The carpenter stretcheth out his rule
Or, the worker of trees F5; that works in wood, or makes images of wood; having cut down a tree, he stretches out his rule or line upon it, and takes the dimensions of it, and measures the length and the breadth of it, as much as is for his purpose to make a god of: and then he maketh it out with a line;
coloured with ochre, or chalk, which leaves a mark, by which he knows where to cut it, and fashion it to his mind: and he fitteth it with planes;
first with the rougher planes, which take off the knotty and more rugged parts; and then with a smoother plane, makes it even, and polishes it: and he marketh it out with a compass;
where its head and body, and legs and arms, and other parts must be: and maketh it after the figure of a man;
with all the parts and proportion of a man: according to the beauty of a man;
with the face and countenance of a man; with all the lineaments and just symmetry of a man; in the most comely and beautiful manner he is capable of, that it may be the more striking and pleasing to the worshippers of it. Jarchi's note is,
``this is a woman, who is the glory of her husband;''and so the Targum,
``according to the praise of a woman;''there being female deities, as Juno, Venus, Diana, and others: that it may remain in the house
F6; either in the temple built for it, whither its rotaries repair to the worship of it; or in the dwelling house, being one of the Lares or Penates, household gods: it may be, this is said by way of scorn and contempt; this god being made, is set up in the house, from whence it cannot stir nor move, to the help of any of its worshippers.
F5 (Myue vrx) "faber lignorum", Montanus; "artifex lignarius", V. L. Pagninus; "faber lignarius", Vitringa.
F6 The note of Ben Melech is, ``as it is the glory of a woman to abide in the house, and not go out of doors, so a graven image abides in the house.''