Exodus 20:5
Parallel Verses
English Standard Version
You shall not bow down to them or serve them, for I the LORD your God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and the fourth generation of those who hate me,

King James Bible
Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me;

American Standard Version
Thou shalt not bow down thyself unto them, nor serve them, for I Jehovah thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, upon the third and upon the fourth generation of them that hate me,

Douay-Rheims Bible
Thou shalt not adore them, nor serve them: I am the Lord thy God, mighty, jealous, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me:

English Revised Version
thou shalt not bow down thyself unto them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, upon the third and upon the fourth generation of them that hate me;

Webster's Bible Translation
Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children to the third and fourth generation of them that hate me;

Exodus 20:5 Parallel
Commentary
Keil and Delitzsch Biblical Commentary on the Old Testament

After these preparations, on the morning of the third day (from the issuing of this divine command), Jehovah came down upon the top of Mount Sinai (Exodus 19:20), manifesting His glory in fire as the mighty, jealous God, in the midst of thunders (קלת) and lightnings, so that the mountain burned with fire (Deuteronomy 4:11; Deuteronomy 5:20), and the smoke of the burning mountain ascended as the smoke (עשׁן for עשׁן), and the whole mountain trembled (Exodus 19:18), at the same time veiling in a thick cloud the fire of His wrath and jealousy, by which the unholy are consumed. Thunder and lightning bursting forth from the thick cloud, and fire with smoke, were the elementary substrata, which rendered the glory of the divine nature visible to men, though in such a way that the eye of mortals beheld no form of the spiritual and invisible Deity. These natural phenomena were accompanied by a loud trumpet blast, which "blew long and waxed louder and louder" (Exodus 19:16 and Exodus 19:19; see Genesis 8:3), and was, as it were, the herald's call, announcing to the people the appearance of the Lord, and summoning them to assemble before Him and listen to His words, as they sounded forth from the fire and cloudy darkness. The blast (קול) of the shophar (Exodus 19:19), i.e., the σάλπιγξ Θεοῦ, the trump of God, such a trumpet as is used in the service of God (in heaven, 1 Thessalonians 4:16; see Winer's Grammar), is not "the voice of Jehovah," but a sound resembling a trumpet blast. Whether this sound was produced by natural means, or, as some of the earlier commentators supposed, by angels, of whom myriads surrounded Jehovah when He came down upon Sinai (Deuteronomy 33:2), it is impossible to decide. At this alarming phenomenon, "all the people that was in the camp trembled" (Exodus 19:16). For according to Exodus 20:20 (17), it was intended to inspire them with a salutary fear of the majesty of God. Then Moses conducted the people (i.e., the men) out of the camp of God, and stationed them at the foot of the mountain outside the barrier (Exodus 19:17); and "Moses spake" (Exodus 19:19), i.e., asked the Lord for His commands, "and God answered loud" (בּקול), and told him to come up to the top of the mountain. He then commanded him to go down again, and impress upon the people that no one was to break through to Jehovah to see, i.e., to break down the barriers that were erected around the mountain as the sacred place of God, and attempt to penetrate into the presence of Jehovah. Even the priests, who were allowed to approach God by virtue of their office, were to sanctify themselves, that Jehovah might not break forth upon them (יפרץ), i.e., dash them to pieces. (On the form העדתה for העידת, see Ewald, 199 a). The priests were neither "the sons of Aaron," i.e., Levitical priest, nor the first-born or principes populi, but "those who had hitherto discharged the duties of the priestly office according to natural right and custom" (Baumgarten). Even these priests were too unholy to be able to come into the presence of the holy God. This repeated enforcement of the command not to touch the mountain, and the special extension of it even to the priests, were intended to awaken in the people a consciousness of their own unholiness quite as much as of the unapproachable holiness of Jehovah. But this separation from God, which arose from the unholiness of the nation, did not extend to Moses and Aaron, who were to act as mediators, and were permitted to ascend the mountain. Moreover, the prospect of ascending the holy mountain "at the drawing of the blast" was still before the people (Exodus 19:13). And the strict prohibition against breaking through the barrier, to come of their own accord into the presence of Jehovah, is by no means at variance with this. When God gave the sign to ascend the mountain, the people might and were to draw near to Him. This sign, viz., the long-drawn trumpet blast, was not to be given in any case till after the promulgation of the ten words of the fundamental law. But it was not given even after this promulgation; not, however, because "the development was altogether an abnormal one, and not in accordance with the divine appointment in Exodus 19:13, inasmuch as at the thunder, the lightning, and the sound of the trumpet, with which the giving of the law was concluded, they lost all courage, and instead of waiting for the promised signal, were overcome with fear, and ran from the spot," for there is not a word in the text about running away; but because the people were so terrified by the alarming phenomena which accompanied the coming down of Jehovah upon the mountain, that they gave up the right of speaking with God, and from a fear of death entreated Moses to undertake the intercourse with God in their behalf (Exodus 20:18-21). Moreover, we cannot speak of an "abnormal development" of the drama, for the simple reason, that God not only foresaw the course and issue of the affair, but at the very outset only promised that He would come to Moses in a thick cloud (Exodus 19:9), and merely announced and carried out His own descent upon Mount Sinai before the eyes of the people in the terrible glory of His sacred majesty (Exodus 19:11), for the purpose of proving the people, that His fear might be before their eyes (Exodus 20:20; cf. Deuteronomy 5:28-29). Consequently, apart from the physical impossibility of 600,000 ascending the mountain, it never was intended that all the people should do so.

