Romans 1:23 KJV

And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things.

Ezekiel 8:10 KJV

So I went in and saw; and behold every form of creeping things, and abominable beasts, and all the idols of the house of Israel, portrayed upon the wall round about.

Could Paul have been alluding to the Ezekiel narrative?

  • In which languages have you read those passages, please? Even in English, in which versions? Apr 27, 2022 at 19:18

2 Answers 2


Be careful not to claim too much here. Several verses in the OT have the same references to "birds and beasts and creeping things" such as:

  • Eze 38:20 - The fish of the sea and the birds of the heavens and the beasts of the field and all creeping things that creep on the ground, and all the people who are on the face of the earth, shall quake at my presence. And the mountains shall be thrown down, and the cliffs shall fall, and every wall shall tumble to the ground.
  • Gen 8:19 - Every beast, every creeping thing, and every bird, everything that moves on the earth, went out by families from the ark.
  • Ps 148:19 - Beasts and all livestock, creeping things and flying birds!
  • Gen 7:14 - they and every beast, according to its kind, and all the livestock according to their kinds, and every creeping thing that creeps on the earth, according to its kind, and every bird, according to its kind, every winged creature.
  • Gen 6:7 - So the LORD said, “I will blot out man whom I have created from the face of the land, man and animals and creeping things and birds of the heavens, for I am sorry that I have made them.”
  • Lev 11;46 - This is the law regarding animals, birds, all living creatures that move in the water, and all creatures that crawl along the ground.
  • Gen 1:30 - And to every beast of the earth and to every bird of the heavens and to everything that creeps on the earth, everything that has the breath of life, I have given every green plant for food.” And it was so.

See also 1 Kings 4:33, Lev 20:25, etc. Many more could be quoted. In fact, the sequence, "beast, bird and creeping thing" is a kind of merism of all creatures. Sometimes fish are added to the list to ensure it is all-encompassing.

Therefore, I do not believe that Rom 1:23 is specifically alluding to Eze 8:10 or any of the other verses quoted above (plus the many others not quoted.)

All that Rom 1:23 is saying is that making the invisible God (YHWH of the OT) into an idol of one of the many animal gods of the pagans has a corrupting influence on the worshiper of such false gods. Indeed, Paul is quite specific in his evaluation of such false gods and the influence it has:

  • Rom 1:21 - ... they became futile in their thinking ...
  • Rom 1:21 - ... darkened in their foolish hearts
  • Rom 1:22 - they became fools
  • Rom 1:24 - the desires of their hearts to impurity for the dishonoring of their bodies with one another
  • Rom 1:25 - They exchanged the truth of God for a lie
  • Rom 1:26 - God gave them over to dishonorable passions

... and so forth. All this because men worshiped images of gods made to look like mere animals/creatures. That is, the creator was represented by an image of the created!

  • The first part is alluding to psalms 106:20
    – Kapandaria
    Nov 16, 2022 at 15:26

Yeah, it's a little too easy to draw corollaries where none actually exist. Paul is trying to show the Romans that their dependence on their own "whiz-dumb" is its own kind of trap. Refer back to Rom 1:20 as the basis for the entire discussion of the next couple chapters. The "wise" men of Rome were allowing their pride and arrogance to lead them away from the truth. Paul spends time rubbing their nose in that fact.

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    Apr 25, 2022 at 16:23

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