Exodus 20:3

“Thou shalt have no other gods before me.”

King James Version (KJV)

Other Translations for Exodus 20:3

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 for Exodus 20:3

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 20:3

  • Rosa Lee Appleby on Exodus 20:3
    As humans we seek fulfillment in earthly pleasures. We long for that which we do not have. When we seek perfection and find disappointment and frustration, it is because God is not number one in our life.
  • Jumin on Exodus 20:3
    Nearly all translations, including the KJV, say "...no other gods before me. " Does this mean I can have other gods after him? Only one translation says "...but me. " This implies that the original Hebrew may have allowed implicit polytheism at one point in the Bible 's history. Just wondering if anyone could find a chronological comparable timeframe that negates that notion. Thank you.
  • MockingBird on Exodus 20:3
    God put this warning in His word because we are flesh and we have a notion from time to time to allow our flesh to want something other than to have God in our lives. That is why it is in God 's word. There are many warnings in God 's word of exhortation to beware of . We will always be warring against our flesh to have other things before us other than God. He says that He is the one and only God because He is the one and only true God. Anything that I put before Him is an idol. If my Lord tells me that I must need to meet with Him in prayer and there is a TV show on that I had been wanting to watch for a long time : I watch the show instead : Then that TV show is god : an idol to me and then and I missed what God had in store for me . Not good at all !! Just one of many things that come into our lives.
  • AMEN JAY on Exodus 20:3
  • Omega Man - in Reply on Exodus 20:3
    That scripture NEVER said there should be no other god before or after me IN HEAVEN! There is NO mention of heaven! Read before you abuse the scripture its meaning! It is directing at those people who were making idols and worshipping them in mockery against God during Moses absence.
  • Tony Martin on Exodus 20:3
    the obvious Israel left Egypt after God attacked their "gods " with plagues. Freed from long, harsh servitude they were not ready to become a nation. What would bind them together and ween them from serving men Egypt with its many gods is SERVING one God. "Before " can mean before he existed, in front of him or in his presence, something more important than him, something that competes with him. It may mean all of those things. If you want to exist as a nation, worship only me. Not only does he have those things that will make for a good government, ie, ten commandments,but he is not, he claims, a man made god. He is for real. So, if you want him on your side, this is what you should do ... and God begins to win them away from Egypt.
  • Barnet on Exodus 20:3
    thou shall not have other gods before me,God never mix things, He is God and He is everything that we dont need to compromise. but remember whatever is first in our life can be a god,so if we put anything first we are wrong.God is our first priority we should not have anything before Him.
  • Cheryl C on Exodus 20:3
    God is Jealous !!! He will not share us with other god's. Choose you this day whom ye will serve !!!!
  • Rizwan on Exodus 20:3
    I need more interpertaion about Exodus 20:3-5 plz
  • Alex on Exodus 20:3
    Christ is coming after the war in Syria or a bit later when the arab dogs will try to start a campaign against Israel. It's clear esp. when reading Ezekiel 28:7 Behold, therefore I will bring strangers against thee...and they shall draw their sword against the beauty of thy wisdom and shall defile thy brightness.


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