Deuteronomy 4:16
Parallel Verses
New International Version
so that you do not become corrupt and make for yourselves an idol, an image of any shape, whether formed like a man or a woman,

New Living Translation
So do not corrupt yourselves by making an idol in any form--whether of a man or a woman,

English Standard Version
beware lest you act corruptly by making a carved image for yourselves, in the form of any figure, the likeness of male or female,

New American Standard Bible
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,

King James Bible
Lest ye corrupt yourselves, and make you a graven image, the similitude of any figure, the likeness of male or female,

Holman Christian Standard Bible
not to act corruptly and make an idol for yourselves in the shape of any figure: a male or female form,

International Standard Version
Be careful! Otherwise, you will be destroyed when you make carved images for yourself—all sorts of images in the form of man, woman,

NET Bible
I say this so you will not corrupt yourselves by making an image in the form of any kind of figure. This includes the likeness of a human male or female,

GOD'S WORD® Translation
that you don't become corrupt and make your own carved idols. Don't make statues that represent men or women,

Jubilee Bible 2000
lest ye corrupt yourselves and make yourselves a graven image, the similitude of any figure, the likeness of male or female,

King James 2000 Bible
Lest you corrupt yourselves, and make you a graven image, the form of any figure, the likeness of male or female,

American King James Version
Lest you corrupt yourselves, and make you a graven image, the similitude of any figure, the likeness of male or female,

American Standard Version
Lest ye corrupt yourselves, and make you a graven image in the form of any figure, the likeness of male or female,

Douay-Rheims Bible
Lest perhaps being deceived you might make you a graven similitude, or image of male or female,

Darby Bible Translation
lest ye corrupt yourselves, and make you a graven image, the form of any figure, the pattern of male or female,

English Revised Version
lest ye corrupt yourselves, and make you a graven image in the form of any figure, the likeness of male or female,

Webster's Bible Translation
Lest ye corrupt yourselves, and make to you a graven image, the similitude of any figure, the likeness of male or female,

World English Bible
Lest you corrupt yourselves, and make yourself an engraved image in the form of any figure, the likeness of male or female,

Young's Literal Translation
lest ye do corruptly, and have made to you a graven image, a similitude of any figure, a form of male or female --
Parallel Commentaries
Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary

4:1-23 The power and love of God to Israel are here made the ground and reason of a number of cautions and serious warnings; and although there is much reference to their national covenant, yet all may be applied to those who live under the gospel. What are laws made for but to be observed and obeyed? Our obedience as individuals cannot merit salvation; but it is the only evidence that we are partakers of the gift of God, which is eternal life through Jesus Christ, Considering how many temptations we are compassed with, and what corrupt desires we have in our bosoms, we have great need to keep our hearts with all diligence. Those cannot walk aright, who walk carelessly. Moses charges particularly to take heed of the sin of idolatry. He shows how weak the temptation would be to those who thought aright; for these pretended gods, the sun, moon, and stars, were only blessings which the Lord their God had imparted to all nations. It is absurd to worship them; shall we serve those that were made to serve us? Take heed lest ye forget the covenant of the Lord your God. We must take heed lest at any time we forget our religion. Care, caution, and watchfulness, are helps against a bad memory.

Pulpit Commentary

Verse 16. - Graven image (פֶסֶל), carved work or sculpture, whether of wood, or metal, or stone - the similitude of any figure - the form of any idol (סֶמֶל, form, statue, idol) - the likeness - figure (תַבְנִית, a building, a model, a form, or figure) - of male or female - in apposition to graven image, and illustrative of it.

Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

Lest ye corrupt yourselves,.... And not themselves only, but the word and worship of God, by idolatry, than which nothing is more corrupting and defiling, nor more abominable to God:

and make you a graven image, the similitude of any figure; a graven image, in the likeness of any figure, an idea of which they had formed in their minds:

the likeness of male or female; of a man or a woman; so some of the Heathen deities were in the likeness of men, as Jupiter, Mars, Hercules, Apollo, &c. and others in the likeness of women, as Juno, Diana, Venus, &c. Some think Osiris and Isis, Egyptian deities, the one male, the other female, are respected; but it is not certain that these were worshipped by them so early.

Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary

16-19. Lest ye corrupt yourselves, and make you a graven image—The things are here specified of which God prohibited any image or representation to be made for the purposes of worship; and, from the variety of details entered into, an idea may be formed of the extensive prevalence of idolatry in that age. In whatever way idolatry originated, whether from an intention to worship the true God through those things which seemed to afford the strongest evidences of His power, or whether a divine principle was supposed to reside in the things themselves, there was scarcely an element or object of nature but was deified. This was particularly the case with the Canaanites and Egyptians, against whose superstitious practices the caution, no doubt, was chiefly directed. The former worshipped Baal and Astarte, the latter Osiris and Isis, under the figure of a male and a female. It was in Egypt that animal-worship most prevailed, for the natives of that country deified among beasts the ox, the heifer, the sheep, and the goat, the dog, the cat, and the ape; among birds, the ibis, the hawk, and the crane; among reptiles, the crocodile, the frog, and the beetle; among fishes, all the fish of the Nile; some of these, as Osiris and Isis, were worshipped over all Egypt, the others only in particular provinces. In addition they embraced the Zabian superstition, the adoration of the Egyptians, in common with that of many other people, extending to the whole starry host. The very circumstantial details here given of the Canaanitish and Egyptian idolatry were owing to the past and prospective familiarity of the Israelites with it in all these forms.

Deuteronomy 4:16 Additional Commentaries
Context
Warning against Idolatry
15"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, 16so 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, 17the likeness of any animal that is on the earth, the likeness of any winged bird that flies in the sky,…
Cross References
Romans 1:23
and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like a mortal human being and birds and animals and reptiles.

Exodus 20:4
"You shall not make for yourself an image in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below.

Leviticus 26:1
"'Do not make idols or set up an image or a sacred stone for yourselves, and do not place a carved stone in your land to bow down before it. I am the LORD your God.

Deuteronomy 4:23
Be careful not to forget the covenant of the LORD your God that he made with you; do not make for yourselves an idol in the form of anything the LORD your God has forbidden.

Deuteronomy 4:25
After you have had children and grandchildren and have lived in the land a long time--if you then become corrupt and make any kind of idol, doing evil in the eyes of the LORD your God and arousing his anger,

Deuteronomy 5:8
"You shall not make for yourself an image in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below.

Deuteronomy 5:9
You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me,

Deuteronomy 9:12
Then the LORD told me, "Go down from here at once, because your people whom you brought out of Egypt have become corrupt. They have turned away quickly from what I commanded them and have made an idol for themselves."

Deuteronomy 27:15
"Cursed is anyone who makes an idol--a thing detestable to the LORD, the work of skilled hands--and sets it up in secret." Then all the people shall say, "Amen!"

Deuteronomy 31:29
For I know that after my death you are sure to become utterly corrupt and to turn from the way I have commanded you. In days to come, disaster will fall on you because you will do evil in the sight of the LORD and arouse his anger by what your hands have made."
Treasury of Scripture

Lest you corrupt yourselves, and make you a graven image, the similitude of any figure, the likeness of male or female,

corrupt

Deuteronomy 4:8,9 And what nation is there so great, that has statutes and judgments …

Exodus 20:4,5 You shall not make to you any graven image, or any likeness of any …

Exodus 32:7 And the LORD said to Moses, Go, get you down; for your people, which …

Psalm 106:19,20 They made a calf in Horeb, and worshipped the molten image…

Romans 1:22-24 Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools…

the likeness Such as Baal-peor, the Roman Priapus; Ashtaroth or Astarte, the Greek and Roman Venus, and many others.

Deuteronomy 4:23 Take heed to yourselves, lest you forget the covenant of the LORD …

Isaiah 40:18 To whom then will you liken God? or what likeness will you compare to him?

John 4:24 God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit …

Acts 17:29 For as much then as we are the offspring of God, we ought not to …

Acts 20:4,5 And there accompanied him into Asia Sopater of Berea; and of the …

1 Timothy 1:17 Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God, …

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