The phrase “wood and stone” is found over a dozen times in the Jewish bible. It typically refers to idols that the people of nations worship, their gods. Man mades images of these gods – often crafting them out of wood and stone.
It’s fascinating to consider two of the world’s largest religions, Islam and Christianity, in light of this phrase. Christianity has the icon of a wooden cross on a hill at Calvary. One of the favorite hymns sung in church is “The Old Rugged Cross”.
In Islam, the pilgrimage to Mecca culminates with arriving to and walking a circle around the Kaaba at the Grand Mosque in Saudi Arabia. At one of the corners of this ancient block building there is a silver frame that contains a black stone thought to have fallen from heaven at the time of Adam and Eve. This tradition claims Muhammad put the stone into the Kaaba around 605 CE.
Here are some of the many occurances of the phrase “wood and stone” in the bible:
Deut 29:16 – Moses is speaking about thow the people had left Egypt and passed thru nations with idols of wood and stone.
“And you saw their abominations and their repugnant idols [of] wood and stone, silver and gold which were with them.”
Isaiah 37:19 – King Hezekiah is praying to G-d about how the kings of Assyria have destroyed countries and committed their gods to fire.
“And committing their gods to fire, for they are not gods, but the handiwork of man, wood and stone, and they destroyed them.”
Daniel 5:4 – King Belshazzar is having a feast for 1000 dignitaries (where he drank as much wine as the 1000!)
“They drank wine and praised gods of gold, silver, copper, iron, wood, and stone.”
Daniel 5:23 – Repeats the description of Daniel 5:4 and adds the phrase
“(gods of wood and stone) which neither see, nor hear, nor know.”
Deut 28:36 – The Blessings and Curses
“The Lord will lead you and your king whom you will have established over you, to a nation unknown to you or your fathers; and there you will serve other deities of wood and stone”
Note the phrase – “a nation unknown to you or your fathers”. So in thinking about this – unknown to you” rules out nations that exist at the time. And ‘unknown to your fathers” rules out nations in history. So this must mean a nation or people yet to come! So this would support the idea of gods of wood and stone as Christianity and Islam – both born centuries later!