Exodus 20:4
New International Version
“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.

New Living Translation
“You must not make for yourself an idol of any kind or an image of anything in the heavens or on the earth or in the sea.

English Standard Version
“You shall not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth.

Berean Study Bible
You shall not make for yourself an idol in the form of anything in the heavens above, on the earth below, or in the waters beneath.

King James Bible
Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth:

New King James Version
“You shall not make for yourself a carved image—any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth;

New American Standard Bible
“You shall not make for yourself an idol, or any likeness of what is in heaven above or on the earth beneath, or in the water under the earth.

NASB 1995
“You shall not make for yourself an idol, or any likeness of what is in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the water under the earth.

NASB 1977
“You shall not make for yourself an idol, or any likeness of what is in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the water under the earth.

Amplified Bible
“You shall not make for yourself any idol, or any likeness (form, manifestation) of what is in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the water under the earth [as an object to worship].

Christian Standard Bible
Do not make an idol for yourself, whether in the shape of anything in the heavens above or on the earth below or in the waters under the earth.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
Do not make an idol for yourself, whether in the shape of anything in the heavens above or on the earth below or in the waters under the earth.

American Standard Version
Thou shalt not make unto thee a graven image, nor any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth.

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
You shall not make for you any image or any form that is in Heaven from above or what is in the earth from beneath or what is in the water beneath the Earth:

Brenton Septuagint Translation
Thou shalt not make to thyself an idol, nor likeness of anything, whatever things are in the heaven above, and whatever are in the earth beneath, and whatever are in the waters under the earth.

Contemporary English Version
Do not make idols that look like anything in the sky or on earth or in the ocean under the earth.

Douay-Rheims Bible
Thou shalt not make to thyself a graven thing, nor the likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or in the earth beneath, nor of those things that are in the waters under the earth.

English Revised Version
Thou shalt not make unto thee a graven image, nor the likeness of any form that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth:

Good News Translation
"Do not make for yourselves images of anything in heaven or on earth or in the water under the earth.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
Never make your own carved idols or statues that represent any creature in the sky, on the earth, or in the water.

International Standard Version
"You are not to make for yourselves an idol, or any likeness of what is in heaven above, or on earth below, or in the water under the earth.

JPS Tanakh 1917
Thou shalt not make unto thee a graven image, nor any manner of likeness, of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth;

Literal Standard Version
You do not make a carved image for yourself, or any likeness which [is] in the heavens above, or which [is] in the earth beneath, or which [is] in the waters under the earth.

NET Bible
"You shall not make for yourself a carved image or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above or that is on the earth beneath or that is in the water below.

New Heart English Bible
"Do not make for yourselves an idol, nor any image of anything that is in the heavens above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth:

World English Bible
"You shall not make for yourselves an idol, nor any image of anything that is in the heavens above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth:

Young's Literal Translation
Thou dost not make to thyself a graven image, or any likeness which is in the heavens above, or which is in the earth beneath, or which is in the waters under the earth.

Additional Translations ...
Context
The Ten Commandments
3You shall have no other gods before Me. 4You shall not make for yourself an idol in the form of anything in the heavens above, on the earth below, or in the waters beneath. 5You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on their children to the third and fourth generations of those who hate Me,…

Cross References
Exodus 32:8
How quickly they have turned aside from the way that I commanded them! They have made for themselves a molten calf and have bowed down to it. They have sacrificed to it and said, 'These, O Israel, are your gods, who brought you up out of the land of Egypt.'"

Exodus 34:17
You shall make no molten gods for yourselves.

Leviticus 19:4
Do not turn to idols or make for yourselves molten gods. I am the LORD your God.

Leviticus 26:1
"You must not make idols for yourselves or set up a carved image or sacred pillar; you must not place a sculpted stone in your land to bow down to it. For I am the LORD your God.

Numbers 12:8
I speak with him face to face, clearly and not in riddles; he sees the form of the LORD. Why then were you unafraid to speak against My servant Moses?"

Deuteronomy 4:15
So since you saw no form of any kind on the day the LORD spoke to you out of the fire at Horeb, be careful

Deuteronomy 4:16
that you do not act corruptly and make an idol for yourselves of any form or shape, whether in the likeness of a male or female,


Treasury of Scripture

You shall not make to you any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth.

Exodus 32:1,8,23
And when the people saw that Moses delayed to come down out of the mount, the people gathered themselves together unto Aaron, and said unto him, Up, make us gods, which shall go before us; for as for this Moses, the man that brought us up out of the land of Egypt, we wot not what is become of him…

Exodus 34:17
Thou shalt make thee no molten gods.

Leviticus 19:4
Turn ye not unto idols, nor make to yourselves molten gods: I am the LORD your God.









