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Spence, H. D. M., etc.

The Pulpit Commentary - Exodus 20:5

Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them. Every outward sign of honour was shown to images in the ancient world. They were not regarded as emblems, but as actual embodiments of deity. There was a special rite in Greece (Theopoea) by means of which the gods were inducted into their statues, and made to take up their abodes in them. Seneca says of the Romans of his own day—"They pray to these images of the gods, implore them on bended knee , sit or stand long days before them, throw them... read more

Albert Barnes

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible - Exodus 20:1-17

The Hebrew name which is rendered in our King James Version as the ten commandments occurs in Exodus 34:28; Deuteronomy 4:13; Deuteronomy 10:4. It literally means “the Ten Words.” The Ten Commandments are also called the law, even the commandment Exodus 24:12, the words of the covenant Exodus 34:28, the tables of the covenant Deuteronomy 9:9, the covenant Deuteronomy 4:13, the two tables Deuteronomy 9:10, Deuteronomy 9:17, and, most frequently, the testimony (e. g. Exodus 16:34; Exodus 25:16),... read more

Joseph Benson

Joseph Benson's Commentary of the Old and New Testaments - Exodus 20:3-6

Exodus 20:3-6. The first commandment is concerning the object of our worship, Jehovah, and him only: Thou shalt have no other gods before me The Egyptians, and other neighbouring nations, had many gods, creatures of their own fancy. This law was prefixed because of that transgression; and Jehovah being the God of Israel, they must entirely cleave to him and no other, either of their own invention, or borrowed from their neighbours. The sin against this commandment which we are most... read more

Donald C. Fleming

Bridgeway Bible Commentary - Exodus 20:1-17

Basic principles of the covenant (20:1-17)The form of the covenant God made with Israel followed a pattern that was common in the ancient world when an overlord made a covenant with his subjects. God introduced himself to his people by declaring his name and status as Yahweh the sovereign Lord, and recounting to his people what he had graciously done for them. He reminded them that their God was living and active, and that the words they were about to hear were a revelation direct from him... read more

E.W. Bullinger

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes - Exodus 20:5

jealous = zealous. Figure of speech Anthropopatheia. App-6 . Compare Deuteronomy 4:24 .Hebrews 12:29 . GOD = El. See App-4 . visiting = charging. This burden of God's revela tion of Himself reappears in Exodus 34:6 , Exodus 34:7 . Numbers 14:18 . Deuteronomy 5:9 , Deuteronomy 5:10 . The punishment being not lengthened in vengeance, but distributed in mercy over the third and fourth, so that the whole weight falls not on the first or second. iniquity. Hebrew. 'avon. App-44 . children =... read more

James Burton Coffman

Coffman Commentaries on the Bible - Exodus 20:4-6

THE SECOND COMMANDMENTTHOU SHALT NOT MAKE UNTO THEE ANY GRAVEN IMAGE (EXO. 20:4) "And God spake all these words, saying, I am Jehovah thy God, who brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. Thou shalt have no other gods before me. 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: thou shalt not bow down thyself unto them, nor serve them; for I... read more

Thomas Coke

Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible - Exodus 20:5

Exodus 20:5. Thou shalt not bow down thyself, &c.— This fully shews the meaning of the prohibition in the former verse. As a strong sanction to secure its observance, the LORD adds, that he is a jealous God, i.e. (speaking of God after the manner of men) so zealous for his own honour, as not to bear a rival in his worship, Isa 42:8 and so full of just indignation, when that honour is injured, as not to spare those who transgress against him; visiting the iniquity of the fathers, &c.... read more

Thomas Constable

Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable - Exodus 20:1-17

2. The Ten Commandments 20:1-17"We now reach the climax of the entire Book, the central and most exalted theme, all that came before being, as it were, a preparation for it, and all that follows, a result of, and supplement to it." [Note: Cassuto, p. 235.] There are two types of law in the Old Testament, and these existed commonly in the ancient Near East. Apodictic laws are commands with the force of categorical imperatives. They are positive or negative. The Ten Commandments are an example of... read more

Thomas Constable

Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable - Exodus 20:4-6

The second commandment 20:4-6"As the first commandment forbids any association with other gods to those who would be Yahweh’s, the second commandment and the two that follow it set special dimensions of their relationship with him." [Note: Ibid.] This command was a prohibition against making images or likenesses of Yahweh. God did not forbid making pictures or images of other creatures. The rationale behind this command is that any likeness of God demeans Him and retards rather than advances... read more

John Dummelow

John Dummelow's Commentary on the Bible - Exodus 20:1-26

The Ten Commandments (vv. 1-21)Exodus 20-23, containing (1) the Decalogue (Gk. = ’Ten Words’ or ’Commandments’) and (2) a code of laws regulating the religious and social life of the people, and called the Book of the Covenant (see Exodus 24:7), form perhaps the most important part of the Pentateuch. It is the nucleus of the entire Mosaic legislation, and in all probability existed for long as a separate document.1-17. The Decalogue. In chapter Exodus 34:28; Deuteronomy 4:13 this is called the... read more

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