(Note: The idea of the people fleeing and running away must have been got by Kurtz from either Luther's or De Wette's translation. They have both of them rendered וגו ויּנעוּ, "they fled and went far off," instead of "they trembled and stood far off." And not only the supposed flight, but his idea that "thunder, lightning, and the trumpet blast (which were silent in any case during the utterance of the ten commandments), concluded the promulgation of the law, as they had already introduced it according to Exodus 19:16," also rests upon a misunderstanding of the text of the Bible. There is not a syllable in Exodus 20:18 about the thunder, lightning, and trumpet blast bursting forth afresh after the proclamation of the ten commandments. There is simply an account of the impression, which the alarming phenomena, mentioned in Exodus 19:16-19 as attending the descent of Jehovah upon the mountain (Exodus 19:20), and preceding His speaking to Moses and the people, made upon the people, who had been brought out of the camp to meet with God.)

What God really intended, came to pass. After the people had been received into fellowship with Jehovah through the atoning blood of the sacrifice, they were permitted to ascend the mountain in the persons of their representatives, and there to see God (Exodus 24:9-11).

Exodus 20:5 Parallel Commentaries

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

bow down

Exodus 23:24 You shall not bow down to their gods, nor serve them, nor do after their works: but you shall utterly overthrow them...

Leviticus 26:1 You shall make you no idols nor graven image, neither raise you up a standing image...

Joshua 23:7,16 That you come not among these nations, these that remain among you; neither make mention of the name of their gods...

Judges 2:19 And it came to pass, when the judge was dead, that they returned, and corrupted themselves more than their fathers...

2 Kings 17:35,41 With whom the LORD had made a covenant, and charged them, saying, You shall not fear other gods, nor bow yourselves to them...

2 Chronicles 25:14 Now it came to pass, after that Amaziah was come from the slaughter of the Edomites, that he brought the gods of the children of Seir...

Isaiah 44:15,19 Then shall it be for a man to burn: for he will take thereof, and warm himself; yes, he kindles it, and bakes bread; yes...

Matthew 4:9 And said to him, All these things will I give you, if you will fall down and worship me.

for I

Exodus 34:14 For you shall worship no other god: for the LORD, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God:

Deuteronomy 4:24 For the LORD your God is a consuming fire, even a jealous God.

Deuteronomy 6:15 (For the LORD your God is a jealous God among you) lest the anger of the LORD your God be kindled against you...

Deuteronomy 32:21 They have moved me to jealousy with that which is not God; they have provoked me to anger with their vanities...

Joshua 24:19 And Joshua said to the people, You cannot serve the LORD: for he is an holy God; he is a jealous God...

