Deuteronomy 4:23
Take heed to yourselves, lest you forget the covenant of the LORD your God, which he made with you, and make you a graven image, or the likeness of any thing, which the LORD your God has forbidden you.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
Deuteronomy 4:23. Lest you forget the covenant of the Lord your God — Lest you either disregard the knowledge of God’s law, or wilfully disobey it, now it is declared to you, and thereby bring misery and destruction upon yourselves.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.Divided - i. e., "whose light God has distributed to the nations for their use and benefit, and which therefore being creatures ministering to man's convenience must not be worshipped as man's lords." 20. But the Lord hath taken you, and brought you forth out of the iron furnace—that is, furnace for smelting iron. A furnace of this kind is round, sometimes thirty feet deep, and requiring the highest intensity of heat. Such is the tremendous image chosen to represent the bondage and affliction of the Israelites [Rosenmuller].

to be unto him a people of inheritance—His peculiar possession from age to age; and therefore for you to abandon His worship for that of idols, especially the gross and debasing system of idolatry that prevails among the Egyptians, would be the greatest folly—the blackest ingratitude.

Or, commanded thee, to wit, not to do, which is easily understood by comparing this place with Exodus 20:4,5, and with Genesis 3:11, where this phrase is fully expressed. See more on Leviticus 4:2 Deu 2:37. Take heed unto yourselves,.... Since he should not be long with them, to advise, instruct, and caution them:

lest ye forget the covenant of the Lord your God, which he made with you; what that required of them, and what was promised unto them on the performance of it, and what they must expect should they break it, and particularly be so forgetful of it, and the first articles in it, as follows:

and make you a graven image, or the likeness of anything which the Lord thy God hath forbidden thee; a graven image in the likeness of men or women, of any beast on the earth, or fowl in heaven, or fish in the sea.

Take heed unto yourselves, lest ye forget the covenant of the LORD your God, which he made with you, and make you a graven image, or the likeness of any thing, which the LORD thy God hath forbidden thee.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
23. Take heed unto yourselves] See on Deuteronomy 4:9; Deuteronomy 4:15; covenant, see on Deuteronomy 4:13; and for the rest Deuteronomy 4:16.Verse 23. - A graven image, or the likeness of any thing, etc. - literally, a graven (sculptured) image of a form of all that Jehovah thy God hath commanded thee; s.c. not to make (cf. Deuteronomy 16-18 and Deuteronomy 2:37). They were also not to make an image of any kind of beast; a caution against imitating the animal worship of Egypt.
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