The Second Commandment

“You do not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of that which is in the heavens above, or which is in the earth beneath, or which is in the waters under the earth, you do not bow down to them nor serve them. For I, YaHUaH your Alohim am a jealous El, visiting the crookedness of the fathers on the children to the third and fourth generations of those who hate Me, and showing kindness to thousands, to those who love Me and guard My commands.” Exodus 20:4-6

What you see above is the second commandment given to us “as it is written.” When is the last time you saw this commandment displayed in this manner – anywhere, besides when you read it in your Bible yourself? This commandment has been shortened, dissected, changed, even eliminated by some “assemblies?” of “faith.” This is another instruction (covenant article) that we have completely nullified and made void. We must realize, at some point brethren, this activity cannot continue in the assemblies and homes. We cannot continue changing our covenant articles and still expect to be the people of God. [On a side note, this is not to discuss the “numbering” of the commandments, but the actual “words” of them.]

Here is what is at stake for us in guarding or not guarding His Words: “And now, if you diligently obey My voice, and shall guard My covenant, then you shall be My treasured possession above all the peoples – for all the earth is Mine – and you shall be to Me a reign of priests and a set-apart nation.” Exodus 19:5-6. When the covenant is broken, His Covenant does not go away, it is eternal. When His Covenant is broken, YaHUaH does not go away, He also, is eternal. What happens when the covenant is broken and brought to naught in the lives and ears of people, is our position as His people is removed and broken. You may want to read that again.

“Obey My Voice, and I shall be your Alohim, and you be My people.” Jeremiah 7:23

So let us get back to this commandment “as it is written” and see just how valuable it is for us and why we need to return to guarding it as we are charged with.

This commandment has tied to it a declaration of YaHUaH’s character and how that character is made visible and real in the earth and His people. It is a characteristic that is born out of passion and possession. Yet most of the time, this plainly declared characteristic of our Creator is not found in the printing of this commandment or discussed in most conversations of those who pride themselves in memorizing the commandment. When it is recited, it is brushed through and stated as a simple “don’t do” and YaHUaH is misrepresented in the misguided understanding.

His Character: “For I, YaHUaH your Elohim am a jealous El”

Isn’t this amazing? The Creator of the Universe tells His creation something of His character here directly. Does a statue do this? Is the sun, moon, or stars zealous for our affection and worship? What about a tree, or flower? Of course not. These things have no life, for they are “created things.” They are creation and not The Creator! What does it mean to us that He is a jealous El? This language speaks of possession and ownership over something… namely His Bride, His people Israel. He could have said He is a ruling El, or a tyrannical El, or judging El. He could have said He is a mighty El, or a powerful El, or a punishing El. He didn’t, He said jealous. Zealousness and jealousy come out of passion and caring. Additionally, He knows who He is: the one true power and creator of all things, all powerful, all knowing, all merciful and all loving. Because He knows this, He will not stand for anything else to have His place in the hearts, minds, and souls of His people. This is great love which some today label as wicked and vengeful.

As an all knowing and all loving Creator, He is well aware of the “non-sense” in worshipping or serving any man-made image. Man made gods are dead and lead us to death. Man cannot create a god even if he believes he can. Sometimes mankind has worshipped things that are real, i.e. sun, moon, and stars… or even trees and creation… which are real, but have no power. YaHUaH created these things also to serve Him. YaHUaH, in His wisdom and love for us, gives this instruction to protect us from giving time and space of worship to dead things and things that do not prosper for us. Every moment we spend venerating or speaking to some image, memorial, or looking into the stars for our future… its time spent away from Him. Because He has proclaimed Himself to be jealous, He will not stand for this and will take action upon our lives and intercede in our lives to bring us back to Him.

This commandment includes veneration by the way. It does not matter how veneration is packaged, it is unacceptable to YaHUaH. Thesaurus synonyms for veneration: worship, adoration, reverence, honor, respect, admiration, regard

Every single one of these actions belong to God and God alone. Do not give them to statues, bones, memorials, images, icons, symbols and the like. This includes statues of memorable people. Think about it. The person being “venerated” which means worshipped, is dead (asleep). They do not hear, speak, walk, or do any acts on our behalf. This activity comes out of Egypt and is worship of the dead and necromancy. We, as His People, are not to do this.

