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

  • Peter
    This, the commandments, of course is very important to me, and I believe that they are beneficial to health and of course to families, and societies. Each thing that God directs to me (that is in my opinion, even considered opinion] has benefits, all the way.
  • PETER
    Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain; for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain. I can not understand why anyone would do that, but think that some Christians do; and i think that they should be aware of the chance that they take. Ver 12 is also so important for the young people and anyone who wants to live long.
  • Lynn
    Only Jesus kept the commandments perfectly. He alone was the perfect sacrifice for his children's sins. We cannot be perfect in the law for all have sinned. We keep the commandments for he first loved us, and when we sin he is just and faithful to forgive our sins.
  • Lu2677
    If a child of God is faced with the wishes of another person and their wishes go against the word of God it is not to be honored. God comes first.
  • John Cyrus
    Hello KJV Bible Authorities, I believe, your "Verse of the Day Inspirational Image" will be blessing to many. I would ask your permission to allow me to send this daily to my friends circle in WhatsApp. So that God may touch their hearts through His living Word!
  • Yogert
    Sometimes we have to live with parents who are non believers so it makes this law challenging but honoring them does not mean we have to agree with them, it means honor their wishes and if you find you have broken this rule, repent.

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