I have a question about the 2nd commandment.

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Dagmire

Puritan Board Freshman
Well, it is indirectly about the second commandment. I sell things on eBay for an antiques store; that's my job. I now have a small statue that is supposed to be Gabriel.


Can I do this? Can I list this on eBay? Or will that be encouraging others to break the second commandment? Should I put something about the second command in the auction listing?
 

satz

Puritan Board Senior
Just a short response first, I think the bible does have a lot to say about respecting and honoring your Master/Boss, even if he is a pagan.

Even if you were to decide you have to do something about it, I don't think putting a notice in the listing he has not (and probably would not) approved off is the right thing to do. Probably a more appropriate course of action would be to tell him you can't/won't list this particular item.

As to whether it would be wrong for you to list it in the first place, maybe others would chime in. I may reply later if I can collect my thoughts.
 

Me Died Blue

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
Regarding the making of images, the second commandment has never been understood to prohibit the depiction of any creatures (including angels), but only the Creator Himself.
 

Dagmire

Puritan Board Freshman
How is that?

"You shall not make for yourself a 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 or serve them; for I The Lord your God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children to the third and the fourth generation of those who hate Me, but showing steadfast love to thousands of those who love Me and keep My Commandments."
 

Me Died Blue

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
How is that?

While various historic and current Reformed Bible commentators could certainly explain the interpretation of every phrase in the second commandment better than me, one basic thing pointed out that initially made me take a second look at that commandment was that if it is taken to prohibit any and all images of any creatures in any context (which would include angels, photographs of people, and toy frogs), it proves too much, biblically speaking: We know that since certain images are in fact commanded by God to be created elsewhere in Scripture (e.g., the bronze serpent).

And indeed, that it is talking about the depiction of God in particular is further corroborated by the commandment's reference to worship and God's jealousy. Deuteronomy 4:15-18 is most relevant here: "Therefore watch yourselves very carefully. Since you saw no form on the day that the Lord spoke to you at Horeb out of the midst of the fire, beware lest you act corruptly by making a carved 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 air, the likeness of anything that creeps on the ground, the likeness of any fish that is in the water under the earth." Here it is explained that the foundation behind the forbidding of God's people to make such images is the fact that they saw no form of God when He spoke to them. In other words, God not having a revealed physical form is here said to be the logic behind the second commandment, which is possibly the best biblical support of all for believing the prohibition in the commandment to be referring to images of God.
 
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Dagmire

Puritan Board Freshman
So He doesn't want us to defame his glory by depicting him in the image of one of his lowly created beings?
 

Me Died Blue

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
So He doesn't want us to defame his glory by depicting him in the image of one of his lowly created beings?

Exactly. And from what I can gather, most OT scholars believe that even the golden calf was ultimately intended as a representation of Yahweh. As such, most Reformed commentators and theologians also believe the commandment to also be implicitly pointing out God's general desire for us not to worship Him in ways He has not commanded. And with regard to its explicit instruction, which concerns the making of images, how you put it is right on.
 

Davidius

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
Exactly. And from what I can gather, most OT scholars believe that even the golden calf was ultimately intended as a representation of Yahweh.

Interesting. I never knew that the calf was actually supposed to be Yahweh. It reminds me of Hinduism. What is it that makes everybody think cows are divine??
 

Dagmire

Puritan Board Freshman
What is it that makes everybody think cows are divine??



They taste really good.
face_drool.gif
 

kvanlaan

Puritan Board Doctor
What is it that makes everybody think cows are divine??

Go to Friesland. The provincial capital of Leeuwarden has a statue of a cow marked "Us Mem" - "Our Mother." It is a very agrarian society still in many ways, which helps explain it somewhat but it's just one more example of bovine love.
 

Dagmire

Puritan Board Freshman
I was actually wondering about that. Could someone who understands the Hebrew clear it up?

"You shall not make for yourself a 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 or serve them..."

In English, the clause "you shall not bow down to them or serve them" is independent. I read it as a separate statement. I would paraphrase it "Don't make any images. Don't worship them." Is there any dependency in the Hebrew? Is it more like "Don't create images in order to worship them."?
 

Semper Fidelis

2 Timothy 2:24-25
Staff member
Interesting. I never knew that the calf was actually supposed to be Yahweh. It reminds me of Hinduism. What is it that makes everybody think cows are divine??

Yep.

1And when the people saw that Moses delayed to come down out of the mount, the people gathered themselves together unto Aaron, and said unto him, Up, make us gods, which shall go before us; for as for this Moses, the man that brought us up out of the land of Egypt, we wot not what is become of him.

2And Aaron said unto them, Break off the golden earrings, which are in the ears of your wives, of your sons, and of your daughters, and bring them unto me.

3And all the people brake off the golden earrings which were in their ears, and brought them unto Aaron.

4And he received them at their hand, and fashioned it with a graving tool, after he had made it a molten calf: and they said, These be thy gods, O Israel, which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt.

5And when Aaron saw it, he built an altar before it; and Aaron made proclamation, and said, To morrow is a feast to the LORD.
In fact, the "sin of Jeroboam", which eventually ruins the Northern Kingdom and scatters them, is the exact same sin:
25Then Jeroboam built Shechem in mount Ephraim, and dwelt therein; and went out from thence, and built Penuel.

26And Jeroboam said in his heart, Now shall the kingdom return to the house of David:

27If this people go up to do sacrifice in the house of the LORD at Jerusalem, then shall the heart of this people turn again unto their lord, even unto Rehoboam king of Judah, and they shall kill me, and go again to Rehoboam king of Judah.

28Whereupon the king took counsel, and made two calves of gold, and said unto them, It is too much for you to go up to Jerusalem: behold thy gods, O Israel, which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt.

29And he set the one in Bethel, and the other put he in Dan.

30And this thing became a sin: for the people went to worship before the one, even unto Dan.

It occured to me how short-sided the trans-Jordan tribes were who liked the land East of the Jordan. Israel seems so compact to us today. Such a small parcel of land. But for a nation of people that have to get around by foot and are required to assemble in one location for worship. They simply made their journey longer and worship more difficult.

My neighbor across the street growing up was from Palestine (until 1947) and lived near Jerusalem. He told me a story one day about how his brother offered his father a ride in his new car and took him up the hill to Jerusalem in 15 minutes. When finished, his father asked him to take him back and remarked: "It's supposed to take a day to travel to Jerusalem."

I imagine that it didn't take much convincing some of the people who were only thinking of the convenience of the matter to worship in the North. Jeroboam was a pragmatist.
 
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