Exodus 20:3

“Thou shalt have no other gods before me.”

King James Version (KJV)

Other Translations

Thou shalt haue no other Gods before me.
- King James Version (1611) - View 1611 Bible Scan

"You shall have no other gods before Me.
- New American Standard Version (1995)

Thou shalt have no other gods before me.
- American Standard Version (1901)

You are to have no other gods but me.
- Basic English Bible

Thou shalt have no other gods before me.
- Darby Bible

Thou shalt have no other gods before me.
- Webster's Bible

You shall have no other gods before me.
- World English Bible

`Thou hast no other Gods before Me.
- Youngs Literal Bible

Thou shalt have no other gods before Me.
- Jewish Publication Society Bible

Bible commentary

Wesley's Notes for Exodus 20:3


20:3 The first commandment is concerning the object of our worship, Jehovah, and him only, Thou shalt have no other gods before me - The Egyptians, and other neighbouring nations, had many gods, creatures of their own fancy. This law was pre - fixed because of that transgression; and Jehovah being the God of Israel, they must entirely cleave to him, and no other, either of their own invention, or borrowed from their neighbours. The sin against this commandment, which we are most in danger of, is giving that glory to any creature which is due to God only. Pride makes a God of ourselves, covetousness makes a God of money, sensuality makes a God of the belly. Whatever is loved, feared, delighted in, or depended on, more than God, that we make a god of. This prohibition includes a precept which is the foundation of the whole law, that we take the Lord for our God, accept him for ours, adore him with humble reverence, and set our affections entirely upon him. There is a reason intimated in the last words before me. It intimates, That we cannot have any other god but he will know it. That it is a sin that dares him to his face, which he cannot, will not, overlook. The second commandment is concerning the ordinances of worship, or the way in which God will be worshipped, which it is fit himself should appoint. Here is, [1.] The prohibition; we are forbidden to worship even the true God by images, #Ex 20:4|,5. First, The Jews (at least after the captivity) thought themselves forbidden by this to make any image or picture whatsoever. It is certain it forbids making any image of God, for to whom can we liken him? #Isa 40:18|,25. It also forbids us to make images of God in our fancies, as if he were a man as we are. Our religious worship must be governed by the power of faith, not by the power of imagination. Secondly, They must not bow down to them - Shew any sign of honour to them, much less serve them by sacrifice, or any other act of religious worship. When they paid their devotion to the true God, they must not have any image before them for the directing, exciting, or assisting their devotion. Though the worship was designed to terminate in God, it would not please him if it came to him through an image. The best and most ancient lawgivers among the Heathen forbad the setting up of images in their temples. It was forbidden in Rome by Numa a Pagan prince, yet commanded in Rome by the Pope, a Christian bishop. The use of images in the church of Rome, at this day, is so plainly contrary to the letter of this command, that in all their catechisms, which they put into the hand of the people, they leave out this commandment, joining the reason of it to the first, and so the third commandment they call the second, the fourth the third, &c. only to make up the number ten, they divide the tenth into two. For I the Lord Jehovah, thy God, am a jealous God, especially in things of this nature. It intimates the care he has of his own institutions, his displeasure against idolaters, and that he resents every thing in his worship that looks like, or leads to, idolatry: visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation - Severely punishing. Nor is it an unrighteous thing with God if the parents died in their iniquity, and the children tread in their steps, when God comes, by his judgments, to reckon with them, to bring into the account the idolatries their fathers were guilty of. Keeping mercy for thousands of persons, thousands of generations, of them that love me and keep my commandments - This intimates, that the second commandment, though in the letter of it is only a prohibition of false worship, yet includes a precept of worshipping God in all those ordinances which he hath instituted. As the first commandment requires the inward worship of love, desire, joy, hope, so this the outward worship of prayer and praise, and solemn attendance on his word. This mercy shall extend to thousands, much further than the wrath threatened to those that hate him, for that reaches but to the third or fourth generation.


Discussion for Exodus 20

  • Irene123
    To Coral G. Brown - As to the 'words' in Ex. ch. 20 - It says 'kill'. Now you need to go to Num. ch. 35. It tells ALL about accidental and intentional 'killing' and 'murder'.
  • Steve morrow
    law

    2 timothy 2:24 and the servant of the LORD must not strive but be gentle unto all men apt to teach patient

    can we love our neighbours if we kill them or murder them --- can we then be harmless or gentle to them if we kill them

    romans 13:14 but put you on the LORD JESUS CHRIST and make not provision for the flesh to fulfill the lusts thereof /love your enemies do good to them which hate you
  • Steve morrow
    matthew 10:16 behold I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves be you therefore wise as serpants and harmless as doves

    luke 3:14 and the soldiers likewise demanded of HIM saying and what shall we do and HE said unto them do violence to no man neither accuse any falsely and be content with your wages

    romans 13:10 love worketh no ill to his neighbor therefore love is the fulfilling of the
  • Karl
    to Coral - it is confusing isn't it? Not just the question regarding the translation from Hebrew, but also that specific commandment. My take on it is they're both right, the KJV translation is reverentially accurate, not always perfectly literal but reverentially correct. The second part of your question, tough one, the answer can only be distilled from the entire text of the bible - any help?
  • Coral g. brown
    Is it thou shall not kill or is it thou shall not murder. There is a very distinct difference. King James version says kill. Niv version says murder. Many people's lives were ended during the displacement of people occupying the land God had chosen for his people. Were they killed or murdered ?
  • Gichuru
    to keep GOD "s law it is very good.also to the sabbath holy.

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