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17 You shall not make for yourselves molten gods.(A)

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Chapter 26

The Reward of Obedience. [a]Do not make idols for yourselves. You shall not erect a carved image or a sacred stone for yourselves, nor shall you set up a carved stone for worship in your land;(A) for I, the Lord, am your God.

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Footnotes

  1. 26:1–46 This chapter concludes the revelation of laws at Mount Sinai (cf. v. 46). Blessings and curses are also found at the end of Deuteronomy’s law collection (Dt 28). Similar lists of blessings and curses appear in the conclusions of ancient Near Eastern treaties.

Danger of Idolatry. 15 Because you saw no form at all on the day the Lord spoke to you at Horeb from the midst of the fire, be strictly on your guard 16 not to act corruptly by fashioning an idol for yourselves to represent any figure, whether it be the form of a man or of a woman,(A) 17 the form of any animal on the earth, the form of any bird that flies in the sky, 18 the form of anything that crawls on the ground, or the form of any fish in the waters under the earth. 19 And when you look up to the heavens and behold the sun or the moon or the stars, the whole heavenly host, do not be led astray into bowing down to them and serving them.(B) These the Lord, your God, has apportioned to all the other nations under the heavens;

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15 [a]“Cursed be anyone who makes a carved or molten idol,(A) an abomination to the Lord, the work of a craftsman’s hands, and sets it up in secret!” And all the people shall answer, “Amen!”

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Footnotes

  1. 27:15–26 The ceremony described here reflects the structure of covenant. The people assent to the directives their covenant Lord sets forth; their “Amen” ratifies the proscription of idolatry, injustice, incest, murder, and infidelity in general. Thus the “love” of the Lord which is at the heart of Israel’s existence as his covenant people (6:4–5) is spelled out in terms of particular actions. The “Amen” is an acceptance of the curses or sanctions entailed by breaking faith with the Lord. Cf. 30:15–20, a concise statement of covenant theology.

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