(4) Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image.--The two main clauses of the second commandment are to be read together, so as to form one sentence: "Thou shalt not make to thee any graven image, &c., so as to worship it." (See the explanation of Josephus, Ant. Jud., iii. 5, ? 5: '? ???????? ???? ??????? ??????? ?????? ???? ?????????? ??????????.) It was not until the days of Hebrew decline and degeneracy that a narrow literalism pressed the words into an absolute prohibition of the arts of painting and sculpture (Philo, De Oraculis, ? 29). Moses himself sanctioned the cherubic forms above the mercy-seat, the brazen serpent, and the lilies and pomegranates of the golden candlestick. Solomon had lions on the steps of his throne, oxen under his "molten sea," and palm-trees, flowers, and cherubim on the walls of the Temple, "within and without" (1Kings 6:29). What the second commandment forbade was the worship of God under a material form. It asserted the spirituality of Jehovah. While in the rest of the ancient world there was scarcely a single nation or tribe which did not "make to itself" images of the gods, and regard the images themselves with superstitious veneration, in Judaism alone was this seductive practice disallowed. God would have no likeness made of Him, no representation that might cloud the conception of His entire separation from matter, His purely spiritual essence.

In heaven above . . . in the earth beneath . . . in the water under the earth.--Comp. Genesis 1:1-7. The triple division is regarded as embracing the whole material universe. In the Egyptian idolatry images of all three kinds were included.

Verse 4. As the first commandment asserts the unity of God, and is a protest against polytheism, so the second asserts his spirituality, and is a protest against idolatry and materialism. Verses 4 and 5 are to be taken together, the prohibition being intended, not to forbid the arts of sculpture and painting, or even to condemn the religious use of them, but to disallow the worship of God under material forms. When the later Jews condemned all representations of natural objects (Philo, De Orac. 29; Joseph. Ant. Jud. 8:7, § 5), they not only enslaved themselves to a literalism, which is alien from the spirit of both covenants, but departed from the practice of more primitive times - representations of such objects having had their place both in the tabernacle (Exodus 25:31-34; Exodus 28:33, 34) and in the first temple (1 Kings 6:18, 29, 32, etc.). Indeed, Moses himself, when he erected the "brazen serpent" (Numbers 21:9) made it clear that representations of natural objects were not disallowed by the law. To moderns in civilized countries it seems almost incredible that there should ever have been anywhere a real worship of images. But acquaintance with ancient history or even with the present condition of man in savage or backward countries, renders it apparent that there is a subtle fascination in such material forms, and that imperfectly developed minds will rest in them not as mere emblems of divinity, but as actually possessed of Divine powers The protest raised by the second commandment is still as necessary as ever, not only in the world, but in the very Christian Church itself, where there exists even at the present day a superstitious regard for images and pictures, which is not only irrational, but which absorbs the religious feelings that should have been directed to higher objects. Any graven image. Perhaps it would be better to translate "any image," for the term used (pesel) is applied, not only to "graven" but also to "molten images" (Isaiah 40:19; Isaiah 44:10; Jeremiah 10:14; etc.), since these last were in almost every instance finished by the graving tool. Or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above - i.e., "any likeness of any winged fowl that flieth in the air." Compare Deuteronomy 4:17. The water under the earth. See Genesis 1:6, 7. The triple division here and elsewhere made, is intended to embrace the whole material universe. Much of the Egyptian religion consisted in the worship of animals and their images.

Parallel Commentaries ...


Hebrew
{You shall} not
לֹֽ֣א (lō)
Adverb - Negative particle
Strong's 3808: Not, no

make
תַֽעֲשֶׂ֨ה־ (ṯa·‘ă·śeh-)
Verb - Qal - Imperfect - second person masculine singular
Strong's 6213: To do, make

for yourself
לְךָ֥֣ (lə·ḵā)
Preposition | second person masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew

an idol
פֶ֣֙סֶל֙ ׀‪‬ (p̄e·sel)
Noun - masculine singular
Strong's 6459: An idol, image

of any kind,
וְכָל־ (wə·ḵāl)
Conjunctive waw | Noun - masculine singular construct
Strong's 3605: The whole, all, any, every

or an image
תְּמוּנָ֡֔ה (tə·mū·nāh)
Noun - feminine singular
Strong's 8544: Something portioned, out, as a, shape, phantom, embodiment, manifestation

of anything
אֲשֶׁ֤֣ר (’ă·šer)
Pronoun - relative
Strong's 834: Who, which, what, that, when, where, how, because, in order that

in the heavens
בַּשָּׁמַ֣֙יִם֙ ׀ (baš·šā·ma·yim)
Preposition-b, Article | Noun - masculine plural
Strong's 8064: Heaven, sky

above,
מִמַּ֡֔עַל (mim·ma·‘al)
Preposition-m | Adverb
Strong's 4605: The upper part, with prefix upward, above, overhead, from the top

the earth
בָּאָ֖֨רֶץ (bā·’ā·reṣ)
Preposition-b, Article | Noun - feminine singular
Strong's 776: Earth, land

below,
מִתַָּ֑֜חַת‪‬ (mit·ta·ḥaṯ)
Preposition-m | Adverb
Strong's 8478: The bottom, below, in lieu of

or the waters
בַּמַּ֖֣יִם ׀ (bam·ma·yim)
Preposition-b, Article | Noun - masculine plural
Strong's 4325: Water, juice, urine, semen

under
מִתַּ֥֣חַת (mit·ta·ḥaṯ)
Preposition-m
Strong's 8478: The bottom, below, in lieu of

the earth.
לָאָֽ֗רֶץ‪‬ (lā·’ā·reṣ)
Preposition-l, Article | Noun - feminine singular
Strong's 776: Earth, land


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OT Law: Exodus 20:4 You shall not make for yourselves (Exo. Ex)
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