For you shall worship no other god: for the LORD, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God:
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)For thou shalt worship no other god.—The images, altars, and groves would, if retained, lead on to the worship of the gods to whom they were dedicated—indeed, they could be retained for no other purpose. Thus their destruction followed, as a corollary, from the second commandment.
Whose name is Jealous.—Comp. Exodus 20:5, and see Note 2 on that passage. Many attempts have been made to show that jealousy is unworthy of the Divine Nature; but that the one Only God, if there be but one Only God, should claim and exact under severe penalties an undivided allegiance is natural, reasonable, and in harmony with the most exalted conceptions of the Divine essence. If God looked with indifference upon idolatry, it would imply that He cared little for His human creatures: that, like the Deity of Epicurus, having once created man and the world, He thenceforth paid no attention to them.Genesis 21:33. Our translators supposed that what the law commands is the destruction of groves dedicated to the worship of false deities Judges 6:25; 2 Kings 18:4; but inasmuch as the worship of asherah is found associated with that of Astarte, or Ashtoreth Judges 2:13; Judges 10:6; 1 Samuel 7:4, it seems probable that while Astarte was the personal name of the goddess, the asherah was a symbol of her, probably in some one of her characters, made in wood in some conventional form.Whose name is Jealous; who hath made himself known by, and glories in that name, The jealous God, who cannot endure any competitor or corrival; whereas the false and puny gods of the heathens were contented with multitudes of partners. So this is properly said to be the name of God, whereby he is known and distinguished from all other gods.
for the Lord whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God; his name and nature answer to one another; he admits of no rival or competitor in worship; he will not give his glory to another god, or one so called, nor his praise to graven images; and in this he is distinguished from all nominal and fictitious gods, who have many joined with them, and are rivals of them, which gives them no concern, because insensible; but it is otherwise with the Lord, who knows the dishonour done him, and resents it, and is as jealous of any worship being given to another, as the husband is of the honour of his marriage bed; for idolatry is spiritual adultery, as is suggested in the following verse.For thou shalt worship no other god: for the LORD, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God:
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)14. thou shalt not worship any other god] Cf. the plural ‘other gods,’ in Exodus 20:3. ‘Worship’ is lit. bow down (Exodus 20:5), as regularly.
whose name is Jealous] on ‘name’ (= ‘character’), see on Exodus 33:19.
a jealous God] as Exodus 20:5, where see the note.Verse 14. - For thou shalt worship no other God. This is a reference to the Second Commandment (Exodus 20:5). The meaning is - "Thou shalt not spare the idolatrous emblems of the Canaanite nations, for thou couldst only do so to worship them, and thou art already forbidden to worship any other god beside me." The existence of the Decalogue and its binding nature, is assumed throughout this chapter Exodus 33:14), he was directed by Jehovah to hew out two stones, like the former ones which he had broken, and to come with them the next morning up the mountain, and Jehovah would write upon them the same words as upon the first,
(Note: Namely, the ten words in Exodus 20:2-17, not the laws contained in Exodus 34:12-26 of this chapter, as Gthe and Hitzig suppose. See Hengstenberg, Dissertations ii. p. 319, and Kurtz on the Old Covenant iii.182ff.)
and thus restore the covenant record. It was also commanded, as in the former case (Exodus 19:12-13), that no one should go up the mountain with him, or be seen upon it, and that not even cattle should feed against the mountain, i.e., in the immediate neighbourhood (Exodus 34:3). The first tables of the covenant were called "tables of stone" (Exodus 24:12; Exodus 31:18); the second, on the other hand, which were hewn by Moses, are called "tables of stones" (Exodus 34:1 and Exodus 34:4); and the latter expression is applied indiscriminately to both of them in Deuteronomy 4:13; Deuteronomy 5:19; Deuteronomy 9:9-11; Deuteronomy 10:1-4. This difference does not indicate a diversity in the records, but may be explained very simply from the fact, that the tables prepared by Moses were hewn from two stones, and not both from the same block; whereas all that could be said of the former, which had been made by God Himself, was that they were of stone, since no one knew whether God had used one stone or two for the purpose. There is apparently far more importance in the following distinction, that the second tables were delivered by Moses and only written upon by God, whereas in the case of the former both the writing and the materials came from God. This cannot have been intended either as a punishment for the nation (Hengstenberg), or as "the sign of a higher stage of the covenant, inasmuch as the further the reciprocity extended, the firmer was the covenant" (Baumgarten). It is much more natural to seek for the cause, as Rashi does, in the fact, that Moses had broken the first in pieces; only we must not regard it as a sign that God disapproved of the manifestation of anger on the part of Moses, but rather as a recognition of his zealous exertions for the restoration of the covenant which had been broken by the sin of the nation. As Moses had restored the covenant through his energetic intercession, he should also provide the materials for the renewal of the covenant record, and bring them to God, for Him to complete and confirm the record by writing the covenant words upon the tables.
On the following morning, when Moses ascended the mountain, Jehovah granted him the promised manifestation of His glory (Exodus 34:5.). The description of this unparalleled occurrence is in perfect harmony with the mysterious and majestic character of the revelation. "Jehovah descended (from heaven) in the cloud, and stood by him there, and proclaimed the name of Jehovah; and Jehovah passed by in his sight, and proclaimed Jehovah, Jehovah God, merciful and gracious," etc. What Moses saw we are not told, but simply the words in which Jehovah proclaimed all the glory of His being; whilst it is recorded of Moses, that he bowed his head toward the earth and worshipped. This "sermon on the name of the Lord," as Luther calls it, disclosed to Moses the most hidden nature of Jehovah. It proclaimed that God is love, but that kind of love in which mercy, grace, long-suffering, goodness, and truth are united with holiness and justice. As the merciful One, who is great in goodness and truth, Jehovah shows mercy to the thousandth, forgiving sin and iniquity in long-suffering and grace; but He does not leave sin altogether unpunished, and in His justice visits the sin of the fathers upon the children and the children's children even unto the fourth generation. The Lord had already revealed Himself to the whole nation from Mount Sinai as visiting sin and showing mercy (Exodus 20:5.). But whereas on that occasion the burning zeal of Jehovah which visits sin stood in the foreground, and mercy only followed afterwards, here grace, mercy, and goodness are placed in the front. And accordingly all the words which the language contained to express the idea of grace in its varied manifestations to the sinner, are crowded together here, to reveal the fact that in His inmost being God is love. But in order that grace may not be perverted by sinners into a ground of wantonness, justice is not wanting even here with its solemn threatenings, although it only follows mercy, to show that mercy is mightier than wrath, and that holy love does not punish til sinners despise the riches of the goodness, patience, and long-suffering of God. As Jehovah here proclaimed His name, so did He continue to bear witness of it to the Israelites, from their departure from Sinai till their entrance into Canaan, and from that time forward till their dispersion among the heathen, and even now in their exile showing mercy to the thousandth, when they turn to the Redeemer who has come out of Zion.
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