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Ye shall have no idols, or graven image…
Some of the Jewish writers, as Jarchi and Aben Ezra, think this law against idolatry is mentioned on account of the Israelite sold to a stranger, spoken of in the latter part of the preceding chapter, lest he should be drawn into idolatry; (See Gill on 25:48); but this is rather mentioned as being a principal law, respecting the honour and glory of God, and the foundation of all religion and godliness, and the breach of it a capital crime, and which led on to other sins, and exposed to the displeasure and resentment of God, and brought on all the calamities after mentioned in this chapter. "Idols" here signify "things of nought", as an idol is nothing in the world, (1 Corinthians 8:4) ; and a "graven image", any likeness of man or beast cut out of wood, or stone; and may include any molten image of gold, silver, or brass, and then engraven with a tool, as the golden calf was, (Exodus 32:4) : neither rear you up a standing image;
or pillar F7; an heap of rude stones, set up pillar, not bearing the likeness of any creature; otherwise graven and molten images were standing ones, but these were statues without any figure; such as the Arabians used to worship; the god Mars, worshipped in Arabia Petraea, was no other than a black stone four square, unformed, four feet high, and two broad, and was placed on a basis of gold F8; neither shall ye set up [any] image of stone in your land, to bow down
any "figured stone", as the Targum and Aben Ezra interpret it, which had figures and representations of creatures cut in it, in order to bow down unto and worship: the word has the signification of covering, as they cover a floor with a pavement of stones: for I [am] the Lord your God;
who is the alone object of religious worship and adoration.
The New John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible Modernised and adapted for the computer by Larry Pierce of Online Bible. All Rightes Reserved, Larry Pierce, Winterbourne, Ontario.
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