In the ancient Near East bulls were often prominent as cult objects and their strength and procreative power were not lost on the Israelites. When Jeroboam I tried to wean the divided kingdom away from Jerusalem, he set up idols of two young bulls in Dan and Bethel. Bull statues were, however, legitimate when they were regarded as thrones for the deity or used as supports for the molten sea (2 Chron. 4: 4).