New American Standard Bible
"You shall not make for yourself an idol, or any likeness of what is in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the water under the earth.
King James Bible
Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth:
Darby Bible Translation
Thou shalt not make thyself any graven image, or any form of what is in the heavens above, or what is in the earth beneath, or what is in the waters under the earth:
World English Bible
"You shall not make for yourselves an idol, nor any image of anything that is in the heavens above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth:
Young's Literal Translation
Thou dost not make to thyself a graven image, or any likeness which is in the heavens above, or which is in the earth beneath, or which is in the waters under the earth.
Exodus 20:4 Parallel
CommentaryBarnes' Notes on the Bible
Graven image - Any sort of image is here intended.
As the first commandment forbids the worship of any false god, seen or unseen, it is here forbidden to worship an image of any sort, whether the figure of a false deity Joshua 23:7 or one in any way symbolic of Yahweh (see Exodus 32:4). The spiritual acts of worship were symbolized in the furniture and ritual of the tabernacle and the altar, and for this end the forms of living things might be employed as in the case of the Cherubim (see Exodus 25:18 note): but the presence of the invisible God was to be marked by no symbol of Himself, but by His words written on stones, preserved in the ark in the holy of holies and covered by the mercy-seat. The ancient Persians and the earliest legislators of Rome also agreed in repudiating images of the Deity.
A jealous God - Deuteronomy 6:15; Joshua 24:19; Isaiah 42:8; Isaiah 48:11; Nahum 1:2. This reason applies to the First, as well as to the second commandment. The truth expressed in it was declared more fully to Moses when the name of Yahweh was proclaimed to him after he had interceded for Israel on account of the golden calf (Exodus 34:6-7; see the note).
Visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children - (Compare Exodus 34:7; Jeremiah 32:18). Sons and remote descendants inherit the consequences of their fathers' sins, in disease, poverty, captivity, with all the influences of bad example and evil communications. (See Leviticus 26:39; Lamentations 5:7 following) The "inherited curse" seems to fall often most heavily on the least guilty persons; but such suffering must always be free from the sting of conscience; it is not like the visitation for sin on the individual by whom the sin has been committed. The suffering, or loss of advantages, entailed on the unoffending son, is a condition under which he has to carry on the struggle of life, and, like all other inevitable conditions imposed upon men, it cannot tend to his ultimate disadvantage, if he struggles well and perseveres to the end. The principle regulating the administration of justice by earthly tribunals Deuteronomy 24:16, is carried out in spiritual matters by the Supreme Judge.
LibraryMay the Third Other Gods!
"Thou shalt have no other gods before Me." --EXODUS xx. 1-11. If we kept that commandment all the other commandments would be obeyed. If we secure this queen-bee we are given the swarm. To put nothing "before" God! What is left in the circle of obedience? God first, always and everywhere. Nothing allowed to usurp His throne for an hour! I was once allowed to sit on an earthly throne for a few seconds, but even that is not to be allowed with the throne of God. Nothing is to share His sovereignty, …
John Henry Jowett—My Daily Meditation for the Circling Year
Traditionalism, Its Origin, Character, and Literature - the Mishnah and Talmud - the Gospel of Christ - the Dawn of a New Day.
The Right Understanding of the Law
The First Commandment
"They have quickly turned aside from the way which I commanded them. They have made for themselves a molten calf, and have worshiped it and have sacrificed to it and said, 'This is your god, O Israel, who brought you up from the land of Egypt!'"
"You shall make for yourself no molten gods.
'Do not turn to idols or make for yourselves molten gods; I am the LORD your God.
You shall not make for yourselves idols, nor shall you set up for yourselves an image or a sacred pillar, nor shall you place a figured stone in your land to bow down to it; for I am the LORD your God.
With him I speak mouth to mouth, Even openly, and not in dark sayings, And he beholds the form of the LORD. Why then were you not afraid To speak against My servant, against Moses?"
"So watch yourselves carefully, since you did not see any form on the day the LORD spoke to you at Horeb from the midst of the fire,
so that you do not act corruptly and make a graven image for yourselves in the form of any figure, the likeness of male or female,
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