved it.
19 And there was evening and there was morning, a fourth day.
20 And God said, Let the waters bring forth abundantly and swarm with living creatures, and let birds fly over the earth in the open expanse of the heavens.
21 God created the great sea monsters and every living creature that moves, which the waters brought forth abundantly, according to their kinds, and every winged bird according to its kind. And God saw that it was good (suitable, admirable) and He approved it.
22 And God blessed them, saying, Be fruitful, multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let the fowl multiply in the earth.
23 And there was evening and there was morning, a fifth day.
24 And God said, Let the earth bring forth living creatures according to their kinds: livestock, creeping things, and [wild] beasts of the earth according to their kinds. And it was so.
25 And God made the [wild] beasts of the earth according to their kinds, and domestic animals according to their kinds, and everything that creeps upon the earth according to its kind. And God saw that it was good (fitting, pleasant) and He approved it.
26 God said, Let Us [Father, Son, and Holy Spirit] make mankind in Our image, after Our likeness, and let them have complete authority over the fish of the sea, the birds of the air, the [tame] beasts, and over all of the earth, and over everything that creeps upon the earth. [Psalms 104:30; Hebrews 1:2; 11:3.]
27 So God created man in His own image, in the image and likeness of God He created him; male and female He created them. [Colossians 3:9,10; James 3:8,9.]
28 And God blessed them and said to them, Be fruitful, multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it [using all its vast resources in the service of God and man]; and have dominion over the fish of the sea, the birds of the air, and over every living creature that moves upon the earth.
29 And God said, See, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the face of all the land and every tree with seed in its fruit; you shall have them for food.
30 And to all the animals on the earth and to every bird of the air and to everything that creeps on the ground to everything in which there is the breath of life I have given every green plant for food. And it was so.
31 And God saw everything that He had made, and behold, it was very good (suitable, pleasant) and He approved it completely. And there was evening and there was morning, a sixth day. AMP


The Babylonian god Bel (Isaiah 46:1; Jeremiah 50:2; 51:44) is the same as Marduk, the chief Babylonian god. The Babylonian god Merodach (Jeremiah 50:2), an alternate spelling of Marduk, was the god of war and the patron deity of the city of Babylon.


Isaiah 46:1

46:1 BEL BOWS down, Nebo stoops [gods of Babylon, whose idols are being carried off]; their idols are on the beasts [of burden] and on the cattle. These things that you carry about are loaded as burdens on the weary beasts. AMP

Jeremiah 50:2

2 Declare it among the nations and publish it and set up a signal [to spread the news] publish and conceal it not; say, Babylon has been taken; Bel [the patron god] is put to shame, Merodach (Bel) is dismayed and broken down. [Babylon's] images are put to shame, her [senseless] idols are thrown down! AMP

Jeremiah 51:44

44 And I will punish and execute judgment upon Bel [the god] in Babylon and take out of his mouth what he has swallowed up [the sacred vessels and the people of Judah and elsewhere who were taken captive]. The nations will not flow any more to him. Yes, the wall of Babylon has fallen! AMP

Jeremiah 50:2

2 This is what the LORD says: "Tell the whole world, and keep nothing back! Raise a signal flag so everyone will know that Babylon will fall! Her images and idols will be shattered. Her gods Bel and Marduk will be utterly disgraced. NLT


Nebo (Isaiah 46:1) was the Babylonian god of education, literature, writing, wisdom, the arts, and sciences. The special seat of his worship was at Borsippa, near Babylon. The Akkadian form of this name is Nabu.

Isaiah 46:1

46:1 BEL BOWS down, Nebo stoops [gods of Babylon, whose idols are being carried off]; their idols are on the beasts [of burden] and on the cattle. These things that you carry about are loaded as burdens on the weary beasts. AMP


Nisroch (2 Kings 19:37; Isaiah 37:38) was an Assyrian god with a temple in Nineveh. The idol representing this pagan god had a human form with an eagle's head.

2 Kings 19:37

37 And as he was worshiping in the house of Nisroch his god, Adrammelech and Sharezer his sons killed him with the sword, and they escaped to the land of Armenia or Ararat. Esarhaddon his son reigned in his stead. AMP

Isaiah 37:38

38 And as he was worshiping in the house of Nisroch his god, Adrammelech and Sharezer his sons killed him with the sword, and they escaped into the land of Armenia or Ararat. And Esarhaddon his son reigned in his stead. AMP


Sikkuth (Amos 5:26; Sakkuth, RSV) was a name given by the Babylonians to the planet Saturn.


