The Second Commandment.

   The Catholics and Protestants number the commandments differently. In this study the second commandment is understood to be "Thou shalt not make any graven images."



Deuteronomy 5: New American

First: 6 'I, the LORD, am your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, that place of slavery.
7 You shall not have other gods besides me.
8 You shall not carve idols for yourselves in the shape of anything in the sky above or on the earth below or in the waters beneath the earth;
9 1 you shall not bow down before them or worship them. For I, the LORD, your God, am a jealous God, inflicting punishments for their fathers' wickedness on the children of those who hate me, down to the third and fourth generation
10 but bestowing mercy, down to the thousandth generation, on the children of those who love me and keep my commandments.

Deuteronomy 5: King James

First: 6 I am the LORD thy God, which brought thee out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage.
7 Thou shalt have none other gods before me.

8 Thou shalt not make 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 waters beneath the earth:
9 Thou shalt not bow down thyself unto them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me,
10 And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me and keep my commandments.

Second: 11 'You shall not take the name of the LORD, your God, in vain. For the LORD will not leave unpunished him who takes his name in vain. Third: 11 Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain: for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain.
Third:  The Sabbath day. Fourth: The Sabbath day.

Statues and Statutes, the words are similar. Is there any connection?    

  Religious images have been a part of religion since the time of the giving of the Ten Commandments. An example is found in God's own temple, even within the Holy of Holies.

   For example, in describing the Arc of the Covenant God said "Thou shalt make two cherubims of gold, of beaten work shalt thou make them, in the two ends of the mercy seat." (Exodus 25:18) Cherubims are winged angels above the Arc of the Covenant. 

1 Kings 7

(23) And he made a molten sea, ten cubits from the one brim to the other: it was round all about, and his height was five cubits: and a line of thirty cubits did compass it round about.

(24) And under the brim of it round about there were knops compassing it, ten in a cubit, compassing the sea round about: the knops were cast in two rows, when it was cast.

(25) It stood upon twelve oxen, three looking toward the north, and three looking toward the west, and three looking toward the south, and three looking toward the east: and the sea was set above upon them, and all their hinder parts were inward.

   In Numbers 21:8 God told Moses to make a brass serpent and put it on a pole. The brass serpent was a "graven image" was it not?  Did God break his own law or is there something about this commandment that we do not understand?  Let's look at the Hebrew words translated "image."

Eight different Hebrew words all translated 'image'

   Leviticus 26:1 contains three different words translated "image."

   "Ye shall make you no idols nor graven image (6459 & 6754), neither rear you up a standing image (4676 & 4676), neither shall you set up any image (4906) of stone, in your land, to bow down unto it, for I am the Lord your God." 

   The commandment is, "Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image" (6459 & 6754).

Hebrew words for 'image' as defined in Strong's Concordance

graven image
(6459 & 6754)
6459: An idol: - carved (graven) image.
6754: From an unused root meaning: to shade; a phantom, i.e. (fig) illusion, resemblance; hence a representative figure, espec. an idol - image, vain shew.
standing image
(4676 & 6754)
4676: Part of 5324: something stationed, i.e. a column or memorial stone; by anal. an idol: garrison, standing image, pillar
 image (4906) 4906: From the same as 7906. a figure, carved on stone, the wall, or any object);  fig. imagination: - conceit, image(ry), picture, x wish.

   The three different items prohibited by God's Law in Leviticus 26:1 and Deuteronomy 5:8 are (1) Graven image. (2) Standing image. (3) Image of stone.

The Other Five Hebrew Words Translated Image

   There are the other Hebrew words translated image. These other words are not used in the Commandment or in Leviticus 26:1. Here are examples of these other words.

2 Samuel 19

11 Saul also sent messengers unto David's house, to watch him, and to slay him in the morning: and Michal David's wife told him, saying, If thou save not thy life to night, to morrow thou shalt be slain.

12 So Michal let David down through a window: and he went, and fled, and escaped.

13 And Michal took an image, (8655) and laid it in the bed, and put a pillow of goats' hair for his bolster, and covered it with a cloth.

14 And when Saul sent messengers to take David, she said, He is sick.

15 And Saul sent the messengers again to see David, saying, Bring him up to me in the bed, that I may slay him.

16 And when the messengers were come in, behold, there was an image (8655) in the bed, with a pillow of goats' hair for his bolster.

 Michal made it look like David was asleep in the bed.

8655: A healer; teraphin, a family idol:-idols(atry), images, teraphim.


Conclusion: A farmer's scare crow is allowed.

2 Chronicles 3

10 "And in the most holy house he made two cherubims of image (6816) work, and overlaid them with gold."

6816: From an unused root meaning. to bestow with carvings: sculpture:-image (work).

One of the sculptures
in the temple.

Job 4

13 In thoughts from the visions of the night, when deep sleep falleth on men,

14 Fear came upon me, and trembling, which made all my bones to shake.

15 Then a spirit passed before my face; the hair of my flesh stood up:

16 It stood still, but I could not discern the form thereof: an image (8544) was before mine eyes, there was silence, and I heard a voice, saying,

17 Shall mortal man be more just than God? shall a man be more pure than his maker?

8544: something positioned (i.e. fashioned) out, as a shape, i.e. (indef.) phantom, or (spec.) embodiment, or (fig) manifestation (of favor) - image, likeness, similitude.

Job had a dream.

Ezekiel 8

5 "Then he said unto me, Son of man, lift up thine eyes now the way toward the north. So I lifted up mine eyes the way toward the north, and behold northward at the gate of the altar this image (5566) in the entry."

6 He said furthermore unto me, Son of man, seest thou what they do? even the great abominations that the house of Israel committeth here, that I should go far off from my sanctuary? but turn thee yet again, and thou shalt see greater abominations.

5566: From an unused root meaning, to resemble; a likeness:-figure, idol, image.

A vision.

Daniel 2

34 "Thou sawest till a stone was cut out without hands, which smote the image (6755) upon his feet that were of iron and clay, and brake them to pieces."

6755: An idolatrous figure:- form, image.

An idol.

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