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ancestor worship

Source:
A Dictionary of the Bible What is This? Contains accessibly written entries for topics covering the religious, historical, and social aspects of the Bible.

    ancestor worship

    The real or supposed ancestors of the Hebrews were venerated and were felt to be so close that their descendants even continued to suffer for their sins (Exod. 20: 5). Not surprisingly it would seem that a cult of the dead infiltrated into Israel from neighbouring peoples (Deut. 26: 14) and former kings were worshipped (Ezek. 43: 7–9). The practice of calling up the dead, as when Saul consulted Samuel through the ‘witch’ of Endor (1 Sam. 28: 7), is condemned by the prophets (Isa. 8: 19–20).

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