|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
26:1-13 This chapter contains a general enforcement of all the laws given by Moses; by promises of reward in case of obedience, on the one hand; and threatenings of punishment for disobedience, on the other. While Israel maintained a national regard to God's worship, sabbaths, and sanctuary, and did not turn aside to idolatry, the Lord engaged to continue to them temporal mercies and religious advantages. These great and precious promises, though they relate chiefly to the life which now is, were typical of the spiritual blessings made sure by the covenant of grace to all believers, through Christ. 1. Plenty and abundance of the fruits of the earth. Every good and perfect gift must be expected from above, from the Father of lights. 2. Peace under the Divine protection. Those dwell in safety, that dwell in God. 3. Victory and success in their wars. It is all one with the Lord to save by many or by few. 4. The increase of their people. The gospel church shall be fruitful. 5. The favour of God, which is the fountain of all Good. 6. Tokens of his presence in and by his ordinances. The way to have God's ordinances fixed among us, is to cleave closely to them. 7. The grace of the covenant. All covenant blessings are summed up in the covenant relation, I will be your God, and ye shall be my people; and they are all grounded upon their redemption. Having purchased them, God would own them, and never cast them off till they cast him off.
Verse 1. - Ye shall make you no idols nor graven image, neither rear you up a standing image, neither shall ye set up any image of stone in your land, to bow down unto it. The word idols (elilim) means the "nothings" which the heathen substituted for the Lord God. The graven image (here meaning a carved wooden image), the standing image (meaning a sacred pillar), and the image of stone (that is, a sculptured stone idol), are the three forms of images under which adoration was paid, whether to the true God or to a false doily. The expression, to bow down unto (or towards) it, forbids worshipping before an image as well as worshipping an image.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Ye shall have no idols, or graven image,.... Some of the Jewish writers, as Jarchi and Aben Ezra, think this law against idolatry is mentioned on account of the Israelite sold to a stranger, spoken of in the latter part of the preceding chapter, lest he should be drawn into idolatry; See Gill on Leviticus 25:48; but this is rather mentioned as being a principal law, respecting the honour and glory of God, and the foundation of all religion and godliness, and the breach of it a capital crime, and which led on to other sins, and exposed to the displeasure and resentment of God, and brought on all the calamities after mentioned in this chapter. "Idols" here signify "things of nought", as an idol is nothing in the world, 1 Corinthians 8:4; and a "graven image", any likeness of man or beast cut out of wood, or stone; and may include any molten image of gold, silver, or brass, and then engraven with a tool, as the golden calf was, Exodus 32:4,
neither rear you up a standing image; or pillar (g); an heap of rude stones, set up pillar, not bearing the likeness of any creature; otherwise graven and molten images were standing ones, but these were statues without any figure; such as the Arabians used to worship; the god Mars, worshipped in Arabia Petraea, was no other than a black stone four square, unformed, four feet high, and two broad, and was placed on a basis of gold (h):
neither shall ye set up any image of stone in your land, to bow down unto; any "figured stone", as the Targum and Aben Ezra interpret it, which had figures and representations of creatures cut in it, in order to bow down unto and worship: the word has the signification of covering, as they cover a floor with a pavement of stones:
for I am the Lord your God; who is the alone object of religious worship and adoration.
(g) Sept. "titulos", V. L. "titulum", Samar. Ar. "pillar", Ainsworth. (h) "Suidas in voce" Vid. Arnob. adv. Gentes, l. 6. p. 232.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
Le 26:1, 2. Of Idolatry.
1. Ye shall make you no idols—Idolatry had been previously forbidden (Ex 20:4, 5), but the law was repeated here with reference to some particular forms of it that were very prevalent among the neighboring nations.
a standing image—that is, "upright pillar."
image of stone—that is, an obelisk, inscribed with hieroglyphical and superstitious characters; the former denoting the common and smaller pillars of the Syrians or Canaanites; the latter, pointing to the large and elaborate obelisks which the Egyptians worshipped as guardian divinities, or used as stones of adoration to stimulate religious worship. The Israelites were enjoined to beware of them.
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