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International Standard Bible Encyclopedia
PICTUREPICTURE - pik'-tur: This word (in the plural) is found 3 times in the King James Version, namely, Nu 33:52; Isa 2:16; Prov 25:11. In Numbers and Proverbs "pictures" represents the Hebrew word maskith, "showpiece" "figure." The context in Numbers suggests that the "pictures" or "carved figures" (the Revised Version (British and American) "figured stones") which the Israelites were to destroy were symbols of Canaanite worship and therefore foreign to the religion of Yahweh. In Proverbs for the King James Version "pictures of silver," the English Revised Version has "baskets (the American Standard Revised Version "network") of silver," but a more probable translation is "carvings of silver." "Pictures" stands for a slightly different word (but from the same root) in Isaiah, namely, sekhuyoth; the Revised Version (British and American) renders "imagery" (the Revised Version margin "watchtowers"). The prophet probably alludes to carved figures (of gods in animal or human shapes) on the prows of vessels.