The splendor of the sun makes it a natural object of adoration, once the purer idea of the one true God (Romans 1:20,21) is parted with, and in most ancient nations the worship of the sun was an outstanding feature. It is found in Babylonian and Assyrian (Samas; special seats of sun-worship were Sippara and Larsa); in Egypt it is a leading feature of the religion (Ra, and, under special phases, Horus, Tum, Aten; a special seat of sun-worship was Heliopollis, the Old Testament On, called in Jeremiah 43:13 Beth-shemesh, "house of the sun"). Other cities bore the same name: Beth-shemesh (Joshua 15:10 = Ir-shemesh; Joshua 19:41, in Judah; Joshua 19:22, in Issachar; Joshua 19:38, in Naphtali; see BETH-SHEMESH). Allusions to, and warnings against, sun-worship are frequent in the Old Testament, as in Leviticus 26:30; 2 Chronicles 14:5; 34:4,7; Isaiah 17:8; 27:9; Ezekiel 6:4,6, in which passages for the King James Version "images," "idols," the Revised Version (British and American) has "sun-images" (which see); Job 31:26,27 and numerous passages show that this form of idolatry latterly penetrated deeply into Judah--even into its temple-worship (2 Kings 23:5,11, "horses .... given to the sun" (see under HORSES OF THE SUN,

"Chariots of the Sun"); and Ezekiel 8:16). Josiah's reformation took account of these abuses (2 Kings 23:5,11; 2 Chronicles 34:4,7), and Ezekiel strenuously denounced them (8:16).

James Orr

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Bibliography Information
Orr, James, M.A., D.D. General Editor. "Entry for 'SUN-WORSHIP'". "International Standard Bible Encyclopedia". 1915.