Exodus 20:23

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Exodus 20

Law Analysis overview

23 You shall most certainly not make gods of silver or gods of gold for yourselves to be alongside me. Exodus 20:23WEB



This passage contains a negative command, directed toward Israel: "You shall not make gods of silver or gods of gold for yourselves alongside me".

This command is notably a restatement of Exodus 20:4-6.


This command is part of the Moral Law.

This command fits with other commands related to Loving God.

The command is relevant to an understanding of Idolatry.


The command was promptly ignored by the Jews at the foot of Mount Sinai, where they generated a golden cow and called it "god" (Exodus 32). The Bible records that the Jews broke this command frequently in history, but that God always preserved for himself a group who did not bow the knee to any false god (1 Kings 19:18).

The command continues to be obligatory for all humanity, Covenant Israel (Christians) in particular. It will find its ultimate fulfillment in the completion and culmination of all promises associated with the New Covenant (Isaiah 2:18, Jeremiah 10:11, Jeremiah 31:34).

Notes on Interpretation/Application

Interpretation 1

Interpretation 2