The city was full of idols!
(William S. Plumer, "The Ten Commandments")
"Abominable idolatries" 1 Peter 4:3
Men never do a more vain and empty thing, than
when they make or serve an idol. It is as foolish and
as unproductive of good, as when one beats the air.
Idolatry is both absurd and criminal. Idolatry, in all its
forms, is a sin so gross, and expressive of so much folly
and stupidity, that it is bewildering that men could ever
commit it. To inspired writers it is a theme of just and
severe ridicule; not the less pungent because a simple
statement of its grossness is all that is required to show
"Their idols are silver and gold, made by human hands.
They have mouths, but cannot speak; eyes, but cannot
see. They have ears, but cannot hear; noses, but cannot
smell. They have hands, but cannot feel; feet, but cannot
walk. They cannot make a sound with their throats. Those
who make them are just like them, as are all who trust
in them." Psalm 115:4-8
In all this ridicule there is no caricature, no exaggeration. It
is all fair, because it is simple truth. Yet, as absurd as idolatry
is, there is no science, literature, philosophy, civilization, which
can show its silliness so plainly, as to banish it from among men.
"While Paul was waiting for them in Athens, he was greatly
distressed to see that the city was full of idols!" Acts 17:16