Succoth Benoth (2 Kings 17:30) was a Babylonian goddess, identified by some scholars with Zarpanitum, the mistress of Marduk. Other scholars believe this god is a designation of Marduk himself as Sakkut Binuti, the supreme judge of the world.


2 Kings 17:30-31

30 The men of Babylon made [and worshiped their deity] Succoth-benoth, the men of Cuth made Nergal, the men of Hamath made Ashima,

31 The Avvites made Nibhaz and Tartak, and the Sepharvites burned their children in the fire to Adrammelech and Anammelech, the gods of Sepharvaim. AMP


When SHALMANESER, king of Assyria, deported the inhabitants of Samaria to farflung regions of his empire, he also imported into Samaria settlers from afar to colonize this area of Palestine. These people brought their religion and their pagan gods with them. Among these gods were: Adrammelech (2 Kings 17:31), an idol of the Sepharvites worshiped by child sacrifice; Anammelech (2 Kings 17:31), another god revered by the Sepharvites; Ashima (2 Kings 17:30), an idol worshiped by the people of Hamath; Nergal (2 Kings 17:30), the war god of the men of Cuth; Nibhaz (2 Kings 17:31), an idol of the Avites; and Tartak (2 Kings 17:31), an idol also worshiped by the Avites.


2 Kings 17:31

31 The Avvites worshiped their gods Nibhaz and Tartak. And the people from Sepharvaim even burned their own children as sacrifices to Adrammelech and Anammelech. NLT

2 Kings 17:30

30 The men of Babylon made [and worshiped their deity] Succoth-benoth, the men of Cuth made Nergal, the men of Hamath made Ashima, AMP


The Pagan Gods of Egypt. The gods of Egypt were a constant threat to the Israelites, both during their years in bondage and afterwards. Their deliverance from Egypt was described by the Bible as a great spiritual victory, with the sovereign Lord of Israel defeating the gods of the Egyptians (Exodus 18:11; 2 Samuel 7:23).

Exodus 18:11

11 Now I know that the Lord is greater than all gods. Yes, in the [very] thing in which they dealt proudly [He showed Himself infinitely superior to all their gods]. AMP

2 Samuel 7:23

23 What [other] one nation on earth is like Your people Israel, whom God went to redeem to be a people for Himself and to make for Himself a name? You have done great and terrible things for Yourself and for Your land, before Your people, whom You redeemed and delivered for Yourself from Egypt, from the nations and their gods. AMP


Egyptian religion reflected the same pagan ideas that were popular in the ancient world, but with different figures. Horus was the god of Egypt's western delta; he was a human figure with a falcon's head. Hathor, the corresponding goddess, had a cow's body and a woman's head. The god Set had a man's body and an animal's head. Anubis had a man's body and the head of an ibis. Besides gods that were composite with animal forms and human forms, some Egyptian gods were portrayed as completely human. For instance, Min symbolized fertility. Amon, the famous god of Thebes, was the chief Egyptian god.

In ancient Egyptian religion Osiris was the god of the lower world and judge of the dead. He was the brother and husband of Isis and father (or brother) of Horus. Osiris was killed by Set, who was jealous of his power. Isis, the ancient Egyptian goddess of fertility, persuaded the gods to bring back Osiris, her dead husband. The myth is therefore an ancient vegetation cycle.

The Egyptians portrayed many of their gods with animal images. But they also had their cosmic deities. The Egyptians envisioned the earth as in the shape of a dish with their fertile region (Egypt) in the center. The Nile River flowed from under the earth, bringing fertility to the land. These elements of nature were personified as gods. Geb, earth, was portrayed as a god lying down. Nut, heaven, was a goddess who arched her body across from mountain to mountain. Shu, the air, stood erect, holding up the sky.

The Egyptians also worshiped the sun, moon, and stars. Ra (also Re), the sun god, was the supreme deity of the ancient Egyptians. He was represented as a man with the head of a hawk or a falcon, crowned with a solar disk and the figure of the sacred asp or cobra. Ra appears in the Old Testament in the name of Joseph's father-in-law, PotiPherah (Genesis 41:45,50; 46:20), priest of On, a city called Heliopolis ("city of the sun") by the Greeks-the principal seat of the worship of the sun. When Ra is absent, Thoth, the moon, is prominent. But the moon is definitely inferior to the sun.


Genesis 41:45

45 And Pharaoh called Joseph's name Zaphenath-paneah and he gave him Asenath daughter of Potiphera, priest of On, to be his wife. And Joseph made an [inspection] tour of all the land of Egypt. AMP

Genesis 41:50

50 Now to Joseph were born two sons before the years of famine came, whom Asenath daughter of Potiphera, the priest of On, bore to him. AMP





















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