Exodus 20

Chapter 20

20:4  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:

shalt not make

There is a threefold giving of the law. First, orally, in Exodus 20:1-17 . This was pure law, with no provision of priesthood and sacrifice for failure, and was accompanied by the "judgments" ; Exodus 21:1-23:13 ; relating to the relations of Hebrew with Hebrew; to which were added Exodus 23:14-19 directions for keeping three annual feasts, and Exodus 23:20-33 instructions for the conquest of Canaan. These words Moses communicated to the people. Exodus 24:3-8 . Immediately, in the persons of their elders, they were admitted to the fellowship of God. Exodus 24:9-11 .

Second, Moses was then called up to receive the tables of stone. Exodus 24:12-18 . The story then divides. Moses, in the mount, receives the gracious instructions concerning the tabernacle, priesthood, and sacrifice (Ex 25.-31.) Meantime (Ex 32.), the people, led by Aaron, break the first commandment. Moses, returning, breaks the tables "written with the finger of God." ; Exodus 31:18 ; 32:16-19 .

Third, the second tables were made by Moses, and the law again written by the hand of Jehovah Exodus 34:1 Exodus 34:28 Exodus 34:29 ; Deuteronomy 10:4 .

20:18  And all the people saw the thunderings, and the lightnings, and the noise of the trumpet, and the mountain smoking: and when the people saw it, they removed, and stood afar off.

afar off

For contrast between law and grace, cf. Ephesians 2:13 ; Luke 1:10 with Hebrews 10:19-22 .

20:20  And Moses said unto the people, Fear not: for God is come to prove you, and that his fear may be before your faces, that ye sin not.


(See Scofield "Psalms 19:9") .