Psalm 78:58 For they provoked him to anger with their high places, and moved him to jealousy with their graven images.

Proverbs 6:34,35 For jealousy is the rage of a man: therefore he will not spare in the day of vengeance...

Ezekiel 8:3 And he put forth the form of an hand, and took me by a lock of my head; and the spirit lifted me up between the earth and the heaven...

Daniel 1:2 And the Lord gave Jehoiakim king of Judah into his hand, with part of the vessels of the house of God...

Nahum 1:2 God is jealous, and the LORD revenges; the LORD revenges, and is furious; the LORD will take vengeance on his adversaries...

1 Corinthians 10:22 Do we provoke the Lord to jealousy? are we stronger than he?

visiting

Exodus 34:7 Keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, and that will by no means clear the guilty...

Leviticus 20:5 Then I will set my face against that man, and against his family, and will cut him off, and all that go a whoring after him...

Leviticus 26:29,39,40 And you shall eat the flesh of your sons, and the flesh of your daughters shall you eat...

Numbers 14:18,33 The LORD is long-suffering, and of great mercy, forgiving iniquity and transgression, and by no means clearing the guilty...

1 Samuel 15:2,3 Thus said the LORD of hosts, I remember that which Amalek did to Israel, how he laid wait for him in the way...

2 Samuel 21:1,6 Then there was a famine in the days of David three years, year after year; and David inquired of the LORD. And the LORD answered...

1 Kings 21:29 See you how Ahab humbles himself before me? because he humbles himself before me, I will not bring the evil in his days...

2 Kings 23:26 Notwithstanding the LORD turned not from the fierceness of his great wrath, with which his anger was kindled against Judah...

Job 5:4 His children are far from safety, and they are crushed in the gate, neither is there any to deliver them.

Job 21:19 God lays up his iniquity for his children: he rewards him, and he shall know it.

Psalm 79:8 O remember not against us former iniquities: let your tender mercies speedily prevent us: for we are brought very low.

Psalm 109:14 Let the iniquity of his fathers be remembered with the LORD; and let not the sin of his mother be blotted out.

Isaiah 14:20,21 You shall not be joined with them in burial, because you have destroyed your land, and slain your people...

Isaiah 65:6,7 Behold, it is written before me: I will not keep silence, but will recompense, even recompense into their bosom...

Jeremiah 2:9 Why I will yet plead with you, said the LORD, and with your children's children will I plead.

Jeremiah 32:18 You show loving kindness to thousands, and recompense the iniquity of the fathers into the bosom of their children after them: the Great...

Matthew 23:34-36 Why, behold, I send to you prophets, and wise men, and scribes: and some of them you shall kill and crucify...

of them

Deuteronomy 7:10 And repays them that hate him to their face, to destroy them: he will not be slack to him that hates him...

Deuteronomy 32:41 If I whet my glittering sword, and my hand take hold on judgment; I will render vengeance to my enemies...

Psalm 81:15 The haters of the LORD should have submitted themselves to him: but their time should have endured for ever.

Proverbs 8:36 But he that sins against me wrongs his own soul: all they that hate me love death.

John 7:7 The world cannot hate you; but me it hates, because I testify of it, that the works thereof are evil.

John 15:18,23,24 If the world hate you, you know that it hated me before it hated you...

Romans 1:30 Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents,

Romans 8:7 Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.

James 4:4 You adulterers and adulteresses, know you not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God?...

Cross References
John 9:2
And his disciples asked him, "Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?"

Exodus 23:24
you shall not bow down to their gods nor serve them, nor do as they do, but you shall utterly overthrow them and break their pillars in pieces.

Exodus 34:6
The LORD passed before him and proclaimed, "The LORD, the LORD, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness,

Exodus 34:7
keeping steadfast love for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, but who will by no means clear the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children and the children's children, to the third and the fourth generation."

Exodus 34:14
(for you shall worship no other god, for the LORD, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God),

Deuteronomy 4:24
For the LORD your God is a consuming fire, a jealous God.

Deuteronomy 5:9
You shall not bow down to them or serve them; for I the LORD your God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me,

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