555 Difficult Bible Questions Answered

67. How Soon After Adam's Fall Did Idolatry Begin?

Adam and some of his descendants as late as the time of the Flood, are believed to have lived under a revealed system, in which, through their patriarchs and otherwise, they had a knowledge of God sufficient for their condition. Afterwards there arose the nature-worship, called Fetishism, consisting of the setting up and worshipping of animals, trees and stones, etc. an idolatry invented by those who for their sins had been forsaken of God (Romans i *28). There is no distinct mention in the Bible of any idols prior to the time of the Flood, but it is reasonable to suppose that idolatry was one of the abominations for which that terrible punishment was visited on the earth. The first positive indications of idolatry which appear in history are found in the worship of Set or Sitekh (equivalent to the Hebrew Patriarch, Seth), to whom divine honors were paid by the Egyptians. Some Jewish writers interpret Genesis 4-26 to mean that Ems, the son of Seth, was the originator of idolatry in that he paid divine honors to the host of heaven instead of to God alone.