Scripture tells us quite plainly, “For there is one Elohim, and one Mediator between Elohim and men, the Man Messiah YaHUsHa.” 1 Timothy 2:5

Exodus 34:14 “for you do not bow yourselves to another mighty one, for YaHUaH, whose Name is jealous, is a jealous El – “

This jealousy characteristic is so much a part of who our God is, it is even proclaimed as His Name, as above in Exodus 34:24. From the Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament on this Hebrew word qanna for jealous:

This verb expresses a very strong emotion whereby some quality or possession of the object is desired by the subject. Although the term may be used to denote one of the characteristics of living men as in Ecclesiastes 9:6, or in a derogatory sense to denote hostile and disruptive passions as in Proverbs 27:4, or in a favorable sense to denote consuming zeal focused on one that is loved as in Psalms 69:9.

It is helpful to think of “zeal” as the original sense from which derived the notions

“zeal for another’s property” = “envy”

“zeal for one’s own property” = “jealousy”

Did you see that? The zeal our Father has for us is JEALOUSY. And why is that? Because we are HIS PROPERTY.

qanna’ specifically with the jot at the end is the noun given for a Name of YaHUaH – Jealous, His Name is Jealous. This noun, is used only of God and in the context of idolatry. It shows the parallel between adultery and idolatry. As a husband holds his wife to himself and is permitted to kill her and her illicit lover in the case of adultery, so God relates to His people. This consuming characteristic of the zeal our Elohim has for us will be revisited later in this work after we cover some more of the meaning of the commandment and its Words.

What is a carved or graven image? It is the Hebrew word pecel {peh’-sel} from 06458; TWOT – 1788a; n m AV – graven image 28, carved image 2, graven 1; 31 1) idol, image

In the likeness of:

Likeness is temuwnah {tem-oo-naw’} or תמנה temunah {tem-oo-naw’} from 04327; TWOT – 1191b; n f AV – likeness 5, similitude 4, image 1; 10 1) form, image, likeness, representation, semblance

Heavens – stars, planets, galaxies, moon, sun, clouds, angels

Earth – animals, man, woman, trees, bushes, flowers, birds

Waters – fish, dolphins, sea creatures, sea shells, any shells, sharks

You do not bow down:

Bow down – shachah {shaw-khaw’} a primitive root; TWOT – 2360; v AV – worship 99, bow 31, bow down 18, obeisance 9, reverence 5, fall down 3, themselves 2, stoop 1, crouch 1, misc 3; 172 1) to bow down 1a) (Qal) to bow down 1b) (Hiphil) to depress (fig) 1c) (Hithpael) 1c1) to bow down, prostrate oneself 1c1a) before superior in homage 1c1b) before God in worship 1c1c) before false gods 1c1d) before angel

To serve them:

– abad {aw-bad’} a primitive root; TWOT – 1553; v AV – serve 227, do 15, till 9, servant 5, work 5, worshippers 5, service 4, dress 2, labour 2, ear 2, misc 14; 290 1) to work, serve 1a) (Qal) 1a1) to labour, work, do work 1a2) to work for another, serve another by labour 1a3) to serve as subjects 1a4) to serve (God) 1a5) to serve (with Levitical service) 1b) (Niphal) 1b1) to be worked, be tilled (of land) 1b2) to make oneself a servant 1c) (Pual) to be worked 1d) (Hiphil) 1d1) to compel to labour or work, cause to labour, cause to serve 1d2) to cause to serve as subjects 1e) (Hophal) to be led or enticed to serve

Now to cover another portion of this instruction (commandment) that is hardly ever taught or spoken:

YaHUaH’s Words: “visiting the crookedness of the fathers on the children to the third and fourth generations of those who hate Me”

Hold on to your boots here, because we are going to cover something about this word “visiting” that you may have never heard or read before. The word “visiting” is not necessarily a negative thing. Most usages of this word are in a positive light in scripture. It can be negative… but to use the word punishment to translate this Hebrew word is the least acceptable translation. Did you get that? To say that YaHUaH punishes is the least acceptable translation of the Hebrew word. Remember that.

From THE NET Bible for the explanation of the Hebrew word for “visiting” which is the Hebrew word paqad:

The word pqd (paqad) is difficult to translate. It essentially means that God intervenes in the lives of people for blessing or for cursing. Some would simply translate the participle here as “punishing” the children for the sins of the fathers. That is workable, but may not say enough. The verse may mean that those who hate YaHUaH and do not keep his commandments will repeat the sins their fathers committed and suffer for them. Deut 24:16 says that they will die for their own sins and not their father’s sins. [So right here we in fact DO see that using the word punish cannot be appropriate, for Scripture itself tells us this] It may have more to do with the patterns of sin being repeated from generation to generation; if the sin and the guilt were not fully developed in the one generation, then left unchecked they would develop and continue in the next. But it may also indicate that the effects of the sins of the fathers will be experienced in the following generations. God is showing here that his ethical character is displayed in how he deals with sin and righteousness. There is a justice at work in the dealings of God that is not there in the pagan world.

