I've found this article which quoted some interesting thoughts:

Our sages said about the verse (Shabbat 105b), “There shall not be a strange god within you, nor will you bow before a strange god.”

What is the strange god in man’s body? It is the evil inclination. This means that an idol-worshipper is called “the evil inclination.” It follows that when speaking of a single body, then idol-worshipping, which is called “a foreign god” or “a strange god,” is entirely within man.

So here are my questions: Why is the evil inclination compared to a foreign/strange god?

Also, what is the connection between idolatry and the evil inclination?

And why is it assumed that both come from or occur within man?

  • 2
    The evil inclination tells you that G-d is not everything. You can get satisfaction even if you disobey G-d's Will. There is an alternative to G-d. Now, isn't that avodah zarah mamash? – shmu Jan 30 '19 at 20:33
  • First, the phrase is interpreted allegorically, originally בך (within you) means the whole Jewish nation (you all), not a single person. – Al Berko Jan 30 '19 at 20:46
  • Look at the original Targum of that Pasuk (Psalms 81): לָא יְהֵי בֵינֵיכוֹן פָּלְחֵי טָעֲוָתָא נוּכְרָאָה וְלָא תִסְגְדוּן לְטַעֲוַת חִילוֹנָי: it says Ya all. – Al Berko Jan 30 '19 at 21:01
  • the word אל in that Pasuk is לשון חול not holy, "god" should be used in English. – Al Berko Jan 30 '19 at 21:02

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