MOLTEN IMAGE (מַסֵּכָה, H5011, from נָסַכְ, H5818, to pour). By divine commandment the Israelites were explicitly forbidden to make graven images (
The word פֶּ֫סֶל, H7181, refers, qua terminology, first of all to an image of a god cut from stone, shaped from clay, or carved from wood, but it also includes images cast from metal (
The golden calf made by Aaron is called an ’egel massekā (
The command not to make graven or molten images does not forbid practicing the arts of sculpture, painting, and the like. The prohibition refers only to the practice of making images for the purpose of bringing the deity within the reach of man. The art work of a Michelangelo is not condemned.
G. E. Wright, Biblical Archeology (1957), 106-119; A. Kruyswyk, Geen Gesneden Beeld (1962).