Tie this in with their note on the following phrase “to those who hate me”:

This is an important qualification to the principle. The word “hate” carries with it the idea of rejecting God and his word. To hate God means to reject him and to defiantly oppose him. Hating God is likened unto being His enemy. Such people are doomed to carry on the sins of their ancestors, and bear the guilt with them.

The actions of our parents can absolutely cause us to be born out of or cut off from God’s presence, and therefore His Teaching. If our earthly father lives as an enemy of God, he will find himself expelled from the presence, teaching, and tent of people of YaHUaH. This tells us there will be no true divine guidance for the children, and there may be no blessings for them. Grandchildren may be greatly afflicted, walking in curses, and begin to wonder why things are so bad. There are many cases in which the children awaken in the fourth generation and return to YaHUaH because of these truths. YaHUaH sets forth this divine order and decree… why? Because He is punishing or vengeful? No. He does it because He is a jealous El and He plainly told us prior to this action that is decreed. We are His possession and He will intervene into our generations on behalf of His Name’s sake. Would we prefer He leave us to die in exile? Would we prefer He leave us alone and never come after us as His people again so that we die in our ignorance and transgression forever? We MUST get back to the true meaning and understanding of what love means.

This phrase is full of mercy and grace too. To translate this word “visit” to be “punish” may be a miscarriage of our Creator’s character. To add weight to this position is the phrase that follows in this command, “showing kindness to thousands, to those who love Me and guard My commands.”

Now, between “those who hate me” and “showing kindness to thousands” there is a single Hebrew letter and it is the letter “vav” – ו

This Hebrew letter “vav” can represent either the English word “and” or the English word “but.” If we use the word “and” we can see how this visiting of Alohim upon the third and fourth generation is a positive and merciful action brought upon us by His jealousy for His possession. If we use the word “but” we see that because the latter phrase “showing kindness to thousands” is plainly positive… that the contrasting word “but” causes us to see that the previous phrase “visiting the crookedness” as a negative.

This is a common thing in Scripture and it leaves the understanding to be one based upon our view and relationship with YaHUaH. A believer who sees Him as a loving Father, ever merciful, kind, and forgiving will see the positive. A person who is angry, in transgression, not speaking to Him, etc… may choose to see the negative. Both views are there in the reading, so it is a choice.

Here is more from the Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament on the Hebrew word paqad for visiting, numbering, or appointing (some translations have punishing).

The basic meaning is to exercise oversight over a subordinate, either in the form of inspecting or of taking action to cause a considerable change in the circumstances of the subordinate, either for the better or for the worse.

It is said of the verb, which occurs more than 300 times in the Tanak (old testament): “There is probably no other Hebrew verb that has caused translators as much trouble as paqad. This verb occurs in the Akkadian language usually with the meaning of appointing a governor or other official.

Speiser considers the root of this word (pqd) to be “attend to with care” or “take note.” It is impossible to prove whether this is the actual origin, but the fact that at least half of the occurrences involve positive action by a superior in relation to his subordinates strongly suggests that such action is a vital part of the meaning of the word.

When translated “visit” as 57 times in the KJV (King James Version), this word almost always has the sense of “making a visitation” and points to action that produces a great change in the position of a subordinate either for good or for ill. Speiser suggests a close parallel to the phrase “to raise the head,” used in Genesis 40:13,19. Pharaoh “lifted up the head” of both his servants the baker and the butler – one to restoration and the other to death.

The word paqad is similarly used in what might seem to be two opposite senses in Jeremiah 23:2 “Therefore thus said YaHUaH Alohim of Israel against the shepherds who feed My people, “You have scattered My flock, driven them away, and have not tended (paqad) them. See, I am punishing (paqad) you for the evil of your deeds,” declares YaHUaH.

References in I Samuel 20:6, 18, 25, 27 to David’s seat being empty or to David being missed involve the idea of Saul’s oversight over his subordinate. The references to cattle or sheep not being missed in I Samuel 25:7, 15, 21 relate to David’s protection of Nabal’s flock. A similar reference to God’s oversight of his people and finding none missing is contained in Jeremiah 23:3-4

“Therefore I shall gather the remnant of My flock out of all the lands where I have driven them, and shall bring them back to their fold. And they shall bear and increase. And I shall raise up shepherds over them, and they shall feed them. And they shall fear no more, nor be discouraged, nor shall they be lacking,” declares YaHUaH.

