a little confused

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Reformingstudent

Puritan Board Junior
Can someone please explain to me why the command given to Moses concerning the Ark of the Covenant in Exodus 25:18 &19 where he is told to make cherubims of gold to go on the mercy seat not a violation of the command just given in Exodus 20:4,which says, 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? Thanks.
 

Contra_Mundum

Pilgrim, Alien, Stranger
Staff member
Because the 2C follows the 1C in the moral Decalog. 1C is all about worshipping the right God. And 2C is all about worshipping God (Jehovah) right. You may not make a graven image idol (of that found in sky, ground water) nor make any form whatsoever (of that found in sky, ground, water) to represent the One True God.

So, the 2C prohibition is not against art, nor against working with tools, but against all forms of idolatry, of worshipping or even representing the spiritual God by some form. The cherubim, and later on all the reat of various artwork of the tabernacle and temple were not for the purpose of rendering God, nor for drawing the heart toward his person.

Hope this is helpful. Search the board; this topic has come up before.
 

Archlute

Puritan Board Senior
Can someone please explain to me why the command given to Moses concerning the Ark of the Covenant in Exodus 25:18 &19 where he is told to make cherubims of gold to go on the mercy seat not a violation of the command just given in Exodus 20:4,which says, 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? Thanks.

The context of that commandment in Exodus 20:4-6 is one of regulating the worship of God's people. They were prohibited from making idolatrous images from the realm of God's creation that would be used for worship.

The Cherubim were set on the ark as "guardians" by the command of God. They would not be worshipped, and would serve to remind the priest that he was on holy ground as they stood between him and the Lord when the Lord would speak with the priest from above and between the two representations.

So it seems that God was using images of his created beings in the invisible realm for a purpose that would magnify His own glory, rather than take away from it, as creating images of creatures for idolatrous purposes would later do among the sons of Israel.
 
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