Exodus 20:4
Parallel Verses
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.

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:

Darby Bible Translation
Thou shalt not make thyself any graven image, or any form of what is in the heavens above, or what is in the earth beneath, or what is in the waters 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.

Exodus 20:4 Parallel
Commentary
Barnes' Notes on the Bible

Graven image - Any sort of image is here intended.

As the first commandment forbids the worship of any false god, seen or unseen, it is here forbidden to worship an image of any sort, whether the figure of a false deity Joshua 23:7 or one in any way symbolic of Yahweh (see Exodus 32:4). The spiritual acts of worship were symbolized in the furniture and ritual of the tabernacle and the altar, and for this end the forms of living things might be employed as in the case of the Cherubim (see Exodus 25:18 note): but the presence of the invisible God was to be marked by no symbol of Himself, but by His words written on stones, preserved in the ark in the holy of holies and covered by the mercy-seat. The ancient Persians and the earliest legislators of Rome also agreed in repudiating images of the Deity.

A jealous God - Deuteronomy 6:15; Joshua 24:19; Isaiah 42:8; Isaiah 48:11; Nahum 1:2. This reason applies to the First, as well as to the second commandment. The truth expressed in it was declared more fully to Moses when the name of Yahweh was proclaimed to him after he had interceded for Israel on account of the golden calf (Exodus 34:6-7; see the note).

Visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children - (Compare Exodus 34:7; Jeremiah 32:18). Sons and remote descendants inherit the consequences of their fathers' sins, in disease, poverty, captivity, with all the influences of bad example and evil communications. (See Leviticus 26:39; Lamentations 5:7 following) The "inherited curse" seems to fall often most heavily on the least guilty persons; but such suffering must always be free from the sting of conscience; it is not like the visitation for sin on the individual by whom the sin has been committed. The suffering, or loss of advantages, entailed on the unoffending son, is a condition under which he has to carry on the struggle of life, and, like all other inevitable conditions imposed upon men, it cannot tend to his ultimate disadvantage, if he struggles well and perseveres to the end. The principle regulating the administration of justice by earthly tribunals Deuteronomy 24:16, is carried out in spiritual matters by the Supreme Judge.

Exodus 20:4 Parallel Commentaries

Library
May the Third Other Gods!
"Thou shalt have no other gods before Me." --EXODUS xx. 1-11. If we kept that commandment all the other commandments would be obeyed. If we secure this queen-bee we are given the swarm. To put nothing "before" God! What is left in the circle of obedience? God first, always and everywhere. Nothing allowed to usurp His throne for an hour! I was once allowed to sit on an earthly throne for a few seconds, but even that is not to be allowed with the throne of God. Nothing is to share His sovereignty,
John Henry Jowett—My Daily Meditation for the Circling Year

Traditionalism, Its Origin, Character, and Literature - the Mishnah and Talmud - the Gospel of Christ - the Dawn of a New Day.
In trying to picture to ourselves New Testament scenes, the figure most prominent, next to those of the chief actors, is that of the Scribe ({hebrew}, grammates, literatus). He seems ubiquitous; we meet him in Jerusalem, in Judæa, and even in Galilee. [437] Indeed, he is indispensable, not only in Babylon, which may have been the birthplace of his order, but among the dispersion' also. [438] Everywhere he appears as the mouthpiece and representative of the people; he pushes to the front, the
Alfred Edersheim—The Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah

The Right Understanding of the Law
Thou shalt have no other Gods before me.' Exod 20: 3. Before I come to the commandments, I shall answer questions, and lay down rules respecting the moral law. What is the difference between the moral laud and the gospel? (1) The law requires that we worship God as our Creator; the gospel, that we worship him in and through Christ. God in Christ is propitious; out of him we may see God's power, justice, and holiness: in him we see his mercy displayed. (2) The moral law requires obedience, but gives
Thomas Watson—The Ten Commandments

The First Commandment
Thou shalt have no other gods before me.' Exod 20: 3. Why is the commandment in the second person singular, Thou? Why does not God say, You shall have no other gods? Because the commandment concerns every one, and God would have each one take it as spoken to him by name. Though we are forward to take privileges to ourselves, yet we are apt to shift off duties from ourselves to others; therefore the commandment is in the second person, Thou and Thou, that every one may know that it is spoken to him,
Thomas Watson—The Ten Commandments

Cross References
Exodus 32:8
"They have quickly turned aside from the way which I commanded them. They have made for themselves a molten calf, and have worshiped it and have sacrificed to it and said, 'This is your god, O Israel, who brought you up from the land of Egypt!'"

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

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

Leviticus 26:1
You shall not make for yourselves idols, nor shall you set up for yourselves an image or a sacred pillar, nor shall you place a figured stone in your land to bow down to it; for I am the LORD your God.

Numbers 12:8
With him I speak mouth to mouth, Even openly, and not in dark sayings, And he beholds the form of the LORD. Why then were you not afraid To speak against My servant, against Moses?"

Deuteronomy 4:15
"So watch yourselves carefully, since you did not see any form on the day the LORD spoke to you at Horeb from the midst of the fire,

Deuteronomy 4:16
so that you do not act corruptly and make a graven image for yourselves in the form of any figure, the likeness of male or female,

Jump to Previous
Below Beneath Earth Form Graven Heaven Heavens Idol Image Likeness Manner Picture Thyself Water Waters Yourselves
Jump to Next
Below Beneath Earth Form Graven Heaven Heavens Idol Image Likeness Manner Picture Thyself Water Waters Yourselves
Links
Exodus 20:4 NIV
Exodus 20:4 NLT
Exodus 20:4 ESV
Exodus 20:4 NASB
Exodus 20:4 KJV

Exodus 20:4 Bible Apps
Exodus 20:4 Biblia Paralela
Exodus 20:4 Chinese Bible
Exodus 20:4 French Bible
Exodus 20:4 German Bible

Exodus 20:4 Commentaries

Bible Hub
Exodus 20:3
Top of Page
Top of Page