This is “visiting”… this is paqad in our commandment as YaHUaH watches over us and will visit us in the third and fourth generation to make sure we can return to Him even if our fathers walk away from Him in concerning the adultery of idol worship.

The second half of the phrase: “showing kindness to thousands, to those who love Me and guard My commands,” doesn’t require much explanation. When we guard His commands, we show YaHUaH we love Him and He pours out kindness and blessing upon us because we have allowed Him to do so according to the Ways of His Instructions.

YaHUsHa said, “If you love Me, guard My commands.”

“Shall a man make gods unto himself, and they are no gods?” (Jeremiah 16:20).

Now to show some examples of what we have done to the second commandment to bring it down to a mere “thou shall not do” and missing out on the glorious whole meaning that you have just read. Please know that in showing these as examples, there is no insult or harm meant to the people of these religions. It is the religion itself that is the problem. Doctrine out of organized religion that chooses to misrepresent our King.

From online sites teaching Judaism:

“You shall have no other gods besides Me… Do not make a sculpted image or any likeness of what is in the heavens above…” — This commandment is a prohibition to believe in or worship any other deities, gods, or spirits. It is also a prohibition against objects like crucifixes, and any forms of paintings or artistic representations of God. (from http://www.templesanjose.org)

Prohibition of Improper Worship

This category is derived from Ex. 20:3-6, beginning, “You shall not have other gods…” It encompasses within it the prohibition against the worship of other gods as well as the prohibition of improper forms of worship of the one true G-d, such as worshiping G-d through an idol. (www.jewfaq.org)

The two paragraphs above have not included our wonderful Alohim’s character. Remember that picture of His being jealous for us? Where is it in the above teachings? And also… where is the blessing and His kindness, and the blessing of His visitation upon our generations to return us to our Deliverance? This is surely violence to our Father’s Word indeed.

The Catholic Catechism has completely removed this commandment from their teachings. Completely omitted. An outrage to be sure.

The Episcopal Catechism: To put nothing in the place of God (from http://anglicansonline.org/basics/catechism.html#The%20Ten%20Commandments)

Nothing much needs to be said about the Episcopal teaching above, considering all that has already been covered thus far. So much is missing in this instruction, and the instruction is made void.

“You shall not make anything to be with Me — gods of silver or gods of gold you shall not make for yourselves.” (Exodus 20:23). He is a limitless, unseen, living Alohim.

“What you have in your mind shall never be, when you say, ‘We will be like the Gentiles, like the families in other countries, serving wood and stone.'” (Ezekiel 20:32).

Isaiah 24:5

The earth also is defiled under the inhabitants thereof; because they have transgressed the laws, changed the ordinance, broken the everlasting covenant.

Why should the nations say, “Where now is their Alohim?”

But our Alohim is in the heavens;

Whatever pleased Him, He has done.

Their idols are silver and gold,

The work of men’s hands.

They have mouths, but they do not speak;

They have eyes, but they do not see;

They have ears, but they do not hear;

They have noses, but they do not smell;

They have hands, but they do not handle;

They have feet, but they do not walk;

They make no sound through their throat.

The ones who make them, shall become like them –

All who trust in them.

Psalm 115:2-8

Deut. 4:15-18 “So watch yourselves CAREFULLY, since you did not see any form on the day YaHUaH spoke to you at Horeb from the midst of the fire, LEST YOU ACT CORRUPTLY and make a graven image for yourselves in the form of any figure the likeness of male or female, the likeness of any animal that is on the earth, the likeness of any winged bird that flies in the sky, the likeness of anything that creeps on the ground, the likeness of any fish that is in the water below the earth…”

Psa 97:7 Confounded be all they that serve graven images, that boast themselves of idols: worship him, all ye gods.

Yahusha said, “But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshipers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship Him.” (John 4:23) Notice it is only the “true” worshipers who are able to worship the Father in spirit and in truth. “God is a Spirit: and they that worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in truth. (Jn. 4:24)

The guarding of the second commandment will also have an impact upon those who will be living during the last days spoken of in the Book of the Revelation. “And he leads astray those dwelling on the earth because of those signs which he was given to do before the beast, saying to those dwelling on the earth to make an image to the beast who was wounded by the sword, yet lived.” Rev. 13:14

Keeping the second commandment will keep us from this danger in times to come.

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