The Second commandment

Part 1

Romans 1:25:

"...who exchanged the truth of God for the lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen"

This article will be on the second commandment as listed in Exodus 20.

We find the Israelites camping at the foot of Mt. Sinai. As told in my last article, they had just been redeemed. The Creator brought them to this point with signs and wonders no mortal man could dismiss; miracles beyond comprehension. He let them know who He was and who they were.

Exodus 19:3-4:

"And Moses went up to God, and the Lord called to Him from the mountain, saying, 'Thus you shall say to house of Jacob, and tell the children of Israel; you have seen what I did to the Egyptians, and how I bore you on eagles wings and brought you to Myself."

They were the children of Israel and He was the one who redeemed them. As stated in my last article the word redeemed means to be bought by a family member, to buy back a relative’s property. An example was a man marrying the widow of his brother. The prime example of this for us today would be the sacrifice of the Messiah. Through His death we were redeemed, bought back from Satan, from the bondage of sin.

1 Peter 1:18-19:

"....knowing that you were not redeemed with corruptible things, like silver or gold, from your aimless conduct received by tradition from your fathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, as a lamb without blemish or spot."

It was here that a new nation was to form, and as with all nations a constitution had to be drawn up. As explained the Ten Commandments are the preamble to constitution for the Nation of Israel, physical and spiritual. We found His first commandment was in reality a declaration of His identity.  We are to have no other gods before Them, because the Creator is our Father and Yahoshua is our elder brother.  They redeemed ancient Israel out of slavery and us out of sin. To deny the first commandment is to deny His identity and ours.

This brings us to the second commandment.

Exodus 20:4-6:

"You shall not make for yourself any carved {graven} 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; you shall not bow down to them nor serve them. For I the Lord your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and fourth generations of those who hate Me, but showing mercy to thousands, to those who love Me and My commandments."

John 14:15

If you love Me, keep My commandments.”

Let us break this commandment down. We are not to make any carved image or any likeness. The King James Version uses the word "graven" instead of "carved". In the Strong's Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible, the word graven is from the Hebrew word pecel; pronounced peh-'sel; 

defined as; an idola carved image

It comes from the Hebrew word pacal; pronounced paw-sal' ;

defined as; to carve, whether wood or stone

The word "image" comes from the Hebrew word tselem; pronounced tseh-lem;

defined as; to shade, phantom, i.e. illusion, resemblance, hence a representative, figure, idol

The word "likeness" comes from the Hebrew word t'munah; pronounced tem-oo-maw;

defined as; something portioned i.e. fashioned out, as a shape, phantom, or embodiment, manifestation; image, likeness, similitude

In other words we are not to carve out of any material anything that looks like or represents anything from the sky, the earth, or the sea. Why?? Is it wrong to paint a picture of bird or to make a sculpture of a lion, or even a man? The answer is in the next part of the verse. He tells us not to bow down and serve them. That is when they become idols. The word translated "graven" from the Hebrew specifically meant "idol". He is saying not to carve an idol; which by its very existence is to be served. That is the purpose of an idol. To get a better understanding let us turn to Genesis chapter one. 

This is known by some as the creation chapter. It is in this chapter where God transforms the earth and brings it to life in six days. For our purposes we shall begin on the fourth day.

Genesis 1:16:

"Then God made two great lights; the greater to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night. He made the stars also. God set them in the firmament of the heavens to give light on earth...."

Now to the fifth day.

Genesis 1:20:

"Then God said, 'Let the waters abound with an abundance of living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the face of the firmament of the heavens.' "

So we see we have two of the three things God commanded Israel not make images of: the things which are in the heavens, and the things which are in the water.

The sixth day.

Genesis 1:24:

Then God said, "Let the earth bring forth the living creature according to its kind: cattle and creeping thing and beast of the earth, each according to its kind;" and it was so.

We now have the third thing we are not to make an image of, the things of the earth. The three things the Creator mentions in the creation chapter are the exact three things mentioned in the second commandment. So it seems that He does not want us to make idols out of creation itself. We are not to worship the creation, but the Creator. He identified Himself as such. He redeemed Israel for they are His family, therefore giving them their identity, and now telling them not to worship the creation, but worship Him the Creator.

What is going on here? Besides the fact that logically it would seem silly to worship the creation instead of the Creator; there must be more to this. 

Notice that all the creatures were made "each according to their kind". The word kind seems to indicate that these creatures were modeled after something. If they were made each according to a specific kind, there had to be a first kind, a predecessor. Let's hold that thought.

Genesis 1:26:

"The God said, 'Let us make man in our image, according to our likeness....' "

It seems that even man was made according to a kind, modeled after something. The model, used for man, was God. Remember there was God {the Father}, and the Word {the Son}, who was also God. They made man according to their kind; the God kind. Mankind was modeled after the Creators. Which begs the question; what was the rest of His creatures modeled after? What was their kind? The answer to this is the reason for the second commandment.

Exodus 25:20:

"And the cherubim shall stretch out their wings."

These cherubim were the angels sculpted to cover the mercy seat in the Holy of Holies.


Revelation 4:7:                                                                                                        

"The first living creature was like a lion, the second living creature like a calf, the third living creature had a face like a man, and the fourth living creature was like a flying eagle."

Revelation 12:7:

"And war broke out in heaven Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon and his angels fought."

Revelation 12:9:

"So the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent called the Devil and Satan."

These living creatures, His angels, when in heaven are described with animal attributes. Man is made according to the God kind, and the animals are modeled according to the angel kind. When God finished creating man He gave them dominion over all living things on earth.

Genesis 1:26:

“Then God said, ‘Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all[a] the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.’”

He then blessed mankind.

Genesis 1:27:

"Then God blessed them and God said to them, 'Be fruitful and multiply.....' "

Here we see the blessing God gave Mankind. He gave us the ability to reproduce ourselves. To make mankind according to its kind, and when we do reproduce according to our kind we are really reproducing according to the God kind, since we are made after His kind.

We are not to reproduce images of the creation because we are the images. All life on earth is a model, an image, a shadow of the things which are in heaven. We are told by God to love Him. When He created us He gave us the ultimate way to show our love to Him and each other through reproduction. "Be fruitful and multiply". This was His first command and His first gift to man after giving him life. His way of showing how much He loves us was through the act of reproducing Himself through man. We are the only creatures modeled after Him.

When we begin to worship created things we are symbolically committing adultery; for in a sense we are making love to another. Not the one who reproduced us, but one after another kind.

The first commandment showed us who He is and who we are. The second commandment shows us our purpose, our reason for being. We are the son's and daughters of the Creator. We are the only ones of His creation who have the opportunity to be born into the family of God. When we worship the creation instead of the Creator, we are in a sense denying our very existence; His very existence. 

In heaven God rules over all living creatures. On earth Man rules over all living creatures. The angels are under God as the animals are under us. For us to worship the created things on this earth is like God worshiping the angels. We are the Father's children, and the younger brothers and sisters of our older brother, Yahoshua. We have been made a little lower than the angels.[Psalm 8:5]

Romans 8:14-15:

"For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are the son's of God. For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, 'Abba, Father.' "

As the children of God we have been placed into His family. The Kingdom which is coming will be ours to inherit, but we must remember who He is and who we are. We remember this by obeying His commandments.

There is so much more to this commandment, but due to length and time I must end here. I will continue with the second commandment in my next article. Until then my friends please take care.