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Sculptured Stones

SCULPTURED STONES (פְּסִילִים; meaning uncertain; possibly idols, dressed or hewn stones).

Although the Jews and early Christians had an appreciation of precious stones, one of which (the green agate) appears to be welladapted for engraving, and although hewn stones were used both in the building of the Temple and its renovation (1 Kings 5:17; 2 Kings 12:12; 22:6), little was done in the way of shaping stones for architectural purposes. Perhaps since other nations used stone to make representations of their deities, Israel was wary of this artistic medium (Deut 7:25; Isa 21:9).

The term pesilim is ambiguous in meaning. It may be that Ehud on his way to King Eglon passed by stone idols at Gilgal, or perhaps a stone quarry where excavation and shaping of stone took place (Judg 3:19, 26).